Parenting: Wild One - My boy's special 1st birthday

It feels like minutes ago I was writing about my baby girl's naming day and 1st birthday celebrations but here I am now talking about my little man turning one and having his special ceremony.

In the midst of having two babies under two at home and the immense sleep deprivation and emotional, mental and physical load, this day seemed so far away but then the saying is true that the days are long but the years are very short.
I'm both emotional at how fast they grow and full of joy that we are celebrating our Baby Inspiration's 1st birthday. Seeing him become an older baby and start to develop into a toddler is bittersweet as I have so embraced the extra snuggles and cuddles this time around, knowing how fleeting the baby stage is.
We really wanted to keep tradition going for our littles and so we gave our boy a Naming Ceremony outside in the village community garden next to the church, just as we did with our girl. This time around it wasn't a scorching summer's day, but the 1st March, which could have either been a beautiful spring day or full of raging storms and winter cold. I couldn't imagine it being any other way but a crisp, sunny spring day and luckily that is what we got.
Dressed in his tweed suit and flat cap, he looked every part of the dapper gentleman.
Our small party made up of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and a few of your baby friends all walked from our house down to the community garden, which was just starting to bloom with daffodils and spring blossom.

I had booked a celebrant to perform the ceremony but I wrote it, adapting a script we used for the Little Inspiration, to make sure it was personal to him and told the story of his BIRTH day and why we chose his name.
We included hopes and aspirations for him and made promises by us, his grandparents and guide parents, rather than god parents.

This time was extra special as his big sister had a special part to play in the ceremony with her own promise to offer unconditional friendship and support to her little brother. We bought a Mason Rose Bush as a symbolic plant to put in the garden and watch it grow, which she sprinkled with fairy dust to give it extra magic.

I'd made up goody bags for each of the small children attending with teddy bears, bubbles, jam sandwiches and bear shaped crisp and buns. This was partly to keep them entertained during the ceremony and as we made our promises to our baby boy, all of the children blew bubbles high into the sky to help to send the wishes on their way. It really was magical to see.

We read a poem and sang 'happy birthday' to make it that extra bit special and told people that nibbles and cake would be served at our house.
We looked at booking a venue but as both of our babies were planned home births, it felt right to do it at home. We wanted it to feel informal and warm, which it was, if a little chaotic and messy with so many people in the house.

At the house we had decorated with banners and balloons, set up a kids disco in the garden room and had photos of him taken every month  since he was born. We created a wish tree from a branch in our garden. We set out brown luggage tags so each of our guests could write a message for Baby Inspiration that will be buried in a time capsule, along with his Naming Day certificate and photos from the day, for him to look at on his 18th birthday.
Our guests ate cake, drank copious amounts of tea and the kids played together and it felt very special.

A Letter to My Baby Boy on the Eve of your 1st Birthday

This day has raced around and I can't help but feel amazed that even though I have tried to hold onto every baby minute with you, it has still gone too fast for me. I am so incredibly proud of the little boy you are becoming and just love your cheeky personality, sense of fun and how incredibly sweet and snuggly you are.

After a 12 hour labour at home, where I put in all the hard work of hypnobirthing pacing around the house and in the birthing pool, you decided you had other ideas and passed meconium meaning we had to be transferred by ambulance to hospital as an emergency. After making us wait well over your due date and then a long labour, suddently you decided to come very quickly and were almost born at the side of the road. Daddy was following behind in the car and I really thought he was going to miss your birth. We made it to the hospital, daddy flew into the room and you were born in a blaze of glory a minute or two later,

Stunned by what the last 20 minutes had entailed, when they placed you in my arms and told me we had a little boy, I was instantly smitten. I looked at your perfect face, with button nose and pouty lips and I knew I would be in love forever, I had my perfect girl and so to find I was blessed with a perfect boy was amazing. I stared at you for the longest time, barely taking my eyes off you and you looked back at me with the gorgeous baby blues. That night I didn't sleep much still taking the newness of you in but I didn't mind one jot as it was just me and you, feeding, cuddling and getting to know each other.

Introducing you to your big sister the next day was every dream I had imagined in the months before. She could say your name from the start and proudly brought you a balloon and a present. I think she was amazed that you were here and kept popping to check you were still there. Over the weeks and months there was no jealousy, only love and over zealous kisses and cuddles.

It was only as you have become more interactive, sitting, moving, eating and talking that I spend my days refereeing between you, as you each take the other's toy and get a little rough but that's all part of the fun of having a sibling. You've had to get used to noise and chaos from the start, your routine has evolved around your big sister's toddler groups and naps, enabling me to snatch time with you one to one in between the madness. During this time we have cuddled, played, chatted and got to know each other. With only a fleeting look we make each other giggle and I have loved the special bond we have created between us.

I see you in the future, at 18, when we open your time capsule, as a strong, handsome, sweet young man, with the world at his feet.I hope we still look at each other and giggle, as we do now, sharing that special moment between us. Also that you'll always feel able to come to me for love, support, friendship and advice as you encounter all that life brings.

I hope that the friendship with your big sister grows and remains fun and that you always have a ready made best friend in each other.

Always know how thankful we are for you and how already in this short time you have enriched every one of your family's lives and made us happier than we knew we could be.

Enjoy your special birthday and Naming Day, where we're all here for the love of you sweet baby man.

Love Mummy, xxx

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