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Oct 11, 2009

12 Months

I’m not sure why this update is harder to write than the previous eleven, but it is, somehow. This month was not just Colin’s first time to swim or his first birthday party; all those things I could write about without getting this squeezing feeling in my chest. But it is more difficult to write about how, over the last month, my baby turned into a toddler. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited that Colin is growing up. I want to celebrate each milestone, not mourn the passing of his infancy. But looking back over the last year, be it in pictures or stories or website entries, it is impossible not to feel nostalgic and even sad that the tiny Turnip that I made with my own body is now walking around my house and talking back to me.


He has favorites, preferences, which is incredible to me. When did he learn to do that? He chooses bananas over peaches and blueberries over everything. He very strongly prefers the blue blanket that my mother knit for him above all other things in life. He prefers using his left hand, though the right will work in a pinch. He likes the dogs to the cats, the living room to the den, and me to the babysitter. His favorite book is The Hungry Caterpillar. He sticks his chubby fingers in the little holes that the caterpillar ate and turns the pages that way. He squints his eyes and giggles when his finger inevitably gets caught and needs to be rescued.

Book Lover

One aspect of Colin’s life that has evolved this month is his relationship with Patrick. Obviously, the two of them always had a fondness for each other and enjoyed the other’s company. But something happened this month between the two of them and they are now Buddies with a capital B. I will not pretend to know what goes on in the mind of any man, whether he is 1 or 31, but I can say that these two boys bonded this month. I had no idea how much Patrick and Colin’s deepening relationship would intensify my relationship with Patrick. This is not something I expected, since all you hear about is how your life becomes your kids and you lose touch with your spouse. On the contrary, the closer Patrick and Colin get to each other, the closer I feel to each of them. Our time together has become so much fun this month, like we are all realizing that we three belong with each other, that, together, we make a family.

Happy on Shoulders

As I mentioned, Colin went swimming for the first time and it might have been the happiest I have ever seen him. He laughed and splashed and fearlessly threw his head back and forward to get the full swimming experience. It was one of the happiest and most fun experiences of my life too. That is, it was until Patrick took Colin on his shoulders, went into the deep end and lost his footing. Oh, the screaming. Not by Colin, mind you, he was fine, thought it was hilarious, just had a little choking but he recovered nicely. No, the screaming was by me. At Patrick. What was I just saying about us all getting along so well?

Swim 2

And then, of course, his birthday. The morning before Colin’s birthday, it occurred to me that, one year prior to that moment, I had been in labor. It was about 8:30am and I realized that, last year, I had been in labor for six and a half hours already and had twenty-six hours to go. My God. Did I really do that?

Cupcake Smoosh

Sometimes I think about the person I was before Colin was born, even when I was pregnant with him, and I am humbled. I am not always clear where my religious beliefs lie, but I believe in a bigger picture, a larger purpose, a greater plan and I have never felt so sure of that as I have since Colin was born. Colin came to us at a time when things were turbulent in life, our careers, and our marriage and his presence was transformative. In being required to care for someone else before myself, I learned what it means to help others and how to put them first. In using my body to nourish and sustain a child, I also learned how critical it is to take care of myself so that I may care for others. And in striving to provide a safe and happy environment for Colin, I learned the importance of caring for my relationships, especially with Patrick. I am better because of Colin. A better wife, a better (student) doctor, a better person. All because of a Turnip who grew into a Colin who made me a mother.


6 Readers rock!:

Leonore said...


Long Family Chronicles said...

What an amazing post! If only I was as gifted in writing!! Hats off to you mama K!

Tiff said...

That made me get a little teary-eyed.
It is quite unbelievable that he is already one year old.

Dragonfly said...

Yay for all that. And for him being a left hander... :-)

tracy said...

Ah! He's beautiful...and wearing big boy jeans...it had been waaaaay toooooo loooong since i visited! Congrats all around! :)

Without Wax said...

Beautiful post! Words and pics and all...