One year ago I was enormously pregnant and it was the night before my scheduled C-section and I was so, so scared. Then we were at a hospital and waiting waiting waiting for the surgery to get underway and then all of a sudden, oh my god, then there was a baby.

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That was you, Dylan Emmett. You looked like a tiny elf when you were first born. Or maybe a hobbit, considering the relative size of your feet.

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When you were one month old I was struggling; loving you with all the helpless surging gallops of a mother’s heart but so humbled by the task of caring for you. Five months later life had taken on new, easier rhythms and I wished for the ability to slow the relentless acceleration of time so I could more thoroughly enjoy your squirrel-cheeked infanthood — but that’s not how it works, baby mine. Days tumble by at liquid speed and now it’s been an entire year since the day we first saw your face and I’m not sure I understand how that can be true, but I suppose it is. The evidence is everywhere, after all. Just look at you.

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At one year old you are insatiably curious, easily entertained, and you never sit still. You’re still crawling and can move at an alarming pace — I’ve watched you go scurrying from one end of the house to another, your chubby legs a blur and your hind end wiggling back and forth. You love to follow your brother into his bedroom (he shouts, “Come on, Dylan!” and you squeal with glee) and studiously pull yourself up on his easel in order to grab handfuls of crayons and scrawl across the paper, or traverse his floor examining one toy after another.

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It’s very easy to make you laugh, Dylan. You spend much of your time with your mouth wide open, giggling and clapping and generally being riotously happy and loud. You are delighted beyond all reason by the cat, who patiently endures your slobbery hugs and the way you bend your head down in her fur and rub your cheek against her. The other day you spoke your very first word, in honor of the kitty cat: gee gah! To be honest I was sort of gunning for “Mama”, but I suppose gee gah will do just fine.

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You are trying very, very hard to walk, and you can do so by holding our hands, taking great staggering, wobbly-legged strides like the mini-Godzilla you are, your face an open flower of pure joy. Sometimes you manage to stand up all by yourself, without hanging on to anything, and it is a startling image: you, just . . . standing there in the middle of the room.

You love most goo-ified foods and you are quite the dense little butterball at 23 pounds or so. I always carry you on my left side and I can only assume my spine is slowly developing a permanent curve from hefting you around. Oh, it’s a blissful weight, though, your body held in my arms. This I know from past experience: soon you won’t want to be carried. This is the last bit of time when it’s your greatest desire.

You and your brother have started playing together, even wrestling gently on the living room floor, and I don’t have the words for the happiness I experience when I see the two of you enjoying each other’s company. It is raucous headache-y chaotic perfection.

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I have this hopeful idea that someday in the future you and your brother will have access to these entries I’ve written — even the cuss words — and that you’ll have the opportunity to understand a little about my life and who I was as a person, way back when you were a baby and Mama was 34 years old. Maybe there will even be a day when you have a child of your own, and you will understand with great clarity what I mean when I tell you, right now, that you can be a wondrous, glorious pain in my ass. If you are easily entertained, you are even more easily frustrated, Dylan. A great portion of your day is spent complaining at top volume about one injustice or another, and sometimes I have to assume that the very air molecules surrounding you must be pissing you off, because for god’s sake, what else could it be?

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And if you are in many ways a much less suspicious baby than your brother was, well, sniglet, I hate to make comparisons but at least Riley slept through the night. I never thought I’d be so intimately familiar with the hour of 2 AM, and yet here we are, you and I, night after night.

I surely miss being able to sleep uninterrupted, but here is our routine when it comes time to putting you to bed: I hold you nestled in the crook of my left arm while you drink a bottle, and afterwards, you immediately start turning over in order to be held facefirst against my body. You pull your arms underneath you and burrow your nose into my chest until you find the most comfortable spot, and that’s how we stay, with the chair gently rocking and my lips brushing the top of your hair. I can feel the movement of your breathing, your belly warm against my own. It is a quiet, peaceful time of pure contentment, and how I love these moments with you. Even at 2 AM.

Sometimes in the midst of your full-throttle play you stop and suddenly crawl into the arms of your father or I with a joyful babbling squeal, and just take a quick break with your face buried in our arms, your eyes briefly closed in pleasure. I know you won’t always be this affectionate but I hope we are always a source of comfort, Dylan. I hope you always feel like you can come to us, because we will always, always be eager for you to do so. This I promise.

