On your first year

Son,

There are just a few days before you turn one, and I want to give you an idea of what this last year has been like for your mom and I. Before you were born, I think we were both very nervous about the costs of bringing a child into this world, the lack of sleep we’d grown accustomed to, and many other things that I have to believe most parents feel before they have a child.

The most important thing I can tell you is that I am most happy that you are you. What I mean by that is that your little personality, from the way you laugh and point out school buses as they drive by to the way you put your head down and crawl with intention, is so perfect and fits who your mom and I are to a T.

You’re a happy baby for 23 1/2 hours a day, and I am so thankful for that. I am more thankful that you’re healthy, because a lot of people we know aren’t as lucky as we are. I know this might not be the case forever, but I will count my blessings now because to this point, you’ve been pretty perfect.

Your favorite word is “dada.” Unfortunately, you call me “dada,” Rogue “dada,” Deb “dada,” and even your mom “dada” more often than she’d like. You also hit her with a “mama” which melts her heart, so maybe amp that up a little in year 2 if you want to keep her wrapped around your finger.

Your favorite thing is your dog, and he’s come around on you I think thanks in large part to your willingness to share your meals and snacks with him. We had one little incident where he tried to yell at you and “alpha” you, but your dad took care of that situation pretty quickly, and aside from a few iffy moments, that is all behind us. Still careful not to let you bang on him when we’re not right there, but for the most part, I think you two are besties (even if he wants to stand in between you and your parents to get some attention 99.9% of the time).

Your favorite food is anything your mom or I are eating, which can be eggs, pancakes, pizza… We’ve moved our dinners to 7:30 most nights because it can be a little tough to eat while you’re climbing up on us and trying to make our plant your plate.

You LOVE baths. Before bed, we will ask you if you want to take a bath, and because you’re so smart, you get excited, yell “bah!” and start crawling toward the stairs.

Side bar: I time you when you crawl up the stairs. I think the second or third time you did it, it was 32 or 34 seconds. Now you get distracted half way up, and can barely break a minute. Hoping this birthday will set you straight and we can get back to our speed work.

The best part about being your dad is that everything I thought I was afraid of, the money and the lack of sleep and everything else, is such a small tax on what has become the biggest joy in my life. I love everything about you and want nothing more than to see you grow up, explore, and find happiness. I want to be your best friend and can’t wait to play baseball and basketball with you, go golfing with your mom and your cousins (who have a head start on that, but your superior athletic genes will allow you to catch up in no time), go running and see you do some kids OCR races (I hope I hope I hope) and so much more.

I can’t wait to teach you things, and to stay up late with you watching movies, and to have secrets (it’s boy stuff, mom). It amazes me how much I want for you because it goes so far beyond what I want for myself, but I know that to show you how to get those things, it means being an example. I guess what I mean by that is you make me want to be better just for being YOUR dad. 

This first year has been the best year of my life, and I can’t wait to celebrate your birthday with you. All your favorite people are coming (ahem, Gma), and I’m excited to turn the page to another year full of adventures, firsts, and lots of love and laughter.

With every ounce of my heart,

Your Dad

Author: ryanjrauch

I am not here to change the world. I am here to change my world.

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