My son's first birthday party was a celebration. It was a celebration of my son being alive for a full year and it was also a celebration of my wife and I successfully keeping a child alive for a full year. Both are extremely valid reasons to party and party we did this past Saturday at Jack's grandparents house. The setup for a 1 year old's party seems like it would be simple, but ask my wife and you'll hear a different tale. Inviting people, making sure the food is ordered, decorations, a theme...these are all things that must be considered and executed on and she did one hell of a job with it. The theme we went with was Dr. Seuss and the overall experience was awesome.
Jack began the day a little shy as relatives starting pouring into the house and coming up to him, but after a while he would warm up. While people may have been sad that Jack was being so shy, he did do something that brought a smile to my face. Whenever Jack felt scared or nervous, he would immediately high tail it into my arms or nuzzle into my chest. I know it may sound selfish to say this, but that made me feel really good. In a situation where he felt scared, he knew that he could find security and comfort in his daddy's arms...and I relished that thought. It's something trivial and silly I'm sure, but knowing your child loves and trust you in a scary situation is a nice feeling. I like that.
Over time though, Jack came out of his shell and began interacting with people. He ate some lunch meat, tasted his first cupcake (and wore some of it in his hair), and opened a ton of awesome gifts that are now making their home quite messily in our dining room (much to my wife's dismay.) The day was a celebration of Jack's birth and how fast he has grown into a wonderful child. I know I have written posts in the past about how fast Jack was growing, but now that we are officially out of the first year the sentiment really rings true. It really does feel like yesterday that we were rushing to the hospital to deliver a baby. My two weeks of paternity leave were a blur of sleeplessness and new emotions as my wife battled with things like thrush, a tongue tie on a not nursing so well baby, and other issues that came out over those weeks. We finally hit our stride a couple months in but life as we knew it was never the same. We were living with a baby that my wife and I helped create. He was the missing part of our life we didn't realize was missing until he was present. Looking back over the past year brings up a ton of special memories in my mind, but they are in the past now. They will live on in the pictures taken, the moments shared, and the stories told. Right now I'm looking to the future with a toddler who has all but mastered walking and is on the verge of learning to talk. There are milestones out there waiting to be hit and I can't wait to share them with my son. The first year has been an amazing blur of an experience, but I'm really excited about what comes next!