William turned one this week. I remember Kathleen's first birthday and how incredibly long one year felt - at least a decade had passed between her birth and finally achieving that first birthday. Whenever someone would look at my little babies and sigh, "Oh, they just grow up so fast!" I would nod head enthusiastically and reply, "And it's a good thing, too!"
But when William turned one this week, I could hardly believe it. Wasn't he just a little squishy baby that cried a lot? (Okay, I don't miss that part) Or if not a little squishy baby, just a small baby? It feels like five or six months have gone by, not an entire year. The strangest thing was when I got him up the day after his birthday and realized that he was going to stay one for an entire year instead of reverting back to baby the next day.
Since William is our sixth child and our sixth first birthday, it wasn't very celebratory. I do some aspects of mothering pretty well- reading stories every night, keeping the house running, teaching my children responsibility - but I'm not very good at birthdays. Especially when the birthday celebrant isn't aware of what a birthday actually is. I didn't even buy him a present. When we're already lugging hundreds of pounds of toys (I think 160), the last thing we need is more toys for a child whose favorite source of toys is the trash can.
I did bake cupcakes and hand them out after church this morning in exchange for a rousing round of "Happy Birthday." Then when William is in therapy he has one less things to use as ammunition against us for being bad parents. "On my first birthday my parents did nothing. They didn't even make me a cake."
I can say, however, that we are very happy to have William in our family. He is most certainly the family mascot and completely beloved by all his siblings (at least when he's not crying). I love when we are all sitting around the table and William is babbling happily while everyone stares on with adoring eyes. Yesterday he was practicing - not very successfully - walking to people, his siblings were kicking each other over to be the one that William walked to next. Often after breakfast Sophia or Edwin will spirit him away to go and play with him before school, and in the afternoon the children beg to wake him up from his nap so that they can play together. He definitely is not lacking for love or attention.
I still can't believe that it's been a year, but I guess that's the way life goes. Happy Birthday, William!