2012 was a big year. I think any year that you grow a human is considered a big one by default. Here are photos of some special moments and memories over the past twelve months.
January--Finn falls in love with the creek in our neighborhood.
Winter--the "bowl hat" phase.
25 weeks along and in a phase of being convinced that Baby W was a girl.
February- One of my favorite days with Finn, ever. Our first trip to the Museum of Natural Science downtown. The "dinosaur booboo" lives on in our conversations to this day.
March--such sweet moments with Finn at 2.5 and Jeff playing yard golf.
Farm Days at NC State. Finn's face is priceless. It was cold and windy that day but I still let him have the ice cream cup they were offering.
April--Jeff took a whole week off and we took a day trip to the zoo in Asheboro. I remember us debating whether or not to make the drive. I'm so glad we did. We still talk about how Dada slipped and fell with Finn on his shoulders near the seals. "But he kept me safe" Finn said, and says.
May-Finn graduates from Parent Tot gymnastics class. The gym owner told him to "freeze" for a photo and freeze he did.
5.22.12 All that time I spent worrying he'd come early and all that time I spent wondering who he'd be, and there he was, 40 weeks and one day and my sweet second boy. And in a split second the two sons we'd thought about way back in Louisville in our first year of marriage, Finn and Eamonn, were alive in the world.
I can still see Finn's eyes when he first came into the hospital room. He knew the weight of the situation. He looked terrified and happy.
The smell of newborn skin and diapers as the summer came.
These next two photos sum up the summer of 2012, which for me was mostly a blur. Finn in a swim diaper and Eamonn asleep on my chest.
Kicked back underneath the meerkat flag at Bumpy and Mare Mare's.
Finn looks so young to me here.
September--The first day of preschool. He was so nervous in the ways only we could tell. But he made it.
I'll never forget the sweet, close heft of this baby.
Finn turned three. It was a rainy and perfect day.
October--a walk in the woods, with Finn running ahead of us the whole way to the water.
A preview of the brothers they'll be.
Why I love Jeff.
My mama's boy in the October sunshine.
November--pure joy at the library park.
Such a little dude at Nana and Papa's.
Eamonn turns six months old.
December--our little family Christmas.
Three years ago he wasn't even sitting up, and now he's on a bike.
In 2012, I gained some weight and carried a second baby to term. Somehow, all the joy and gratitude I felt for his presence must have rubbed off on him in there, because Eamonn is sweetness itself. I looked at him today, sitting in his booster seat, chunky legs hanging down. He blew me a raspberry and smiled with his tongue out. He will be walking before I know it.
Finn started the year a toddler and ended it a boy. We were having long conversations a year ago, and today he regularly uses words like "usually" and "quite." It is he and I who have changed the most over the last 12 months, our relationship that has been twisted into a new shape. It hasn't been easy for either of us. I miss the simplicity of having only one channel to push all of my energy through, though I wouldn't change having these two for the world. Tonight I held him in my lap and sang "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "Away in a Manger" in his bedroom. "Mommy?" he asked. "Why do babies come out of tummies, but (name of our friend's little boy who was just adopted) came from China?"
2012 seems like two separate years to me: before Eamonn, and after Eamonn. The before was filled with the not so pleasant aspects of 2nd and 3rd trimester pregnancy, but also the very precious time I had with Finn, our daily companionship and adventures. The after truly has been a blur, one punctuated by sweet and happy, once-in-a-lifetime moments and by the adjustments we've all made. We are still adjusting. Maybe we will be until both boys are grown up. I'm learning, very slowly, and not always agreeably, that that's a lot of what parenthood is, one adjustment after the next. In the middle of it all, I try to stop and think, "this is Finn at 3" and "this is Eamonn before he started talking" and "this is when both of them could fit in my lap" and "this is what having a family is all about." The years, they are flying.