8 Months

The response to my recent post about the Mohawk/Herkimer shootings has been nothing short of overwhelming. The kindness and connections have touched my core. It’s difficult to write further about those 24 hours, but those I’ve spoken to have similar feelings: settling into a state of numbness. This is where we currently reside, squeezing our loved ones a little tighter than usual. So, in an attempt to move on, I’ll write the post that my brain was percolating when the events started to unfold. It may seem frivolous, but it’s a grasp at normalcy, which is a bit of a challenge in itself.

As I write this, I am officially the parent of an 8-month-old. Holy crap.

So many thoughts accompany that statement, but “holy crap” is all I can come up with to encompass them all. It’s gone so fast…and, yet, not so much. He’s such a big boy…and, yet, not so much. I can hardly wrap my head around the fact that a year ago I was 5 months pregnant and still in a state of “eh, we’ve got time.” We were going to classes and getting nervous or anxious and sharing horrible-for-us meals at Friendly’s afterwards. We even met a really sweet older couple who have ended up on our Christmas list! (Before the aforementioned events occurred, I was going to suggest to the hubby that we take him out to New Hartford for a celebratory Friendly’s dinner — yes, even on a school night! What a fun change-of-routine that would have been.)

But, now we’ve got our handsome monkey. He handles his walker like a champion, turning it on a dime to chase down a cat (or his cousin; thank God she’s a speedy toddler). He’s teething but past the terrible “why is he CRYING?!” days he once had. He’s got chicken fuzz hair (mine), chubby thighs (not sure whose those are), a broad smile (mine), a cute nose (Dad’s) and piercing, clear blue eyes (my grandfather’s?). He’s, as they say, all boy.

I had some tears recently when his grandma/sitter sent home two un-finished bags of milk. We send 4, which he once consumed completely, but lately it’s been 3. This was the first time it’s been this few. It might be a fluke, but I’m concerned it’s weaning. I’ve gotta get myself mentally ready for this, but sometimes you just can’t prepare yourself. It’s life. He’s getting bigger, eating more “solids” and his poop is giving an indication that we could start cloth diapering full-time and have an easy time with it. Which we will.

So, instead of getting sad about his rush to grow up (*sniff, sniff*), my mind brings me to a much-needed happy place: his first birthday. Thanks to his Friday the 13th birthday last year, his first will be on a Saturday — perfect! Plus, it looks like I’ll be staying home with him for the summer, so I can do a bit of planning after school lets out.

It won’t be a huge event, but all the family (and possibly a friend or two) will be invited. We’ve asked my mom to use her space, but we’ll keep an eye out on the weather — we all have pretty small homes, so it would be ideal to have a nice day that will allow us to sprawl into Mom’s backyard (and send the older kids down for badminton, volleyball, etc). She lives in the village of Mohawk, but Dave always says it’s like visiting the country after we’ve had a relaxing afternoon sitting under their carport, observing their gardens and tiny animals scurrying and flying around. They often have a steady stream of deer and turkeys enjoying their backyard as much as their human counterparts.

I’m not sure there will be a theme since he’s not really a “fan” of anything — I mean, an Elephant and Piggie theme would be neat when he’s older, but currently we’re not down for a giraffe or cat (he. loves. his. kitties.) theme. I’m just thinking fun, bright boy colors. And balloons.

Our families usually just do FOOD for birthdays. I’m more of the “entertain” mindset. So, of course there’ll be food, but I’d like to come up with some laid-back entertainment ideas (a photo “booth”/station area to take pics and remember the day, maybe). I’d like to keep whatever we do simple as to avoid the raised eyebrow, so I guess I’ll have to remember my Pinterest login again.

And, since we’re the only Organics in the fam (doesn’t that sound like a nice label? “Organics”? Better than granola hippies), we’ll probably do a BBQ or something with some healthy sides. Either way, I hope to share the fun. I only wish those adorable, highly-fashioned blog ideas with awesome paper straws and glass soda bottles in galvanized tubs was realistic. But, ultimately, the most important part of the day is family getting together to celebrate the joy that Hadley has brought to so many.

That, and cake.

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