My baby turned one this past Sunday. I am still amazed that it is already a year since Thayu came into our lives. It seems like he has been with us forever. He has been such a blessing. I remember when he was born my husband put his photo on the wall of his Facebook and said “meet the son of my old age.” He was so excited and so were the boys, at the time, I was more tired than excited and worried if I would ever get to feel my legs again, thanks to the epidural that I had been given. But I soon caught up.
The journey home was memorable for me as we performed the same tradition we began with TJ, 12 years earlier. Tony and I drove to the church and took him to the empty sanctuary and dedicated him to God. I guess it was our modern version of Kinta Kunte — for those who have read the book or watched the movie Roots. This little ceremony is really important for Tony and me as it reiterates for us the importance of being available parents and choosing to invest time, resources and energy in helping prepare our children for both eternity and society.
Now it’s a year later and the little infant is growing into a curious toddler. He wants to learn all about his surroundings. Since he cannot speak, he experiences life through his senses; by touch, taste, smell and sound. A week ago he began to take tentative steps. He has been walking for a while now by holding on to the furniture, but this was different. The first time I saw him take three or so steps by himself, it made me tear up. Those first steps symbolised for me so many other first steps in his journey towards self independence.
When I first realised that we were getting a third baby I was a bit apprehensive, I was worried that I could not possibly remember how to take care of a little baby. When I got over my grogginess and I was handed my little bundle of joy, I was so afraid. He looked so small and fragile. So different from the robust toddler he is now. The truth is I had forgotten some things. For instance, that first day I forgot that babies wore diapers and needed changing and I could not for the life of me figure out what was making the baby fuss. Not till my sister came to see me later in the day and asked about his diaper did I figure out the problem. The poor baby was covered in meconium; his very first poo. He had been with me the whole morning from the nursery and I had totally forgotten about the diaper. Yet I realised I still remembered the important things like patience to rock the baby half the night and how to make up silly songs to keep him from fussing. I still remembered the joy of nursing and how great a baby felt lying on your chest. Most importantly, I remembered that babies are small for such a short time and that the fussing and crying was seasonal and I needed to embrace the moment.
In retrospect I realise that the reason the year seemed to fly is because I took time to enjoy the journey. I had learnt from TJ and Toriah that the time was so short and one day I would look back and yearn for the days when I had a little baby to rock who was not wiggling to get away. It is amazing to note that I am already there with Thayu, who loves above all things to be let down to practice walking. From the grunting and all the baby talk I can tell it won’t be long before he speaks, then runs, then goes off to school and before I know it marries … so in the in between my son, I chose to enjoy all I can of you. Happy Birthday Thayu and May God richly bless you!