the long bonds

She started sparsely and ended up abundantly

A twelfth month // A Year

For five months, I have been carefully unwrapping and arranging the details of your astonishing growth right here, with great love – on The Long Bonds.  

Sometimes, I’m sorry that I missed recording those first seven months, but then I remind myself that they were seven quick and tricky months where I spent most of my time fine-tuning my heart and soul to the fact that I was a new mother, Adam was a new father, and you, beautiful boy, were a brand new human, and our son – our physical love, responsibility, joy, and purpose. Besides, I took hundreds of fantastic photos and handfuls of sweet little videos to remember those months by.

Almost one week ago, we celebrated your first birthday, two days early. Mama had spent months spinning wispy little ideas in her head for your special day. I knew I wanted lots of color and sparkle,  homespun authenticity, delicious food, and quite a few of your favorite people. This is probably the last birthday party of yours that will come from my brain, so I did my best to manifest your first year of life in homemade party decorations and good, wholesome food.

In the weeks before, it all started to come together. Our breakfast bar was overflowing with ribbons, pipe cleaners, fabric scraps, and yarn. Your Auntie Raquel was at home in Manhattan hand tying you a 12-foot neon pompom garland. And you were walking. Walking!

Your grandma, Auntie Kirigin, and I tore brightly colored fabric up for many days to assemble two separate garlands and the pièce de résistance: a fabric and pompom chandelier for above the table – which Grandma adopted and readily made her own. I cut small triangles out of more fabric and strung them up. Kirigin stuck glitter letters, spelling They Say It’s Your Birthday, to complete the most perfect banner for you. And your crown. Well, there just had to be a crown. And you can bet your bippy, you’ll be wearing that baby again.

After much deliberation, we set a menu of Beet, Mascarpone, Orange Zest + Poppy Seed Ice Cream, Ham + Cheese/Mushroom + Leek Empanadas, A Roast of Root Vegetables, Mimosas, and Carrot Cake.    

But most importantly, you, my baby boy, were met with so much wholehearted love and warmth on that day. Crystal Tillman’s once again stunning photos depict a more serious boy than we’re used to, a boy whose frenetic curiosity and deep, active concentration bowed inward to make room to sop it all up – the attention, the new big boy food, the piles of presents, and the adoring faces. Faces for which you have grown to show tiny sparks of recognition, faces of all those who love you.

All partying aside, you turned 1, and that is HUGE. That means you can eat just about anything we eat, which is probably one of the more exciting aspects of reaching a year. Your first gluteny, buttery, cheesy food was daddy’s ham + cheese empanada, and you devoured the whole thing!

Aside from eating what the rest of us eat, you started walking at 11 months, and at this point, you’re nearly running.

We think you’re saying dada, and quite possibly your own version of mama, which sounds more like meem, but we’re excessively careful about not exaggerating your milestones for some reason. Your parents are nothing if not precise, dear boy. Sorry about that!

You’ve almost entirely learned the concept of fleeing. This is fun when you’re trying to get away from being tickled or rough-housed, but not as fun when you don’t want your diaper changed or don’t want to be removed from the bathtub “controls.”

** Important note/cry for help: I had no idea that my sweet, squishy baby would morph into a biting, scratching, pinching, and altogether manhandling little creature with an astonishingly powerful grip. Seriously friends, discipline has entered the picture and it is super HARD.

I’ve read that biting is just his way of communicating rushes of emotion before he can do so verbally, but when my overtired child has crossed over into loony delirium and is attacking me as would an angry opossum or something equally as rabid and relentless, and I’m thinking, I-Can’t-Not-Laugh-At-This-Wild-Baby-Beast-That-Is-My-Child, parenting reaches a whole new level. Like, how the hell am I supposed to tame this little brute into a loving yet passionate yet gentle yet fiery boy-child when I can’t even keep a straight face?!

Any comments/advice/rabid monkey taming tactics welcome because we need all the help we can get. I’ve even tried the, “don’t hurt, Mama; give Mama a kiss” route, but it seems pretty weird to follow a face/grab/maim/attack episode with sweet affection, does it not? At. A. Loss.

In other more positive news, you’re still nursing (pats self on back). We’re also still share-sleeping, cloth-diapering, and baby-wearing, but you may be outgrowing the Ergo a bit, so the stroller comes into play more and more often now it seems. This is a little sad, but at the same time, it’s pretty incredible to put you down on the ground and let you WALK. Take the first time you tried to wriggle out of my arms for instance. At first, I was shattered, but then I realized, it’s because you can explore at this whole new level and you’re eager. Now THAT is to be celebrated.

As you get busier and busier and into more and more, I am constantly reminding myself, as I pull you from this or say “no” to that or try to calm your tantrums, that if you weren’t making a crazy fuss over everything, we would be worried. Your energy is a good, healthy sign that you’re a courageous, curious, smart-as-a-whip baby boy, and what more could we ask for?

We don’t have your recent stats yet because your 1-year appointment is on Monday, with your new doctor, so stay tuned for all that…

All in all, you’re quite the little beauty, Bastian Wilde. Your crazy full head of copper hair is the envy of all the babies (mamas), and it’s already in your eyes! For now, we sweep it aside – Mama is most definitely not ready for a haircut, bang trim – anything at all scissor related going anywhere near your little virgin locks. Your bright eyes have dimmed and wept into this handsome byzantine blue, and your skin is still the softest I’ve ever felt.

Your legs have lengthened. Your chubby little hands have expanded. Every limb has gained inches and lost a little cushion. You’re a little less baby, a little more boy every day. And it’s the most glorious, absorbing thing to witness. You are budding, sweet boy, and there is nothing scary or worrisome about that. I can only beam with pride at your development and hope that I can keep up, help guide, and have a hand in who you’re becoming. For all that hope and opportunity, I can only be grateful.

A year has passed and I don’t feel like I can truly do it justice in this one post. It was my hope that I would find the perfect words to encapsulate who you are today. In other months, I could focus on milestones and firsts, but now, there are only moments. So many brilliant moments that are so very difficult to articulate. You are walking, that is the biggest one yet I suppose, but what those tiny steps mean to a parent – what that ever-straightening posture, leveling balance, wild abandon, and learned caution actually mean is the closest thing to indescribable I have ever experienced.

I hate it when people say there are no words, because there are always words, but for you my lovely boy, I have but two: Thank You.


  1. thelongbonds posted this
blog comments powered by Disqus