One year ago today, I was at the Hospital of Central Connecticut with my family. My new family. On Valentine’s Day at exactly 12:00 in the morning, I went from Wife to Mom, Mike, my Husband transformed into a Dad, and Jacob Michael Schweitzer became our Son. And we became a family.
This is what a family looks like.
Harry Chapin once sang that Life is a circle. Sunrise and sundown, the moon rolls thru the night time, till the daybreak comes around…. All my life’s a circle, but I can’t tell you why; seasons spinning round again, the years keep rollin’ by.
Sometimes when I think back over the past 12 months of my life, the seasons that have come and gone, Jake’s arrival last February to several feet of snow drifts in our front yard, his first Easter and Spring, and then the Fall bringing a short but still bright season, and finally, his first time playing under the Christmas tree ripping bows off of presents. And yet, this all feels like it happened weeks ago.
Now this was not always the rosy picture of love and sleep-filled nights. I’d be delusional if I thought that was how these last 12 months went. I distinctly remember rocking Jake in his bedroom at 3:00 in the morning wondering if I’d ever sleep 8 straight hours again. And yet, I do. And so does Jake. There were also times when he’d push away his baby oatmeal and I’d be paranoid that he’d never eat. And yet he does. A LOT. (Momma’s turkey meatballs, sauce and pastina are all the rage).
I don’t know if it was bravery or sheer stupidity on our part, but my husband and I booked a family vacation to Ogunquit, Maine before Jake was even born- we timed it so that he’d be about 5 months. At the time, we were thinking, oh yeah! He’ll be eating, maybe walking? It’ll be awesome! Well, at that point he was eating (simple one-vegetable and one-fruit baby foods), and well, um, no he wasn’t exactly walking yet. He had just taught himself to roll over that very week! But we made the best of it, went to the beach two full days with him, went out to eat, and clocked some major miles in the Baby Bjorn. It was awesome. And you know what? I still wish I could carry that kid in the Bjorn until he graduates high school.
Just like Harry’s song, no straight lines make up my life; and all my roads have bends; there’s no clear cut beginnings, and so far no dead ends. Jake has been one amazing little driver on this road trip, and Mike and I are always learning from him. He has shown me that there are no limits to my love, and every day I find even a little more love to give.
And now we are here. Valentine’s Day. Jake’s First Birthday. Forever, now one in the same. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
*Professional photos taken by Janelle Melnyk Photography. (love)