One year ago today, Stevie and I woke in a house that was way too quiet. Cadence had gone to sleep over at her Grandma and Papa’s house, so Stevie and I could try to get a few hours sleep before it was time to head to the hospital to meet our little H-man.
But neither of us could really sleep. We were too busy fretting over things like whether we would accidentally sleep through our alarms, or if we would actually remember how to take care of a newborn, or how our lives and our family would change with the addition of this new little stranger.
One year ago today, Stevie and I were waiting, waiting to hold our babies in our arms–our oldest baby who had been the center of our universe for 5 1/2 years, and the brand new baby who we just wanted to finally join us on the outside.
I’m not sure we would have believed anyone who could have told us just how completely our lives would be flipped upside down this past year, or that Henry’s arrival would be the easy part. With the exception of my c-section recovery, a few sleep issues (which cleared up around the time Mr. H turned 6 months old), and my crazy work schedule wreaking havoc on my stress level and my breastfeeding success (which also cleared up around that 6-month mark), Henry’s official entrance into our world was as quiet and comfortable as Cadence’s was dramatic. Sure there have been hiccups here and there, as we all learned to navigate this uncharted territory and compromise, but that’s just what being a family is all about.
I never could have imagined that I would be so blessed. I have a husband who doesn’t just love me, he respects me. He talks to me, looks forward to spending time with me. He gets my strange sense of humor, and humors me when I need him to. He doesn’t take me for granted or put me down to make himself look macho. He trusts me and confides in me, and he genuinely appreciates that I do all the same for him. Sure, we can drive each other crazy–like when he starts binge-cleaning and rearranging all my piles of organized chaos that I tend to leave around the house, but at the end of the day, we make one helluva team (and some damn good-looking children).
I have a daughter who is wiser and stronger and more compassionate at 6-years-old than most people will ever be. Cadence is one of the kindest and most creative souls I have ever known, and I love the way she is living up to her name, constantly dancing around the house, singing all the songs she has either made up or memorized. But most of all, I love the way she is with Henry–the loving and attentive big sister, even if she sometimes steals his toys and complains when he tries to return the favor by stealing (and eating) hers.
After hitting the jackpot with such an awesome first child, it really did take Stevie and I quite awhile to decide to tempt fate and add to our family. Stevie tends to worry over things like paying for college and what would happen if I suffered complications during childbirth, while my mind was occupied wondering if it was really possible for me to love another child as much as I loved Cadence.
But somehow, once we saw our sweet Henry’s face, all that worry just washed away and we have all spent these 365 days days falling completely in love with the little boy who came along and completed our family.
And here we are, one years later, and we don’t even know what our lives would be like without him.
Our Henry is a force of nature, just like his big sister, only it amazes me how the two seem to balance each other out. Cadence is our loud, crazy, wild child who bounces out of bed in the morning and likes to go go go go go all day long and at max volume. Our little H-man wakes slowly, talking or sometimes singing himself awake. He drinks his bottles slowly, stroking my cheek or touching my nose and smiling as we rock. He likes to start his day with hugs and snuggles and lots of laps around the living room, and he goes to bed at night like clockwork, telling me “Nigh nigh, Mama” as I lay him in his crib. And while he enjoys the occasional rowdy game of soccer or chase or tackle Daddy and Cadence on the carpet, he’s generally a sweet, somewhat quiet, contemplative boy who is content to run around and explore and fall into his Momma and Daddy’s arms for a kiss and a hug as if needing to occasionally refuel. He’s got the sweetest smile, an infectious laugh, and the biggest, most expressive brown eyes you’ll ever see. And I thank God each and every day that these four souls (plus hound) are all mine.
So while Stevie and I are here in New York, working with his siblings to try and slowly empty out Richie’s house, I know that my sweet baby boy and his big sister are being sufficiently spoiled back at home.
And right now, a whole year later, we’re waiting to hold our babies again. So Happy Birthday, Henry Wayne! We love you and Cadence SO MUCH! And we will see you very soon!