How on earth has an entire year passed by already? My little baby turned one year old today. This photo is a perfect representation of you. Yes, you have my red hair, but what I love about this picture is that it shows your eyes - the most beautiful, clear shade of grey. I've never known anyone with grey eyes before, although I have read of characters in literature possessing that colour. I love to look into your eyes, because the colour is so unexpected and astonishing.
You love to smile. You smile every time I walk into the room. You smile at your brothers when they play around you. You smile at strangers in the store as they coo over how cute you are. Each smile seems so personal, and I have seen many strangers melt as though that smile was delivered just for them.
You have given me a wonderful birthday present on your birthday - the last two nights you have finally slept through the night! 8am to 4am, for the first time ever. Please let this be a corner you are turning; I can function much better for you on a (somewhat) full night's sleep.
You are so close to walking. You walk holding onto my hands, you toddle along the furniture. I can see it in your eyes that you want to be able to keep up with your brothers; although you can speed crawl more quickly than any baby I know, once you get up and run there will be no stopping you!
You have started to pick up on a few baby signs: "food" and "enough." Generally, though, you just have this really loud, nasal "anh" that means you want food. Breads and grains are your favourites, hands down, although pears and sweet potatoes also rank right up there. Some days you rival Caleb for the amount of food you eat.
You discovered the piano the other day. Now you love to be pushed up to the keys in your high chair, so that you can play away. You don't just bang at the notes - you really seem to understand playing different notes. And you love to sing along. You have this very sweet and deliberate coo sound you make that is imitating singing. You even coo high and low notes. At church you always sit on my lap during the hymns, looking at the hymn book and cooing along. If the song is particularly enthusiastic, you have no fear in belting it out with the rest of us!
You also love to "read." Lately you have taken to opening up one of your big board books and "reading" (cooing). Funny enough, your reading coo and your singing coo are markedly different; you really do hear the difference and then alter your own voice to mimic either reading or singing. You even try to turn the pages through the book, as though you understand that there is a progression from the beginning to the end of the story.
Have patience, my little man. You will catch up to your older brothers soon enough; I know they get frustrated when you try to play with them right now, but before long you'll be right in there with them. Don't grow up too quickly, though. For now, I'll get all the cuddles in I can, even the ones at two in the morning.
I love you.