I’m feeling more emotional than i imagined i would as you turn one year old today, finn, and despite my efforts to be cheerful, i keep thinking back to where the two of us were on this day a year ago…maybe one day i’ll write our birth story out for others to see. for now, it still feels right to keep it fairly private, even though it was a moment of pride and pain that i enjoy remembering…i’m happy that you’re growing up—i LOVE seeing you emerge from your ‘baby world’ day-by-day—creating your own games, noticing airplanes & trees & motorcycles…and walking. i love getting to know who you are. so the melancholy i feel doesn’t seem to be related to the loss of your babyhood…instead, i find myself contemplating this year that’s gone by; the year that made me a mother. there will never be another year like it and, like birth, i feel a mixture of pain and pleasure at its passing. a fondness and relief that i have traversed this rite of motherhood, the first year of life… a nostalgia for its difficulties and a gratefulness to have made it through. a pride in the new woman who i am today. because i met you. they say our parents are our greatest teachers and i hope you will see that i truly endeavor daily to embody that for you. but you have been the greatest teacher of my life, as well…. this was OUR year, my son. happy birthday, baby. the best is yet to come.