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You are growing so quickly and while I cannot wait to see the child you become, I want you to know how very much I love the baby you are now. You are so loved, by your parents, your brother, and even the long-suffering cat. Happy Birthday, Dylan Emmett. What an amazing year it’s been, and what an amazing boy you are.

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justmouse
15 years ago

omg. i think i love you. will you adopt me and be MY mom?? please?

Mimi All Me
15 years ago

Happy first birthday, Dylan! You sound like a real sweetheart.

ElizabethZ
ElizabethZ
15 years ago

So beautifully written. *snifffffff* I have really enjoyed watching him grow up this last year too. Happy Bday Dylan.

What a great mama you are, I hope he reads this someday and truly appreciates how you feel about him.

Sue
Sue
15 years ago

SO beautiful! I am so jealous that I do not have this for my kids… maybe I can make a video or something??

Happy birhtday Dylan!

ps.. are you coming to Chicago???

Sara
Sara
15 years ago

Happy birthday Dylan.

I remember the day you were born, and refreshing my browser looking for news on your arrival. I was obsessed.

And Linda…tears.

Sonia
15 years ago

*sniff* Waaaaaaaaa! Beautiful!! Happy Birthday Dylan, it has been such a joy to see you grow. :)

Kerilyn
Kerilyn
15 years ago

I have no words because I’m still stuck here crying over yours. Beautifully written.

Kristi
15 years ago

Such beautiful words Linda. I cannot believe it’s been a year already! And those boys are just 2 peas in a pod.

Happy Birthday to your sweet boy.

angelynn
angelynn
15 years ago

Your children are so lucky to have you as a mom. There’s just nothing that could compare to the history you’re recording everyday. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. You rock. [AO-mom of 2 boys, 1.5 and 3.5, totally with you on the ups and downs]

Amber
15 years ago

OK, I’m crying now. So lovely.

But also, what is it with second babies and the not sleeping? I’m in the same boat over here. I suppose it’s the only time they can get us to themselves, but geeze Louise.

Ashley
15 years ago

Happy birthday little man! What a love you are :) Can’t believe it’s been a year Linda, fucking crazy!

Lesley
Lesley
15 years ago

And never let it be said that a baby can’t ROCK stripes and plaid, because Dylan rocks both adorably.

This is such a lovely letter to your son, a real treasure. And thanks for sharing the moments with us.

Happy birthday little D, cutest button on the planet.

ML
ML
15 years ago

Crying!

Happy Birthday, though, Big Boy! What an amazing, beautiful letter this is.

Emily
Emily
15 years ago

Beautiful! Honestly brought me to tears…Happy Birthday Dylan! The cutest, happiest baby I “know”

Kate
15 years ago

Happy One Year Dylan! You’re growing up to be an amazing boy. Which is to be expected, considering your amazing momma (and daddy).

Dianna
15 years ago

Happy Birthday, Dylan! I hope you one day can enjoy your mom’s writings of you and your brother as much as I do.

Meg
Meg
15 years ago

Wow. That was awesome.

Happy Birthday, Dylan!

mnsm31
15 years ago

LOVELY..
HAPPY 1ST DYLAN.

oregoncoastgirl
oregoncoastgirl
15 years ago

Happy (late?) birthday to you, too, L. Found out the sister in law is expecting tonight. Hoping to join her shortly. scared as f.

oregoncoastgirl
oregoncoastgirl
15 years ago

wait.. that was supposed to end… as f*, but reading you has made me feel not so scared.
thanks. fo rillz.

Leah
15 years ago

I can’t believe it. We still have his birth announcement on our bulletin board, as if he’d only just arrived. Happy Birthday, beautiful boy, and congratulations again to all of you for lucking into such a cool family.

clarabella
clarabella
15 years ago

Happy Birthday, Dylan. What lovely words, Linda. Sniff.

TeeTee
15 years ago

Your boys are so, so lucky.

