To My Cal:
This girl's running late as always, your first birthday is a mere three days, but here is your 11th month update. When I think back to this very day last year I was at a wedding with your daddy-o and your brother Hayes. The tables of food, the band, and people danced around a blue pool. I walked over to get a bottle of Jarritos soda and that cement hardening feeling came over my whole belly. It seemed to last the whole evening. I was pretty discreet, but as soon as I told your dad the whole world knew it seemed. Guests and friends would come over to say hi and he'd proudly blurt out "she's been having contractions all night! we're going to the hospital if they don't stop." The confused bystander would look at me with their head cocked to one side, I'd awkwardly smile assuring them I was fine, no I didn't need a chair, but thank you. As my stomach hardened and then released I kept eyeing that blue pool. It looked like the place to be, cool, refreshing, weightless water.
When I think about 365 days later, when I think about your long legs, your silky smooth baby skin, or big white teeth with a tiny black gap, your perfect arches and that point that any ballerina would kill for. How you point those toes and chug your legs back and forth in the water, how you take both arms and bring them crashing down into the water, over and over, making waves, and the hundreds of tiny water droplets strewn across your forehead, and how you gasp for air and give me that look like, "did you see that?! I made that water do that!" When I think about that my whole body smiles, you and me are water people.
Or how you are always aware of the baby monitor when Hayes isn't around, you know he's up there sleeping. As soon as your hear a peep from him your deep voice squeals "Hayss!" or "Bruh!" I hold you on my hip and we walk up the stairs to his room. You lunge forward and with your meaty palm slap that door a few times while I'm doing the signature knock before I walk in to get Hayes. As the door slowly opens you dive in so excited. I let you play in his bed with him for a few minutes. Wrestling like puppies. Hayes laughs his head off while you try to give him open mouth kisses.
You are still the world's best cuddle. You never hold your body stiff to get away you just melt right into me. Head in my neck, arms around my shoulders, and you beat your right leg a little back and forth. Family and friends love to get your hugs and basically pass you around to get their fill. If this isn't a testament to your temperament I don't know what is: last month you had your life-long clogged tear duct irrigated. You had to go under anesthesia and I was so worried for days. Anesthesia just isn't something I take likely. The procedure took only minutes, but they warned me that coming out of anesthesia usually makes children upset/disoriented/irate/thrashers etc. and they brought you back to me and you were... smiling? Laughing? Lunging at the pretty nurse so you could grab her glasses? I was shocked.
You finally started saying Mama! First it was uh-oh, then ball, go!, then Dada, then hullo!, and then mama. You've added a lot words in the last couple months. You are definitely a parrot and will try and say anything we say. Cracker, more, please, bye bye and growling are more you've added. You're little lion's growl is the cutest freaking thing.
I wish I could adequately express how much sweetness you bring to my life. There hasn't been a moment that I didn't want to inhale deep into my chest or bottle up for later. You are such a blessing, a gift, a dream. While I've been doing a lot of hands on parenting with your brother I often look over to you and you are always happily playing. You never complain, except when you want more food. You never lose patience with me or your brother, except when you want more food. You are always ready for me to bury my face into your neck. You don't just look at me, you tilt your head, bat your eyelashes, and flirt. You don't just crawl you haul! You'll follow a ball to the ends of the Earth, and I'll be right behind you, Callum. Wherever you're going is where I want to be.
The world is yours, Cal.