Henry is walking.
Can I be honest with you, internet? Parenting Henry has been hard. Up until he was about nine months old, it was mostly like this:
For a long time, whenever Henry and I were alone together, he would just cry and cry and cry and cry and cry and cry and cry and cry… shall I go on? People would ask me how I was doing, how was I enjoying being a mother of two. Henry would sit there in his car seat batting his eyelashes at these strangers, cooing and grabbing his toes all cute while I would tell them, “It sucks! I’m exhausted and he cries all the time.” Then they’d say, “Well, that’s what babies do! I think he looks like a little angel.” And I’d sarcastically say “Well, then YOU come over and take care of him for a while so I can take a nap.” They never thought that was funny.
Then he seemed to have this big shift at around nine months. This is usually the part where parents of difficult infants contentedly (and smugly, I might add) say, “And then one day, like magic, everything became so simple. His big personality just lights up our lives.” But I won’t be doing that.
What happened for us? We had this big shift, where Henry decided that he no longer hated the world. In fact, he loved the world so much, he was going to devour it. His big personality pretty much took over my life. He wants to LIVE, dammit. And, as far as he is concerned, there’s no time to lose. So, most days, he throws himself into one dangerous situation after another while Craig, Sam and I run around like lunatics trying to protect him. We’re just barely succeeding. (If you want to stop by for a visit sometime, have no fear. Henry’s true personality is like Bigfoot — elusive to strangers. He’ll probably just invite you in, offer you a glass of cold lemonade and sit quietly while you tell him all about your day.)
I’ve spent a lot of time this first year of Henry’s life thinking — this is just NOT what I imagined.
This is a difficult thing for me to admit. Because Henry not being what I imagined has no correlation to the depth of my love for him. None. Whatsoever. But it sounds that way, doesn’t it? Well, so be it. Think what you want, internet. Parenting Henry is much much much harder than I ever imagined.
So, when he stood up in the kitchen on Friday afternoon and I squatted down to encourage his first steps; when he looked around hesitantly and hovered there, frightened, for a good 20 seconds; when he bravely stumbled across the room into my arms and we clapped our hands and hugged in celebration, I felt pretty damn happy. Because that’s just how I imagined it would be.