Dear James,

Tomorrow you will be one year old. How has it only been a year? It feels like you’ve been a part of my life forever.

I was so desperate for you to arrive. Your daddy and I had been trying to get you here safely for a long time – years, really. My pregnancy with you was not easy, and your delivery wasn’t a cakewalk, either. As hazy as those first days and weeks of your life were, I’ll never forget the first time I saw you. All the nervousness I had fell away.

meeting James

James, less than 24 hours old

You are a dream baby. You have literally never cried for no reason, ever. I’ve never been around a baby with such a sweet disposition. You’re a happy, friendly, agreeable little guy and I hope as you grow older you keep those traits.

Both of your sisters came early, but you made us wait. That seems to be your approach with most big things. You wait until you’re good and ready to try things, like crawling or climbing, but you master them immediately. You really threw yourself into walking, though. You have no fear or self-preservation instincts, and that really worked out well for you. You can take several unassisted steps in a row now, and if you’re holding someone’s hand you can go the entire length of the house! And you’re so, so proud of yourself.

You have a thousand-watt smile but you save your best grins for Annabel. You want to be where she is, do what she does, and touch her all the time. If she leaves the room without you, you scream in protest. When I was pregnant with you I’d tell your sister how much you were going to love her, but to see it in person now…it’s amazing. The best part is that she loves you just as much.

he loves her

You do things that remind us of both of your sisters. Your dad and I often say things like, “Remember when Maddie did that?” or “Annie made that same face!” It was nice to see the sibling continuity, but I’ve really enjoyed watching the similarities fade away as you’ve come into your own. I can’t wait to see what you’ll be into as you grow – I’m sure your interests will be as varied as mine, your dad’s, and your sisters’.

I didn’t know what it was going to be like with a son. I’d only had girls, and I am a girl, so I felt like females were more my area of expertise. I realize now what a ridiculous worry that was. You’re my child and my love for you is gigantic – limitless. We’ve had a lot of crazy adventures and silly fun and I’m excited to see what the future holds for us. Being your mom has been a pleasure and I never take it for granted.

Tomorrow, on your birthday, I plan on getting in lots of snuggles and kisses. Your sister and I will tell you all sorts of stories about what you were like when you were a baby (you know, aaaaaaaall those months ago). You were worth it all. The shots, the glucose tests, the IV hydration and shredded esophagus and hospital stays, the migraines and pinched nerves and difficult recovery…I never want to go through any of those things again, but I don’t have to because I have your sisters, and you. The three of you are my dream come true.

Happy birthday, sweet James. I love you to the moon and back.

Love, Mommy

James, one hour old

one hour old

James, one year old

(almost) one year old