Today is Thomas’s birthday. At 12 months, Thomas can eat an entire hotdog by himself. He is nowhere close to walking, weaning, or sleeping through the night, though. He does hold my thumb while not-doing those things, though, so I’m not only complaining.
We celebrated by having a party last Sunday. It was almost a week early, but family had already gathered to celebrate his baptism, so it made sense to celebrate his birthday at the same time.
After the party there was this weird lag time — he was one, but not really. I couldn’t help but think about last year and the time between his due date and his actual birthday. For me, it was a week of anxiety and discomfort. I struggled with patience and joy and trusting that everything would be ok. Then after all that waiting, it happened so quickly that I went into shock.
A month or so after Thomas was born I was outside in the backyard with all three kids, the sky went from sunny to dark and all at once the wind was whipping and I heard a huge crack of thunder. I grabbed Thomas in one arm, Mary Virginia in the other, and shouted at David to run inside. When he didn’t, I shouted again. Then, with the aid of crazy postpartum hormones mixed with my normal craziness, I imagined a limb from our tree falling on one of us, and shrieked, “DAVID RUN INSIDE RIGHT NOW!”
Perhaps that’s an odd story to share on Thomas’s birthday, but after everyone was safely inside, I remember standing in the kitchen, breathless, thinking, “Ok. This is what it means to have three children. I don’t have enough arms.”
This has been a learning, growing year for all of us. We’ve been a family of five for a whole year and by now we’re getting better at it.
As in, I’ve figured out how to carry all three kids at once. (It’s amazing how many kids you can fit in the crook of your arm if you really try.)
Aside from that, the three-kid thing still feels mostly overwhelming to me. Sorry, Thomas.
This is a sentence from Thomas’s birth story:
“Tom didn’t get a chance to take the photos I wanted, not even one of me standing up, looking in disbelief at my baby on the bed.”
We were all a little bummed that we didn’t get a photo, then one day Tom was looking through pictures on his phone and said, “WHOA. LOOK AT THIS.”
I took note because Tom almost never talks in all-caps.
Tom had cut the umbilical cord, taken this photo, and then completely forgotten. We can all be thankful that he wasn’t standing on the other side of the bed.
This is just seconds after Thomas was born, when I was looking at him wondering who had given birth to that baby; trying to muster the vocabulary to ask why he wasn’t crying.
I still look at him that way, in shock an awe. Completely amazed that he is here and yet I can’t remember our family before he was part of it.
Happy birthday baby Thomas, we love you!