You are one.
How did that happen? It feels like yesterday when you were coming into the world.
One year ago, you were born. 7 pounds, 4 oz. 20 1/2 inches long. I met you at 5:07pm on July 22, 2017.
I think about how much has changed in the last year. How much you've grown. How far you've come. You can say Momma (you said this first, not that I'm bragging or anything), Daddy, MaMaw, bye-bye, ba ba, uh-oh (which is what you say even when you throw something), thank you (although it comes out more like tank ew), Sissy (which your sister just loves), and you say something really close to I love you.
You crawl all over the place. You want to climb on everything (you're definitely a boy.) You've already taken your first steps, and you looked like you'd always done it.
Your giggle is one of my favorite sounds. And your smile lights up a room and makes my heart shine and melt at the same time. I've been trying to think about what I would want you to know right now, and I guess the biggest thing is this: you have changed me in a way I almost can't explain. I love watching you learn something new. I almost cry sometimes when you want me to pick you up because I know every day, I'm getting closer to the last pick up than the first. My heart is bigger because of you. I am stronger and weaker because of you. You are so smart. You're such a sweet boy. You love taking a bath. Your favorite songs are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the Itsy Bitsy Spider, and If You're Happy and You Know It.
I wonder all the time who you're going to grow up into, what you'll like, what you'll dislike, where life will take you...what kind of man you'll be. I know all my dreams of you won't be your dreams, and that's okay. But there's a few things I want for you, no matter your dreams or what your path in life looks like.
I want you to never stop exploring.
I know you're 1, and right now, everything is new. I know that exploring this big world you're in is something that just happens right now. But even as you grow, I want you to always keep exploring. The world seems so large right now, and as you get bigger, it may start to not feel so big. But let me tell you, it is. It's huge. There's so much wonder in it. There's so many things you can find, you can see, you can touch, and you can do. I want you to always explore. Explore places. Explore your emotions. Explore your mind. Never let your mind think that's there not something new for you to find.
I want you to never lose the joy you get from music.
You love music. You love to move and shake and wiggle. You'll sing now, even though you can't say the words. I want you to always dance. Even if you don't know how, even if you feel silly, even if you think you can't. Music is such a big part of who I am and I know it is of you. Let it move you. If you want to smile, do it. If you want to laugh, throw your head back. If you want to cry, let the tears fall. Whatever it makes you want to, whatever makes you happy. Clap your hands. Stomp your feet. Say hooray. Always.
I want you to always try.
I see you now. You look at something, and I can watch you processing it all. I can see your little mind working through whatever you're trying to do, or what you think you want to do. It is the sweetest thing. You think now that you can do anything, and you try to. I want you to always be that person. Always try. Never give up. And if you fail, do it again, because one day, you won't.
I want you to always be sweet.
You are the sweetest boy. You love so much. I can see it in you. You care and you try to share your food and your bottles. You give hugs and kisses and you cuddle. Never lose the want to be sweet to someone. Especially when you get older, and I'm no longer the number one woman in your life. Trust me, son, she'll love that you're sweet.
Lastly, I want you to be YOU.
Xander, you are my joy. My light. My heart. I know you'll change, and you'll grow, and love a million things and hate a million things before it's all said and done. But through it all, I want you to be you. The boy who laughs, who dances, who's sweet, who loves...the boy who changed my world forever at 5:07pm on July 22, 2017. Be you, my love. Just be you.