Your colourful, chocolate covered birthday cake. Your squeals of delight. Your chubby feet filling tiny shoes. Your soft and wispy blonde hair. Your wobbly first steps. Your soft, small hand in mine. The bright splashes of colour in the form of balloons and bunting. The throng of extended family filling our new home to the brim.The laughing, the smiling and the energy that filled the room as we gathered to sing, "happy birthday to you...".
It was this image of your first birthday party that kept me going as rhythmic contractions rippled relentlessly across my tightening belly. I so wanted you here with me, with us, your family. To hold you in my arms and plant kisses all over your face. To take your clenched little hand in my open palm and hold it, never to let go.
When you arrived in this world, I fell instantly in love with you. After three days of painful pre-labour and no sleep, I was deliriously happy and tired. But that night I did not sleep. I couldn't stop thinking about you. I was reflecting on your journey here to us, imagining who were and would become. I couldn't believe you were just inside my belly and now in my arms. You were such a perfect baby. Sleeping all day and just waking to feed every three hours. I felt like I should be doing more. It seemed all too easy. You were just so content, so happy and relaxed.
One year on and I can't believe you're one already. I lay in bed the night before your birthday and reflected. Where did the time go? How did you suddenly grow so tall? When did you turn from being a baby to a little boy?
When it was time for your party the other day I felt so proud of you. You are such a delight and enjoyed the music, games and cake. The cake was definitely the highlight though - your first taste of sugar. Is that why you haven't wanted to eat your vegetables since then?
We are so happy you are a part of our lives Fin. You fill me, your Daddy, sister and everyone else in the extended family with so much joy. We love you so much.
Thank you God for bringing Fin into our lives - a precious gift of life.