It's hard to believe it, but my baby is going to have his first birthday at the end of the month. It has been a joyful, wild, and at times difficult year. He has been a source of constant delight to our whole family. The darling of his brothers and sisters, he is full of smiles at almost all times. He seems days away from starting to walk, although I suspect like his older brother he will wait as long as possible to actually take his steps without a walker. My baby, if I can still call him that, spends most of his day getting into mischief and tearing around the main level with the help of a variety of walking devices and anything he can stand upright with and push for a distance. Just the other day he stood up and pushed the kids' little table clear across the room. We're constantly having to pull things up out of his long reach. A delightful conundrum to see him so mobile and curious.
During the first year of his sweet life, the greater life of our family has been turned on its ear. Our usual routine has changed dramatically and certain things, like our housework, have fallen completely apart. Our once moderately untidy home seems almost beyond reprieve. We're still co-sleeping (a first for us for this length of time) so his nursery has become the de facto storage room (that and every other closet, empty corner and flat surface). Our project will be to re-claim that, hopefully before his first birthday. Already this week we've re-organized the girls' room, adding back in the dressers we left out when we moved into our townhouse. We did that primarily to keep the kids from tossing all their clothes on the floor. With their bunk bed and newer laminate flooring their room looks brand new. All it needs is a coat of paint and baseboards to complete the effect. Next on our list is to re-organize baby boy's room so we can slowly get him in his crib. We want him used to sleeping in the crib before we move it down the hall to his brothers' room. That'll happen once we lay the new laminate in there and set up their bunk bed. Another year of big changes ahead.
Not to say that all the changes are due to our wee baby boy. Although his birth caused the usually fog of exhaustion, that wore off somewhere around the 4 month mark. While we were dealing with new baby love, my husband has been doing battle with his chronic illnesses (diabetes and gastroparesis). Of late he's been fighting the most persistent and long lasting case of cellulitis in his leg. Poor man works so blessed hard for us, and despite all the setbacks his health causes, he can't be kept down. God continues to bless us and we're fighting hard to keep our joy. The other reason for our topsy turvy year has been my Mom's terminal cancer diagnosis. She is daily doing battle for her health and despite an early prognosis of only a few months, she has been steadily improving her health and her prognosis. It has reminded our little family how precious every day is with our loved ones. We have been trying to spend two or more days a week visiting her, providing as much entertainment as exhaustion I suspect. The bonus has been of course more time with my Dad and brother (beloved and doting Uncle). The kids are being blessed with lots of fond memories they can treasure for their whole life.
What should have brought our family down has been a season of miracles, both big and small. God only knows what the second year of our baby's life will bring, but I trust in His mercy. He is good, and while circumstances may not always seem bright, I feel His loving care surrounds our family, protecting us.