10/10/2014 10:53 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

One; Take Two

Stacey Gish Wallenstein

Dear Second Kid,

Today you turn 1. I write this with tears in my eyes, not believing you have reached this milestone already.

My boy. My pal. My bud. My son. My second -- and possibly last -- baby. My baby.

You joined our family one year ago today, yet I cannot remember our lives without you.

My baby who came out of my belly. When I feel a pinch, it reminds me that it was your former home, which makes me smile.

My second child, my little sidekick, who I schlep around running after your older sister.

My pal who started eating my food in February of 2013, who drinks my milk produced exclusively for you and who now takes pieces off my plate with a sly smile and thinks I don't see him.

My son who has shown me how much my heart can grow to love a second child 100%.

My buddy who thinks a good, old-fashioned, rousing game of peek-a-boo is the best thing in town.

My second child who taught me it's OK to let you cry for a few minutes before running into your room.

My baby who let me see I can be relaxed this time around because you won't break.


My boy the day he was born

My kind little soul who, when you wake up in the middle of the night looking for your Mama, I don't mind snuggling with because one day, you will live far away and I now know these night rouses are short-lived.

My smiley boy who taught me the love -- while complete and consuming -- for your sister is different than my love for you.

My pal who has the best belly laugh on Earth and who is very, very ticklish.


My baby all smiles at six months (Photo Credit: Blink Photography)

My boy who climbs into my lap over and over to give me good, strong, solid hugs. Because I'm your mama bear. And you want me to know you love me.

My baby who when ready for bed, puts his arms around me and snuggles into my neck. Because I bring you peace.

My love who makes his sister laugh like I've never seen. Who also has a laugh for his sister like I've never heard.

My boy who brings out macho things in his Daddy (like football and visiting hardware stores).

My child who smiles at me and who every day is mesmerized by the same beauty mark on my arm.

My baby who puts his little foot on my chest as he nurses all snuggled up in my arms.

My son who I sometime catch just staring at me in awe because things like birds chirping are still a mystery.


My baby at nine months (Photo Credit: Blink Photography)

My suburban boy who has ridden in the car more in the last nine months than his urban sister has in her whole life and who will not know what living in 750 square feet is all about.

My baby who puts his head on my face with his eyes closed when he is sleepy. I just stand there inhaling you... because I made you.

My lunch companion who sits with me at a restaurant smiling at the waitstaff and flirting with the patrons while happily eating some type of carbohydrate.

My baby who is always happy and content even when slightly neglected as the second child. But now that my universe has two suns, I can understand that slight neglect really means patience.

My bud who I want to stay small, as opposed to his sister, who I wanted to get big.


My baby at eleven months (Photo Credit: Blink Photography)

This milestone is bittersweet. I am not ready for you to leave babyhood. But I am so excited to see where the next day takes us.

Thank you for letting me take in stride all the moments that stressed me out with your sister, my first child.

Thank you for reminding me how little one can be so I can appreciate your size.

Thank you for reminding me that there is a time when one's child doesn't speak and their needs and wants are puzzles to solve.

Thank you for somehow being able to tell me what you want in our secret language.

Thank you for not yet walking so I am forced to carry you and coerced to cuddle.

Thank you for letting me experience being the mother of a boy.

Thank you for having cool, soft skin that is absolutely delicious to cover in kisses.

Thank you for letting me kiss-attack you daily. Sometimes for longer than I should, because I can't help myself.

Thank you for thinking I am the world and for letting me understand what that means this time instead of resenting it because it was too much to bear.

Thank you for being healthy. Please continue to be for the next 120 birthdays.


My boy all smiles at turning the big O-N-E (Photo Credit: Blink Photography)