Two years ago, I had a whirlwind of a labour, and fell in love hard with a tiny wrinkly being, learning the ins and outs of caring 100% for another human. One year ago, we had a small party where the guest of honour was a little unsure, enjoying the balloons and his cake more than the attention and gifts.
Now it’s been two years. Two years since I become a mom and while I agree with the sentiment that it changes everything, I almost feels like for me, it more completed everything. I always wanted to be a mom, and I couldn’t be happier that my sweet little boy, a red-headed imp who is serious and sweet, who is always on the move and loves to dance and spin, but who will settle in for a nice snuggle and a good story, is two. Two! He’s getting more expressive by the day, and I can’t wait to see what this year brings.
His birthday was on Saturday and we had a nice, low-key day. He was thrilled to see the dozen balloons I’d blown up the night before as we descended down to the living room in the morning. We had cottage cheese pancakes and frozen mango for breakfast, and opened gifts from us, and my sister and her husband who came for the weekend from Sudbury. After naptime, we headed over to my brother’s house for some playtime and Swiss Chalet take out.
Sunday was party time! Julian got to watch his favourite TV show, Curious George, in the morning, while we did some food prep for the party. I had tried to come up with some ideas that would be kid and adult friendly, easy to grab, and to fit my theme, colourful. So we did rainbow fruit skewers, veggies in cups with Julian’s favourite garlic dip (made by my mom), and smoked salmon/ cream cheese and BLT turkey with spicy mayo pinwheels. We chopped and packed everything and headed over to Tyler’s parents place to get ready!
The birthday boy had a snooze while we put up streamers, balloons, a birthday banner, photos from the last year in a big 2 on the window, then put out the food, including the banana split bar we’d planned for dessert. We poured drinks, and waited for our awesome family members to arrive: aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents.
Once awake, Julian was a little slow to warm up – although the house was filled with people he knew, it was still loud and he felt better approaching the goings-on with my hand clutched tightly in his. As the afternoon went on, he ventured away from me, but still preferred to keep me close as he opened gifts, watched the bigger kids play pin the banana on George, gobbled up cake and opened presents.
I felt a bit like the party passed me by; I spent more time batting at a ball with a plastic golf club than I did catching up with people and having conversations, but…this phase of his life, where I’m the center of his universe, will pass him by quickly enough. So while he’s small enough to want to press his sticky fingers into mine for comfort, while I’m the one who best understands his semi-spoken requests for his blankie or for a drink, I’ll be fine putting all my focus on him and his needs.
We got spoiled with presents, everyone ate and talked and it was a typically wonderful family gathering, infused with love and laughter. People filtered out to get to the hockey game, and J opened a few more presents. He loved taking off each piece of wrapping paper, and wanted to take out every toy and inspect and play with it. He got tons of cars and trucks, a talking Elmo, and the present he’s gotten the most use out of so far: a cute book about Easter called Hop, Hop!
As I watched him, I realized that he really is not a baby any longer. He’s a boy now – a mama’s boy who is always in motion, swatting balls with sticks or jumping off steps; a boy who loves his garlic dip, pickles, and any kind of fruit; a boy who’s easy-going and quiet with a playful side. He really is a fun, special little guy and I’m happy that I get to be his Mom.