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Rated: E · Letter/Memo · Emotional · #676259
This letter is to my son and how I feel about his first year of life.
Friday, Jan 18, 2002

Dear Matthew,

Today you turn one. What an accomplishment! I wasn't expected to see my first birthday. You have me beat there. This past year has been full of changes for all of us. You were the one who did most of the changes.
The first thing that happened when we brought you home on Jan 11, 2001 was seeing Shadow's reaction to you coming home. It was a little icy out so Daddy had to help me into the apartment, as well as, carry you in the carrier. Grandma and Grandpa had already left for the lake, so we had the place to ourselves. Daddy went in first with you, then I followed. Shadow started whining since she had not seen me for four days. I greeted her, took off my coat, then both Daddy and I showed you to her. You were sound asleep, and we were somewhat afraid of her reaction. Daddy took the blankets off of you and she tentatively walked up to you, sniffed you, then wanted to lick you awake. You must have sensed her because you woke up and started crying.
The first few weeks were very hectic and emotional for both Daddy and me. He slept in your room so that when you woke up he would take care of you. When you got your first cold, the doctor recommended that you sleep on an incline, so downstairs you and Daddy went to sleep on the recliner. You were colicky, wanted things right away, and somewhat demanding.
As the months progressed, you started to roll over. This is where Shadow helped. We have a picture of you on the floor and she comes up to give you a nudge. There's also another picture of the two of you sleeping on the floor by the couch, back to back. We affectionately nicknamed you two "Bonnie and Clyde". When you started to try to crawl, Shadow knew she was in trouble.
Once you figured out how to crawl, you crawled backwards. This worried me. I thought something was wrong. It turned out that you were fine. The next worry came when you started to "furniture walk". I had a hard time picking you up as you grew. I had to improvise and "drag" you to where I wanted you.
The biggest mistake that we made with you during the first year was that we kept you in sleeper/crawlers mostly. We should have dressed you more. I was too worried about others' reactions, so I overcompensated.
The one thing I never did was talk to you in "baby talk". Even with this you didn't verbalize like other babies. This meant another worry for me. I was going through medical problems with my right knee.
THe one thing that Daddy and I noticed was that you started developing your own little "harem". It started at Bil Knapp's restaurant and continued at physical therapy after my knee surgery. I think you'll have an answering service by the time you are five.
I'm really glad you're here. I look forward to spending a lifetime of love, laughs, tears, and joys with you.

I Love You,
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