Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to you

Pax Augustus turned O-N-E on September 24! We celebrated with a big party with friends and family the weekend before, and the "Apple of our Eye" (the party's theme) enjoyed himself very much. Party activities included "Pictionary HD," Rochambo, bobbing for apples on a string, and a "How Well do you Know the Birthday Boy?" Quiz. My favorite part of the whole event was watching Pax eat his cupcake - at first, he was reluctant to touch it, not even sure it was consumable. But as soon as I showed him that it was, indeed, edible, he dug in with both hands. Within minutes, he was covered in frosting and positively delighted with himself. One of the many teeth he's cut recently has proven to be a big sweet tooth!(crinkle eyed birthday baby)
Jeff's parents arrived on the Actual Birth Day to help us celebrate - this was the first time Jeff's stepdad has seen Pax. We sang "Happy Birthday" to Pax countless times that day because of the reaction it prompted every time - a huge, crinkle-eye grin and lots of hand clapping. As every parent of the very young will attest, Pax was more interested in the boxes and wrapping paper that held the gifts than in the actual gifts themselves.

This year has gone by so quickly and yet, when I stop to reflect on the many months that Pax has been here, it seems like so much longer. Pax has truly lived up to his name. He fills our lives with peace and joy. Everyone who knows him well comments on what a smiley, happy person he is, and indeed, he is.

Our journey over the past year has been filled with many ups and downs, triumphs and struggles. What has remained constant and unchanging is the gratitude I feel every single day for Pax. I know I am not the only one who feels this; Jeff is smitten with Pax in a way that is different than it was with the older boys when they were babies, and Aidan has continued to absolutely adore every ounce of Pax. He gazes at Pax, holds him, kisses him, and loves him so tenderly and gently. Aidan refers to Pax as "my baby." And finally, Leo has come to appreciate the playmate that Pax will be. Coming from the boy who pleaded with me after Pax's birth, "put he back into your belly," this affirmation of a future playmate is enough for me.

Perhaps it is because I know he is likely our last baby; perhaps it is because I've learned from experience how quickly babies become toddlers...preschoolers... 1st graders; perhaps it is because of his always-smiling demeanor - whatever the case, I am so grateful for the blessing of Peace in our lives. Even amidst the chaos and noise of a family of five; even through the bickering, the tears, the fatigue, the worries, the tantrums, and my own exhaustion of still not having a full night's sleep, I feel insanely lucky. More accurately, I am insanely lucky.

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