You were born on a stormy day 51 weeks ago. After the sheer exhaustion and exhilaration of giving birth, I snuggled you in my arms, enjoying heaven’s fireworks outside the window. The euphoria from birth hadn’t worn off yet, so thunderstorms and you will forever be linked in my head as a glorious, beautiful thing.
Tonight is another stormy night, so I’m thinking of you.
You turn 1 this week! It’s too soon. I have treasured every minute of your first year, not knowing if you will be a last baby or not.
You, with your silly faces and one-leg kicks, your kisses and nuzzles and wrestles with brothers… YOU get the VIP treatment for sure. Nobody else slept so much in bed with me and Daddy. Nobody else got fed ice cream so early, either!
I’m sorry for the one night you fell out of bed on your head, right by the diaper pail. In that middle-of-the-night drowse, I remember being amused and horrified at the same time.
You have such a loud voice, for somebody so tiny! I guess you have to, with 7 other people competing for air time. You make us smile and laugh, on purpose. I love the way you screech short bursts and blink your eyes, then dissolve in a fit of giggles.
I remember the day Kirstyn was sad, and you leaned over and kissed her until she stopped crying.
I love watching you think, when you think I’m not watching. Today, a stranger was smiling and inviting you to crawl over to them, and you sat for a minute and then shook your head “no” to yourself.
I love every book time we’ve had together. “The Real Mother Goose” is the first book I remember reading to you, just days old, all scrunched up in my lap. “Are You My Mother?“, “Go, Dog. Go!” and “Goodnight, Sweet Butterflies” were favorites this year.
“Mommy, look at Mercy!” is a common cry around here. Your brothers and sisters love to cheer you on and show you off! Right now it’s the learning to stand up that has us all clapping for you and watching in awe as you add another talent to your growing-up list.
Last night, I tried to plop you on the grass next to me outside, to have a chat while I drank my coffee (which you have already sipped and enjoyed). But you saw the kids run by and went crawling after them! You love being part of the gang.
Cory and Kirstyn love to push you in the stroller down the dirt road, lulling you to sleep. Kirstyn loves it when you fall asleep in her arms, rocking in the basement. Sometimes you crawl around the basement until you’re so tired you put your head down on the carpet and fall asleep! My favorite is nursing you to sleep.
Nursing you is heaven on earth! I love that low, sweet nicker you give, when I ask, “Do you want to nurse?” Like, “What a great idea, Mom!” I LOVE that snuggle time with you. I’ve never, never complained about you nursing all night long, draped across my lap (where you throw yourself backwards, and sleep spread-eagle after you’re done). I’ve thanked Daddy — numerous times — for letting you hog our bed. He doesn’t complain, even though I know he doesn’t love the kicks in his back and face, or the lack of personal time with Mommy. You have a great Daddy.
You love waving, and clapping, and dancing, and pointing at birds. You even wave if you happen to hear “bye” in a sentence! Tonight you fell asleep nursing while I was watching The Good Wife. You heard clapping, woke up and clapped a few times, and then latched back on and fell asleep. It was hilarious!
You’re such a tiny thing! For over a month, you didn’t gain any weight, and even lost a bit, hanging out at 16 1/2 lbs. You wouldn’t roll over, and you wouldn’t sit up, unless you could do it your way, with your legs tucked under your (adorable) bum.
You started crawling at 6 months old, the day after you learned to belly slide in the bathtub.
That day you climbed the basement stairs and stood there shaking the gate that was closed at the top? Yeah — your angels were working hard that day, and Mommy got quite the adrenaline rush!
You still have only 3 teeth!
You crow like a rooster. I’m not kidding. I guess that what happens when we keep chickens in the house during this formative time for you.
Your walker is my laundry rack, pushed around the mudroom.
You love the song “This Little Light of Mine.”
You are quite the chatterbox! I’m amazed at all the different sounds you put together. The other week, you and I were standing in line at a VBS ice cream social. You were chatting away, and the lady in front of me turned around and asked, “Is she saying ‘giggle, giggle, giggle?'” Yep.
I love how your very name, Mercy, from the moment I discovered your life, has been used by God to teach me about… well… mercy. One year ago, on the 4th of July weekend you were due, Daddy and I were hopping mad at each other. I didn’t want you to be born that weekend, since I knew I couldn’t go through labor while I was mad at Daddy! I remember falling asleep one of those nights, with God whispering to my heart about you, the baby that spoke about Mercy just by her name, and how could I hold onto anger when she was about to be born?
This morning, a year later, anger was rumbling in the air again. But I thought of you, and God’s mercy that is new every morning for me, so of course I could forgive. God’s well of grace and mercy will never run dry. He is always enough, Mercy girl.
I love you so much, sweet baby! Happy 1st Birthday!