Dear Theo, 

Ahh even writing your name. I just realized this is the first time I've wrote you a letter. My heart as a momma & my hand as a writer, ache at the thought of that. But give me some grace & a moment to explain, cause your first year here has been a bit of a ride. It bloody flew faster then any given time in my 35 years on earth, and to me I truly feel time wise you should only be like 5 months old. 

We all called you "chicken" when you were in my belly - You were born, oh so late, came so fast & scared your daddy real good. You were intense, you demanded a voice immediately in the chaotic family you were born into & you fit right in. You make people work hard for your giggles & smiles & if possible you'd prefer to be Velcroed on to me at all times. You have maybe been dressed outside of sleepers, 9 times in the 365 days you've been on this planet. And you didn't get to do things like Baby Yoga or go to music class with me like your brother and sister did. But son, I promise you, you've been so hugged, worn, smooched & snuggled. You are so, so, so loved. 

And so needed.

You've brought me great strength in a time where I felt like I was going to buckle.

You were born and within weeks, your big sister got, really, really sick. Lost a bunch of weight, was ruining crib mattresses despite the most waterproofing methods we could buy, I'm telling ya, you produce some stinky baby-poop kid, but gluten-filled-undiagnosed-Celiac-Disease-crap is beyond, it literally burns your eyes. Every single night or morning Pip would cry out, we'd go running, your dad would take Pip to hose her off, I then had to scrub, clean, start laundry right way, get new sheets, re-waterproof everything, then re-rock, sooth and put Pip back to bed. We had to endure with her test after test after test. And you had to come, at 4-6-8 wks old, nap in a wrap, nurse wherever and you just went along with everything so peacefully. Thank you son. Very much. Cause those days, were oh' so tough, "crappy" if you will, and having you mellow made it so much easier. 

But while you've been such a good-chilled-babe, you're a curious little thing, wanting to keep up to Pip & Noal, taking chances & crawling, standing, destroying, climbing stairs, all faster than what I was expecting. 

Bear in mind, your big brother moved quickly too, I was pregnant with your sister when he was only 7 months old, so it truly was a whirlwind like your life has been. When Pip was born & Noal was still so little, he had to learn to make waiting rooms and doc's offices his playground. Noal learned to distract her when she had needles or blood-work or how to include her in the songs we'd have to sing over and over again. He did what you're doing now & in a way, the silver-lining is we've gotten this uninterrupted "us" time, where y'all have needed my undivided attention. So, in a way I feel it helped kinda create this more creative side in all of you. Where y'all like singing, dancing, playing games and using your imagination and it's because of those moments, we make our own when we are somewhere getting help for your sister.

I guess in a way, all my boys - You, Noal, Daddy & even Deacon - Have all endured a lot, you've seen things most boys wouldn't have to in a lifetime. Yet, y'all are so sweet, so funny and so kind. Y'all have a side of sass, the cutest smiles & a streak of stubbornness that competes with mine.

And y'all in your own ways have brought me so much happiness & love. Cause child, boy-oh-boy do you love me. And trust me, your siblings gave you a good run. But you, sweet chicken, love me, oh, so much. You never take your eyes off me. You clap literally with delight when I walk into a room. You scurry as fast as you can to be by my side. At times I'm sure it's just for protection from smothering Pip & Big-momma-hen Noal. So, not only am I your momma, I'm your safety and shelter from those two.

And in turn you are that exact thing to me - My shelter. You've held me together in a time of great loss. Where I've felt weak, where I've wanted to buckle, where I've lost my way and am struggling to choke down my fear. This year has been a doozy filled with hospital stays, Type 1 Diabetes, more appointments & lessons learned than ever before. But you, my love, ground me. You bring a wee bit of normalcy, taking care of you, rocking you, nursing you has been my safe place. 

The carved out moments where it's just you and me, is where I feel I finally just get to breath. Where I think, where I pray. Where I digest all we've all been through. 

You are ONE today and NOWHERE near done nursing or letting go. Nor am I, cause these moments when you need me and I need you, need to carry me through a wee bit more. 

You are my peace, my comfort, my little delight. 

You are my forever baby. My last, you are the cherry on top. 

You complete the HomeTeam, You're a hoot and so cute. 

I so love you son. Happy 1st. 

P.S: You are such a fidgety little thing. I mean kick-flapping-to-never-stop-moving-to-jumping-or-always-swatting-at-my-face-while-nursing-little-jitter-bug. Just something I want to remember about when you were a baby, because you forget you really, really do. When your big brother was born, I remember asking your Grandma a memory about me as a baby & she couldn't recall. And it desperately sparked something in me to try. I don't keep baby books, or record milestones, I don't print photos or keep mementos from others. But I write you and your brother & sister these letters, to soak in my moments with y'all. Help them not fade & for you to have to know yourselves, know me and know how very loved you always were...