On Sunday, Master Silas Jasper turned 1 year old.
There was a party, a cake and dozens of friends and family. We talked, we laughed and we celebrated a boy who has been such a force in our lives the past year.
"Force" – what a way to describe Si. Perfect, really. He is a force. Temperamental and stubborn, demanding and cautious.
Of course, I think, when I look back to those days 55 or so weeks ago. He was butt down, legs out and had no interest in moving from that position – no matter what I tried.
As he did then, Si does things his way and in his own time. It’s been a challenge, I have to admit. In fact, I had a whole post written out, discussing the frustration I often feel being a mom to Si and the struggle as I learn to balance our new bigger family. The rough, sleepless nights; the stress that comes with breastfeeding; the worry about how he measured up.
How I measured up as a mother. After all, some of my worst moments have happened since Si was born.
But as I spent the weekend celebrating with family and friends, it all seemed so self-serving. And isn't a part of motherhood, at least a sliver, to be selfless?
To be truthful.
Try as I might to spin the woe as me tale, I can’t ignore the good things – and good there is. I have a healthy (mostly) boy. He has two hands and two feet, 10 fingers and 10 toes. He has two gorgeous brown eyes, four teeth and one smile that is 110 percent contagious. He might be small (size 3 diapers and maybe 17ish pounds) but a big personality.
Silas is not independent, though I was lax in efforts to encourage such a characteristic. He likes to be held, to be close. To me, preferably, but he has a deep affinity for my father-in-law and he adores his big brother. It is my position that he only learned to crawl and later pull himself up because it was the best way to create more opportunities for holding.
He does not walk and is only now learning to cruise. And despite insistent remarks from family that he should be talking as well, he is not there either. Well, to clarify: He says “uh-oh” and possibly “hi” but I have yet to have the heart-melting moment of hearing him murmur “mama.”
I’m not sure I need to. Not yet, not when he nuzzles into my chest and breathes softly during his feeding. Not when he still looks so much like a baby as I hold him in my arms.
But I’m not naïve to the situation. I know that he should do things. I want him to do things and so we’ve began the process to have him evaluated for possible delays. In less than a week, I will hold my breath as two therapists play with him to see whether he qualifies for services.
Sometimes the worry that accompanies such a meeting is hard to wrap up neatly and package with a tidy bow to tuck away when I talk to people. However, it wasn’t difficult on Sunday when we had his party. My family and friends (most of them, anyhow) didn’t see a dot on a development chart. They saw a boy who approached life with caution as he dipped his fingers delicately into the cake. They saw a child who stared up at his great grandmother, a glint of mischief in his eye, as he tried to make a toy of her walker.
They saw a boy who loved his mother and a mother who loved him.