I'm not sure I've ever mentioned this before, but when you were born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck. It sounds scary, and it probably was, but I had no idea. I remember a brief moment when the doctor said, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop pushing." But it only seemed to last for a few seconds, before we started up again and you were in my arms.
Your dad told me later what had happened, and because I was completely unaware, it was very low-drama. For that, I am grateful.
But on Thursday, as I thought about that day, minute by minute in my head, it all came back to me. And suddenly I was choking back tears as I thought about how fortunate I am to have such a healthy happy little boy. I thank God every single day for you, Ben.
You make me so happy. I spent much of this year battling depression, but seeing you and holding you was like therapy. Your smile melted stress away and your deep chuckle made me smile every time. I can't imagine life without you.
Now that you're a year old, I can officially call you a toddler. You love to play outside and hate to see your Dad and brother outside without you. You let us know when you're ready to play outside by bringing us a pair of shoes, anyone's shoes, and sitting down to wait for us to put them on. If we don't oblige, you'll work to put them on yourself. You aren't all that successful at that yet.
You love to climb and really don't seem that affected when you fall off things. That fearlessness means we need to pay careful attention to protect you from being too brave. You're getting better at crawling down stairs and off of chairs on your own, which is making life a little bit easier. You try so hard to jump . . . you want to be just like Jack. You bend your knees and squat down and pop up with such intensity that for a second I almost think that you'll actually do it. But you haven't been able to leave the ground quite yet. You'll get it soon enough . . . you're almost there!
You are such a capable little boy. You follow our instructions. You can say so many words. You're finding new skills every day. I'm incredibly proud of you, Ben. You're my youngest, but you're still my first and my only Bennett. Even with everything I learned about myself and about parenting from your brother, you still teach me something new every day.