While it is Eames's birthday, this post is going to be more about me than him (which is probably something he should get used to).
Birthdays, like the new year, seem to provoke some reflection in me. I've been thinking lately about this past year. Some thoughts are well-trodden: I wonder again and again how the year went by so quickly and I get a little sad that Eames is no longer a baby but a toddler with a will of his own. In fact, the only baby-ish thing about him are those adorably chubby cheeks and even those are slowly fading away. Sure, it seems silly to mourn the infancy of a one year old, but this has been a year of surprises and revelations for me and his infancy has been the source of that.
In short, I have surprised myself. I've never exactly been the maternal type and I feel like I missed out on most of Aspen's childhood; indeed, she more closely resembles a woman than a child--and a beautiful one, at that--and I can't fathom where that time went. But, with Eames, I find myself thinking on occasion that I've actually turned out to be a decent mom. Actually, I would even say that I'm a good mom. Despite a hundred million other things I should be doing (actually, there's only one other thing I should be doing but I dare not speak its name), I have devoted myself to spending time with him and not thinking about or doing anything else. I stopped checking my email incessantly, refreshing Facebook, and reading every blog under the sun; I still keep up, but I do it, for the most part, when Eames is asleep. I stopped worrying about all the things that need to be done around the house. I stopped beating myself up for not writing. I workout or go for runs when I can, and I don't worry about it when I don't. When his first year check-up revealed that he's just a wee slip of a boy (4th percentile for weight and 17th for height), I knew that he as healthy and that I've been doing everything I possibly can to ensure that he grown healthy and happy--both of which, he undoubtedly is.
In essence, I've learned to live in the moment with Eames. I've learned to enjoy him. I've learned not to be distracted, because I'll never get these moments back. When I'm with him, I'm really with him. And, when I'm feeling a little stressed or a little distracted, Eames guides me back, with little cairns that he stacks randomly around the house. Towers of blocks, balls, plastic lids, and shoes that bring me back to these moments. To him.
Aspen helped me grow up and set goals and start to plan for the future--she led me to this place, this time--and she reminds me that it goes too fast.
Eames reminds me to be still. To revel in the small things everyday. To see the joy in the stacking of cups and the herding of cats and the spinning of a record player.
Happy Birthday, Eames!