Georgia
15 years ago

Aaaaand now I’m crying. That was so lovely. I hope I have what the four of you have someday.

thejunebug
15 years ago

Happy Birthday, Dylan! I’ve loved watching you grow up. I wish I could have one of your delightful snuggles. :)

Jo
Jo
15 years ago

Happy Birthday Dylan!
So beautifully written, am in tears at my desk, just gorgeous :)

sas
sas
15 years ago

I can’t get over the size of his FEET!

How blessed Dylan and his big bro are to have you are JB :)

beach
beach
15 years ago

Happy Birthday to joyful, sweet, sniglet Dylan!

Deanna
Deanna
15 years ago

Read your entry while breastfeeding my littlest one. Eloquently put. Made me tear up.
JB: buy Linda some flowers for the birthing day!

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
15 years ago

I cannot believe it has been a year already.

What a wonderful post.

Elizabeth
15 years ago

Beautiful post – it brought tears to my eyes. I know that when Dylan reads it someday he will be so grateful that you wrote down your thoughts and emotions.

Christine
15 years ago

That was beautiful L. Happy Birthday Dylan!

(And was it just me, or who knew cat had patience in her? Gee gah. Cute.)

Sharon
Sharon
15 years ago

That was great! Thanks for sharing. Dylan shares a birthday with my son Jacob who is four. You’re right though, it goes by alarmingly fast.

Lauren
15 years ago

Um, wow, SO not how I expected to start my day…you know, sitting here at sniffling at my desk. Awesomely awesome writing as usual, Linda. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DYLAN!!!

[I’d also like to add how Cat has always been my favorite bit player (“guest star” if you will) in this here tale of the Sundry Clan…and it makes me damn near giddy to read of Cat in such a loving and patient light! I mean this is the Cat that will start with your eyeballs…if you know what I mean and I think you do…but yet, look! So tolerant, so maternal. Gee gah, indeed.]

Shannon
15 years ago

My three year old just asked me “Mommy, why are you crying?!”

Beautiful.

Happy birthday, Dylan!

Kristen
Kristen
15 years ago

Wow…. truly blessed are you, and them. As a mom of 2 boys (soon to be 3!) just want you to know that it just keeps gettin better.

Party
Party
15 years ago

That was sweet. In picture #5 it looks as if Cat is helping Dylan up from a tower lean. How cute.

Claire
15 years ago

You sure know how to make a reader cry at 8 in the morning.

Happy Birthday, Dylan!

Amy
Amy
15 years ago

Oh what a beautiful post! I loved reading it – it made me laugh and tear up. You have such a wonderful way with words. Plus I can really relate, my baby boy will be 1 in March. Thank you for sharing, and the pictures are adorable. Both your babies are so cute.

Amy
Amy
15 years ago

Sigh – this really makes me long my mom and to be a child in her arms for just a little bit, for a break. This was beautifully written. I’ve said it so many times, moms are amazing. I simply don’t know how you guys do it!

Amanda
15 years ago

Happy Birthday, Dylan!
Lucky boy to have a sweet mama whipping up beautiful tasty words like that.

Operation Pink Herring
15 years ago

I love the way you write about parenthood, Sundry. Happy birthday to Dylan and a stiff whiskey for the gee-gah!

M.A.
M.A.
15 years ago

Simply beautiful, Linda. Happy birthday, little man.

Susan
15 years ago

Happy Birthday, sweet Dylan!

jenny
15 years ago

happy birthday dylan!!

I started reading your blog a year ago, when someone said you were having him!

Hope you guys have a great day. :)

nonsoccermom
15 years ago

Wow, it has been a year already…hard to believe. He is just precious, and I find it strangely comforting that I’m not the only one whose kid is NOT sleeping through the night…if you figure out the secret please let me know.

Maxine Dangerous
15 years ago

That was awesome and I cry now the tears of joy. :) I can’t believe I’d forgotten about the little elf feet! I first found your blog when someone (Amalah?) had linked to pictures of your beautiful hennaed belly and now it’s been a year already. You weren’t kidding about the liquid speed of time (great phrase, BTW). :)

Emma
15 years ago

Aww, happy birthday. Great post, too.

Michelle
15 years ago

Now why do I have the soundtrack from “Hair” in my head? ;)
Happy Birthday little guy! Wishing you a great next five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes!

samantha jo campen
15 years ago

Happy Birthday Dylan! It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know you and watching you grow.

Beautiful post, as always!

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