At the end of this summer we celebrated Foster turning one. His birthday was on August 31st, and that day we had our preschool co-op (plus Gigi and Showpa) over to celebrate. I've had these photos pretty ready to post for awhile, but I just haven't sat down to write much about the day. It is funny how fast life has moved over the past several years. It does not feel like that long ago that I was decorating the bookstore on the other side of the coffee shop in Siloam Springs Arkansas, getting ready to have coffee and cake for Blanche's first birthday. And now, here we are celebrating my third baby turning one. In a few years these last few years will just be a handful of memories and pictures, made into a season of life really, my "baby days" with all these beautiful children. Life is crazy when you have babies 18 months apart. But it is full and beautiful at the same time. We have squeezed every bit of joy and chaos that we could into Foster's first year of life, so it was only fitting to squeeze about twenty people into our tiny two bedroom duplex. I nervously laughed to my friends, "Let's just pretend we are all drinking wine and in Europe... it's more romantic that way." My friend Paige said she felt like it was the 70's over Europe, and that I had done a great job making my place feel like home. That made me happy and more comfortable with being vulnerable and squeezing so many into our small space.
Foster is a lover. He always has been. Foster is more social than the girls were, and has always been blowing kisses, giving smiles, and touching people's face. I have dreams of him becoming a passionate individual, loving people and making the world a better place. It felt fitting that his first birthday was a busy blur. That's how his entire life has been. And for the most part, he is okay with that, occasionally laughing or screaming, adding to the fun.
I joke that he is the mascot of our preschool co-op. But honestly he sort of has been. So many kisses from three year old girls. And almost all of them call him "Baby Foster." When we first started attending our co-op this summer he mostly rode along in the ergo or nursed and napped. And now, he is trying to walk on the playground with the rest of them. He waves hi and shouts "bye bye!" This last week, during our Halloween party, he too had to have a sucker. And of course since I was teaching the lesson, he had to be directly up front in the ergo in my face while I read a story. But thats why I love him. Foster has always been very close. As a newborn, a month early, he wanted to be worn and held so much of the time. Foster has taught me the beauty of letting go. To learn that life is not nor never will be perfect. I will never forget when I finally decided to just give in to him wanting to be held all evening when he was little. I started sitting in the recliner, with tea and cookies, in the midst of having postpartum depression, and watching all the sessions of Gilmore Girls. I learned to not just let go, but to relax and let myself travel somewhere else for awhile... and the joy in doing that. I would rock and nurse him and I knew it wouldn't last long. That before too long he wouldn't be able to fall asleep while I watched a show. So, I just sat there, eating cookies and not loosing my baby weight, and for the most part, being okay with it.
After having two girls and then a boy, I can say, that boys love their mamas differently. There's an admiration for mama that my girls didn't have. Sure, they could be clingy or love to nurse... but Foster, well, I'm the love of his life. For now at least. And I'm happy to fill that role. I joke that if he wants to live with me forever that's okay. But, I know he has a heart for adventure (and candy). I know that just as the first year has come and gone, so will much of his childhood. Flying before my eyes. So, I will just hold him as long as he lets me. Enjoying the love he was born to give. And to smile and watch him grow into whatever wild man he will become.