(I know, I know, it was on June seventh and it's now June twwwwwenty-seventh, but considering I've spent waaay more time traveling this month (including his actual birthdate) then I spent at home, I make a plea for leniency.)
Oh, my Oak, it was one year ago (give or take a bit) that I pushed you out in a flash and the nurses handed me your wet squirmy body. It was 9:26 in the morning and you were 6lbs 14oz and 16 days early. I had anticipated your arrival so very, very much and was so very, very excited to finally meet you. You were absolutely beautiful to me in all your newborn squishiness. It was a crystal-clear moment of complete, eternal joy.
Welcome to the world, little one
Oh, my Oakie boy, you have brought me so much joy. You are such a happy, social little baby and always have been. Even as a baby you were all smiles and giggles...as long as you were being held that is. Heaven forbid I ever put you down (prior to crawling, at least). Overall, though, you have brought nothing but joy into our home. Oh, my love, my baby, you make me so very happy.
One of those early, gummy smiles that you gave out so liberally
In many ways, you remind me of Miss Scarlett as a baby. You, like her, crave social interaction and nearly constant physical contact. You both have the biggest, cutest grins (although she still beats you, hands down, in sheer mouth size ;). And...like her...to know you is to love you. People love you, Oak. People at church, in the grocery store, the neighbors, everyone. It's awful hard not to love a little boy that loves everyone. You go to people willingly and share the cuddles around. With your big baby blues, fabulous bald head, and gummy grin, people can't help but smile back.
Ahhh, look at those baby blues
You have a very special name, Oak...probably, if I'm being honest, the name that means the most to me in our whole family (shhh! don't tell your brother and sisters ;). You see, my love, you were named after me. Not ME me...but my blood, my family, my history. Holyoak. I look into my children's faces and I see my husband's blood. I look at their names and I see my husband's name. But you...I look at you and I see me...not much of me, mind you, but a bit. Then, I look at your name, and I see my name. An Oak is strong and mighty, like I know your spirit is too. You're a mighty Oak soul still in a little acorn body. Give it time, Oakie-boy, and you'll grow big and strong, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Your middle name, Gideon (which, ironically enough, means "feller of trees" amongst other things), is also a strong name of strong men. It's another mighty name which I know you'll grow into. You were sent to this time, this place, this family for a reason, Oak. As your mama it's my job to prepare you for that reason, whatever it may be.
How cheesy is this guy? I mean, really.
You love your siblings, Oak. You put up with their games and kisses...[cough maulings cough]...despite their roughness because you love them so. They, in turn, absolutely adore you. You're the first baby we've had in the house for a good long while (I know, I know...but it's all perspective, folks!) and they're just so excited to have you here and have been since day one. Even with all the love you spread about you like sunshine, I gotta admit, I'm still your favorite. None of my other kids have preferred me. Ezra was indifferent to most everyone, Georgia merely tolerated me, Scarlett loved everyone mostly equally (seriously...ask any close relative, they're all convinced they're her favorite), but you...you love me best of all and I adore it.
Big brother, meet Little brother
Lovin' on the baby
Happy 1st Birthday, my baby. I can't believe how big and grown up you've gotten. It seems like everyday you're learning something new and becoming a little more independent. That's one of the hardest jobs of being a mother...the letting go. I can let you go, though, and I do it every day. You see, my Oakie, I know you'll come back to me. Out of all of my children, I know you'll always, always come back.
The (somewhat blurry) Birthday Boy
Happy Birthday Oak Gideon!