it beats the hell out of doing laundry

Friday, March 18, 2005

one year down

dear natey,

you are one year old today. ONE! i can't believe it. it's been a short year but i can't remember what life was like before you. i can't imagine it now without you. when you entered the world one year ago you made our family complete in ways i couldn't understand until you were actually here. i mean, i didn't really know how the whole two kid thing was going to play out, you know? the fear of sibling rivalry and not enough attention and not enough love and not enough time--just not enough for anyone, your dad and myself included. but it's kind of funny how you've seamlessly integrated yourself into our craziness. you are one of us now. and i think you like it. at least, i hope so. you're one of the crazy lees now--better get used to it!

you have done so much this past year, it's hard to single out all the milestones. i remember marveling at your rolling over at 2 months, and then wishing you'd just STOP with the rolling all the time! a 2 month old rolling over is just not natural! or maybe it's just we expected you to be on the same developmental track as your big brother. but no, that is definitely not the case. AT ALL. let's see, jack sat up and crawled at 6 months, you at 8 months. jack's first tooth came at 8 months, yours at 6 months. jack loved to eat real food early, even with no teeth! you've got 8 teeth right now and gag on most everything with texture. jack was so cautious about everything we barely had to babyproof! you are a little daredevil, afraid of nothing. i know, i know. you've got to be sick of getting compared to your brother, but i'm afraid that's going to be a recurring theme in your life. it's nothing personal. it just amazes me that i gave life to two individuals. i don't know why, really. i didn't expect you to be a carbon-copy of jack, but i guess since jack was the only experience with a baby i had to draw on, i expected some similarities. but now that i know you are developmentally and temperamentally nothing like jack, i think it's pretty cool. you are your own little man! you make your wants and needs very clearly known, yet you don't really cry very much. you prefer to whine, which is only slightly better. i won't get into how excruciating it can be--let's just say it'll be a relief when you can talk. you like to be naked and stretch your penis like a rubberband--a very LONG rubberband. no, really, you like it. why else would you laugh and scream and kick your legs while you're doing it? man, who knew that having two sons would teach me so much about penises?? you like to dance and wave your arms around when you hear a good beat, but the best part is you scrunch up your face and smile a big closed-eyes smile that melts my heart. these are all things that will always be natey things to me. just remember that you are no better or worse than jack, just different. and different is good. i love you for being uniquely you.

one of the things that makes me laugh pretty much daily is your ability to play the straight man. you are the dean martin to jack's jerry lewis, the abbott to his costello. (heh, by the time you read this you will definitely have no idea who the hell i'm talking about, but just go with it, okay? ask me and i'll try to come up with a more current comparison.) oh, you have your crazy, spastic moments where you get silly and bounce around and squeal and laugh, but i'm talking about the times when jack is doing his goofy voices and dancing and spazzing out and all in your face. at those times you look at him with a totally deadpan expression and, if he's close enough, you smack his face or (your new favorite) try to dig his eyes out. at the risk of sounding like a horrible mother, it's pretty damn hilarious. it probably sounds crazy, because you are only one after all, but it's at those moments when i'm laughing at how you interact with jack that i feel so proud of you. you don't take shit! it's kind of like watching an old man dealing with an annoying little kid. most anyone else would try to ignore the annoyance, but you tackle it head-on and let him know it's time to get the hell out of your face. heh. to steal from johnny rotten, you know what you want and you know how to get it. awesome.

this year so many wonderful things are going to happen, i'm really looking forward to it! you're going to start walking soon, and i know jack can't wait for that. since the day you were born he's been ready to show you the world. well, the world as he knows it, anyway. it's so sweet how much he loves you and wants to play with you. i think it's important you know that, because i know how siblings can grow apart when they get older. right now he wants to hug and kiss you and show you how to do things. he tends to be a little bossy, but he's always looking out for you. and he's getting better at sharing his toys with you, which is pretty major--his toys are his life! heh. so no matter how close or distant you become, remember that when you were one, jack had your back.

so, my beautiful baby boy, one year down, many fun-filled ones to come. they're going to be as amazing as you are, i can just tell. you and your brother have filled my life with a happiness i never knew existed. thank you for being that final puzzle piece that makes my life complete.



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