Happy birthday, kiddo. We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?
I’ve written a letter to each of your siblings on their birthdays (except I think I neglected them both this year), but somehow this letter is harder to write. Though I’ve spent more time focused on you than I have probably ever spent on your siblings, that time has not been spent on enjoying watching you become a little person. I have been entirely too focused on making sure you are ok. Alive. Growing (and growing fast enough). Not puffy. Dressing changes, injections, blood pressure cuffs at home. Labs, doctor’s offices, more injections, surgeries. So much energy focused on keeping you alive has meant less energy focused on enjoying who you are.
But you are delightful, little one. You are still a baby, whereas your siblings were much older at 1 year.
You like to be close, but you are not a snuggler. Everyone calls you a snuggler, but you really just like to be held, to be close, and are not so much into snuggling any more. You’re far too busy.
Busy. You are so busy. You’ve always had busy hands. Always. And feet. Even before you could really control either one, they were always busy, flitting from tubes to your ears to hair and back to tubes. You have been a holy terror with your PD Catheters.
Most parents call their kids a monkey, but you really do use your feet more than your hands. You use them as tools to help scoop toys closer to you. You use them as a way to touch people when your hands are busy or too far. You use them to play with toys, to play with the iPad that Child Life brings in.
You are very forgiving. You love people. Or you want to love people. Recently, you’ve become more uncertain about people.
You are creative. You can’t get around on your own, so you’ve started using your toys as tools to scoop your other toys closer. If you can’t get to the toy, you’ll get the toy to move to you.
You are so easygoing. When you’re tired and want to be held, you fuss, but you really only get very upset when your Someone’s Going To Hurt Me spidey sense starts tingling – and who can blame you for that?
You amaze us every day. Happy Birthday, little one.