Newborns—who doesn’t love them?
The captivating scent of a brand new baby, their fragile little bodies laying so delicately on your chest. Everything that comes with a newborn baby is just absolute magic.
But have you ever had a 1-year-old?
I used to think the newborn phase was my favorite, nothing could ever be better than having such a tiny helpless little human rely on you for absolutely everything. I could hold my newborn for hours, soaking in every tiny little detail before it became nothing but a beautifully distant memory.
But I’ve realized it’s 1-year-olds who have a special place in my heart.
That short time between 9 months and 2 years . . . it is something magnificent.
It’s the unsteady wobbles on their feet, that soon turn to confident little steps. The way they try to kick a ball for the first time and almost always fall with the ball beneath their feet.
How they get back up and laugh with the willingness to try again. Or how they repeat the same thing, this time trying just a little harder than the last.
It’s how they are learning to understand expressions, voices, and sounds—soaking in all new the wonders of their innocent little world.
It’s the smallest things that they find amusing, like playing peek-a-boo or chasing around the house. It’s listening to the distant pitter-patter of their little feet running full speed down the hallway.
Or watching them accomplish something they couldn’t quite do yesterday. How they look around proudly, waiting for you to acknowledge just how wonderful they really are.
The innocence of 1-year-olds—the not quite baby, not quite toddler stage—it really is delightful.
What about how they pronounce their first words? How those words are used constantly on repeat, and even though they can’t quite speak a sentence, you somehow always know exactly what they are saying. Or you know exactly what they want.
It’s when their favorite person in the whole of their existence is mama. The cheerful sound of their giggles when you do something silly, which leaves you both in fits of laughter. No one can ever be as comforting as you, no one can give the cuddles and warmth you do. No one can wipe those tears the way you do. No one quite compares to Mama.
It’s the amazement they find in all the little things. When they start to use their finger to point, always needing to ask for an explanation of what exactly they are pointing at. When they look at an animal and immediately recognize the sound it makes. How they try their absolute best to break free of your grasp, just to get a closer look.
It’s the wonder in their eyes when they are soaking in every inch of their surroundings. The curiosity when watching a pen meet paper or the unsteadiness in placing their hands in paint for the very first time.
I wish I could tell you how fast this phase actually goes.
Before you’re ready to let go, it’s gone.
At times, these 1-year-olds can drive you absolutely crazy.
At times, you can feel so overwhelmed and touched out.
At times, you just want peace, some time away from these beautiful little people who want all your time and more.
There are nights you think will never end, and days you think you will never get back.
And on the bad days, they come bounding into your arms with the sloppiest smooches and cheesiest 8-tooth smiles that are sure to make you melt into a million pieces.
They somehow make all those hard days disappear, and you remember exactly why it’s worth it.
These 1-year-olds . . . they really are my favorite.