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Dear Grant,

Today is your first birthday! On one hand, I cannot believe an entire year has gone by already. On the other, it is hard for me to remember my life without you in it. It seems like you’ve always been there. Maybe not physically, maybe not right before my eyes where I could squeeze you and giggle at your expressions and breathe in your sweet and perfect scent, but there. In my heart. In my soul. In a subconscious promise to be. A year ago, that promise was honored and you arrived, straight from my dreams and into my arms.

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You have been a beautiful addition to our family. Your brother adores you, though he has had moments of jealousy and he sometimes gets frustrated with you touching his stuff. When you were tiny, Truman would beg to hold you, would run to get anything you wanted and was your voice when you needed something. He made sure I was on top of getting you milkies, a diaper or anything else he thought you may want. As you grow, you two have learned to play together so well and are always making each other laugh. Truman calls you, “my baby” “my brother” and “Gran-Gran.”

Your Daddy is enthralled with you, Grant. With two small children in a family, parents have to split up and each take a kid sometimes. Daddy did not get as much time to bond with you at first, since Truman needed attention and I was who you needed most often. Now that you’re a little bigger and less dependent on Mommy, your relationship with Daddy has soared. You will settle down and cuddle with him on the couch in the evenings, even allowing yourself to fall asleep – something you never do with me. Your face lights up when he enters the room. Daddy is so proud of every one of your milestones and loves to watch you grow. He is also impressed with your pitching arm and hopes your love of catch will transition into a baseball career!

Grant, you are the star of your class at daycare, and Miss Helen’s favorite. She carries you and coddles you – maybe more than she should – but I am not complaining. Over and over I hear how happy you are, how good you are, how smart and sweet and cuddly you are. Strangers stop me to admire you, especially that fiery red hair standing up all over. You are almost always smiling, and when you aren’t it is because you are either very sad or very mad. You don’t really cry without reason. You are fairly sensitive and you don’t like loud noises, yelling, or being startled. You don’t like being left alone in a room. You are loud. You like to make noise, humming, moaning or talking. You are repeating pretty much everything we ask you to and you get most letter sounds correct, even if the words aren’t completely clear. You give hugs and kisses and can follow basic commands. You love “big kids,” nursing, being on the move and eating. You are a speed crawler. You pull yourself up to standing and are trying to walk. You are getting a little further every day and I know soon you will just take off and run!

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You are so big… yet, I think of you as tiny. I am afraid that may never go away, Grant. Most of the time you hear about parents relaxing more with the second baby. Having been through it all already, they loosen up and stop worrying. For me, it has been the opposite. I worry about you constantly. How you feel, what you are eating, if you sleep too little, if you sleep too much, if you fall down, if you cry. I call you a zillion weird, made up pet names that sound an awful lot like baby talk (I mean, if I was the type of Mom that ever talked baby talk to her children, gasp!) I am often shocked when you can do something age appropriate because in my head you are a teeny baby still. I am sure it stems from the incident on your one month birthday, which holds the number one place in my heart for The Worst Day Ever. I still rub your head and can feel a small bump. I can picture you tiny and broken in that hospital bed and it brings tears to my eyes and sucks the breath from my lungs every single time. It still seems impossible that you pulled through just fine, but you did. You were so strong! You are so strong… but I will remain fiercely protective of you, my Itty-Bitty Bumbey. I can’t help it. I love you too much.

Today you are 1, Grant! You are no longer a baby. Your first year, your infancy is behind us. Welcome to toddlerhood! You will undoubtedly rock it, my little love. My wishes for you are the same as they always have been, they always will be, and they are for all of my children, current and future.

I wish for you a lifetime of:

Happiness – however you may find it.

Health – physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Love – shared with people who cherish your happiness and health.

It is that simple.

Happy 1st Birthday Grant. (Big Red, G, G-Man, Itty-Bitty Bumbey, Little Chumby-Chumby, Pumba, Pumbey Little Bumpy, Little Chunky Chunky…)

I love you immeasurably,

Momma

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