Dearest Baby Hendrix or Hegga as Phoenix calls you,
On the eve of your first birthday I have so many feelings. Shocked at the time gone so quickly, overwhelmingly happy that you chose us to be yours, exhausted from the madness of my life and maybe a little surprised knowing that we made it through one whole year with 3 kids under 5 and came out the other side still standing and honestly, stronger. (I’m also grappling with my love/hate relationship for Tom Cruise as Risky Business plays in the background. So charming yet so insanely manic. Dude looks like he’s about to eat you when he smiles but then he’s in so many great 80’s movies. It’s a difficult situation and really adding to my emotional state.)
You weren’t planned but you arrived anyway. A faint but ever present second pink line on the tests I took one after the other. Though I knew I wanted 3, I certainly never thought I’d have 2 boys with only 18 months between them. The guilt over what Phoenix may miss out on crept in early; encircling my thoughts and keeping me awake as I promised myself he wouldn’t be lost in between the bookends of his big sister and you. (And of course, he hasn’t. Such is his nature, that he wouldn’t allow you to forget he’s there.) It wasn’t an easy pregnancy and I’m still working through some of the emotions attached to the HG and what it did to my body and soul. Again with the guilt as I folded into myself; the ever present nausea and violent vomiting sucking the life out of me. But Hendrix, I’d do it all over again, just for you. And then suddenly you were here and you were so tiny and you looked just like your daddy. We all loved you straight away. Your big sister and brother claimed you as one of their own and you just slotted right into our world. And as time passed, it would seem you had been here before; such was the way you looked straight into our hearts and souls. Everyone calls you an old soul and I have to agree; you are so calm and knowing. But seriously, how did you end up with blue eyes and blonde hair?
I’m sorry that you didn’t always get tummy time and that I couldn’t read you stories for hours like I did with Smushy. I’m sorry that I had to sometimes rush you through the day as we catered to the needs and activities of your sister and brother. I’m sorry that you didn’t get to nap uninterrupted in your cot and that Phoenix sometimes sat on your head. I’m sorry that some days were so chaotic and loud and I lost my shit and cried. But know this; you are so loved and we wouldn’t have it any other way. You are our sunshine, little friend and we adore you.
I never understood before, why my parents and sisters still refer to me as the baby. And I hated it, oh how I hated it. But I know why now. Because even though you are one, I still think you are actually only a newborn. I was just pregnant and you were just born…right? You are and forever will be my baby. And I know you’ll get to about 14 and hate it. You’ll twist and turn and try to thrash your way out of that position and I promise I’ll do my best to step back and let you be. But I can’t promise I wont still try to sniff you hair and kiss your cheeks; the same way I do to all 3 of you now.
So Hendrix, my littlest love, I wish for you a lifetime of happiness, laughter and love.
Happy Birthday; here’s to many, many more.