**Short rant -- Let me just say for the record that I actually put this post together earlier this week, only to find out after an hour of putting this "ode to Vance" together that blogger was down and I wouldn't be able to post it. And even though I just found out today that my husband has already posted these photos on his blog, I don't care. I'm posting this damn thing anyway. OK, done ranting. On to better things...
On Sunday, Master Vance turned 1! When I take a moment to stop and think about it, I get a little choked up to realize the first year of his life is already over. Even though I'm home with him and Margot most days, I still don't know where this past year has gone. I'm not sure if it's because I have two kids, or because I'm a small business owner. I'm sure it's some combination of the two.
You always hear about how things are different with the second child. "Oh, they're the second child...," then fill in the blank. With the first child you don't know what you're doing so you hem and haw over every little thing; with the second child you are more laid back and don't have time to hem and haw. With the first child you take advantage of every moment to talk with them, stimulate them with new toys, and observe every (small) thing they do; with the second child you do your best to keep the first one from making their life miserable, and you're lucky if you notice the first time they roll over, crawl, say "mama", or walk. With the first child you record every milestone (and, well just every day) in their baby book with notes AND photos; with the second child you can't find the baby book and even if you could you won't remember what day they actually did start crawling.
I'm sure a year ago I thought most of those things wouldn't be true for me, but the reality is they are. During Vance's first months, I would regularly catch myself wondering when was the last time I took a few moments to just look at him. Or, I'd feel bad that I didn't have any time with just him -- to play with him, talk to him, and just watch him -- like I did when Margot was a baby. As the months passed by, when he achieved some milestone, I kept saying to myself, "I need to write that down so I can record it in his baby book later." But somehow, I couldn't even find (make) the time to stop what I was doing, find a pen, and get it written on the calendar. (Truthfully, I never did with Margot either, so at least Vance isn't getting the short end of the stick there. Neither one of my kids will know when important milestones happened in their life.)
As the months rolled on, I began to adjust to life with two little ones, lightened up on myself a little bit, and just tried to take a step back every once and awhile and take it all in. There are many days I feel like I'm just trying to hold it all together while I try to get all the responsibilities of the day done. But there are also days when I don't feel buried by all the responsibilities and can enjoy Margot and Vance for who they are, and how our lives have been shaped by them.
Vance's personality is starting to come out and I'm really excited to see who he is going to be. How he's going to be different from (and similar to) his sister, and what characteristics of John and I he will have. One thing I know right now: he is SWEET. His face, his demeanor, his hugs. Complete sweetness. One thing I'm afraid of: he's going to use that sweetness (and those eyes...OH MY GOODNESS, those eyes) to his advantage the rest of his life to get into -- and out of -- trouble.
Vance, you're dad was convinced when we found out Margot was a girl that we were destined to have all girls (however many that would be). I'm glad he was wrong because I can't imagine life without you. You cause my heart to melt when you flash that smile of yours. Your giggle makes life seem easy. Keep the smiles and giggles coming.