Dear Toddler X,
I have been meaning to start blogging again and thought your birthday would be a good day to start, seeing as this blog was started because of you and maintained for you. It is meant as a journal to chronicle your life through our eyes. Happy birthday my sweet baby boy – may your day be filled with light and laughter (and animals at the Zoo).
Many women say that the greatest day of their lives was when their baby entered the world. In other words, the day they gave birth. The day they endured endless hours of labour, marks a major epoch.
The day I gave birth to you, X, was not the best day of my life. Frankly, that day was the scariest, most painful, crazy confusing day. Anyone that has an aggressive, stout, German lady shouting “drücken, drücken, drücken” (push, push, push) and yelling foreign profanities at them, gets why this may not be the most beautiful day of their life. Even to this day, when my birthing affirmations pops up on my running playlist (something I really have been meaning to remove for the past two years), I immediately resume the fetal position. I have thought about it for a long time (for two years to be exact) and I would prefer to share with you the moment you truly changed my life.
It was August 2013. It was a perfect summer day. Your dad and I were back in British Columbia visiting family before I departed to Heidelberg and your dad to Spokane. We were visiting your Grandma Smith and Grandpa Smitty at Mirror Lake, a campground just south of Kaslo. The water was warm. The people were cheerful. The food was fresh. I was listening to Regina Spektor’s “Folding Chair” while hula hooping on the grass in my bare feet. I was preparing for my first hula-hoop performance in front of the campground guests. I kept listening to one verse over and over:
Let’s get a silver bullet trailer
And have a baby boy
I’ll safety pin his clothes all cool
And you’ll graffiti all his toys
After listening to the song on repeat for a few hours, I dragged your dad to Kaslo to buy a pregnancy test and later that afternoon found out we were having a baby! And nine months later, we had our very own “baby boy.” We still haven’t got the silver bullet trailer but you have nevertheless taken us on many adventures. From that day in August 2013, you have pushed me, changed me, and challenged me. You have created our own “silver bullet” and driven on unmarked roads, accumulating many dents and scratches, and creating a path that is truly ours.
While your first life was marked with travels, this year, although we stayed close to home due to unforeseen circumstances, is marked with journeys from within Amsterdam, our home away from home.
We spent weekends biking around the city – you always insisted that Monkey or Franklin tag along for the ride. You greeted every puppy we passed and happily rang your bike bell.
We toured many parks and tested hundreds of slides and swings.
We frequented petting zoos and strolled the many Amsterdam canals.
You became fond of your Sunday morning freshly squeezed orange juice at a local café and nibbling on your favourite snacks – croissants and raisins.
We ate our weight in Dutch cheese by visiting the various cheese stores and indulging in the free testers. You participated in your first Easter Egg Hunt and consumed your first piece of chocolate (and experienced your first major sugar rush and the inevitable crash).
You tasted ice cream for the first time and fell in love with homemade peanut butter cookies.
You also visited the Emergency for the first time (gaining the inevitable head scar).
You watched fireworks on New Years Eve and went polar bear dipping on New Years Day (or at least watched your crazy parents do it).
You are a funny little man, X. You are always goofing around (e.g. wearing fancy hats, sporting high heels, modeling mama’s underwear). You always make those around you happy.
You are slightly obsessed with cleanliness – showing signs of stress at Messy Play and truly getting upset over spilled milk. You love Stella and Georgia more than the world itself – although you still don’t understand that they are dogs and not people.
You love hula hooping, abdominal workouts, and running (you clearly have my genes). You have mastered the selfie. You love books, stuffed animals, and people watching with the girls.
You love animals – especially monkeys, horses, dinosaurs and puppies! And you absolutely adore Franklin the Turtle.You have started to speak three to four word sentences in both Dutch and English and while I don’t understand you half the time, I am nonetheless proud (and envious) of your bilingual skills.
Thanks for creating our very own silver bullet trailer and thank you for allowing us to ride shotgun while you tow us to places we never thought we would go.
“So … be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So … get on your way!”