Dear John,

Happy birthday! Today, you turn one year old and I have to say that this has been the most exuberant, exhausting and educational year of my life. I’m so thankful for you and so pleased that God chose to give you to your daddy and me.

Traci Taylor

You are such a perfect mixture of me and your daddy. You have your daddy’s thin build and my cheeks, your daddy’s eyes and my hair. You have my personality, and your daddy’s love of sports.

Traci Taylor

Speaking of sports, do you realize how many sporting events you’ve been to in just 12 short months? You’ve been to four professional baseball games, five minor league baseball games, one minor league hockey game and next month, you’ll be going with your daddy and me to watch your first professional basketball game! Sometimes when I’ve tried everything and can’t get you to sleep, I put on basketball and you jump in your bed until you tire yourself out and fall to sleep.

Traci Taylor

Your daddy and I are big supporters of both athletics and the arts and it pleases us so much that you love both. Did you know that when you were just 10-months-old your grammy and grandpop gave you your first piano? It’s a baby grand that you love to stand at and sing and play for hours on end. We even dressed you up as Beethoven for Halloween when you were just 8 months-old because you love Beethoven’s music. You love all kinds of music, but especially blues, country and classical piano. Most of all though, you love to sing along in the most sweet baby babble to the made up songs that daddy and I sing to you when we give you a bath or change your diaper or are trying to get you to sleep.

Traci Taylor

You've gone on so many adventures in the last year. You, my little explorer, have visited a coal mine and a railroad yard. You've been to a glass factory and a zoo. You've played at a learning museum and watched as donuts were made at a factory.  You learned all about baseball at the Baseball Hall of Fame and saw battle fields in Gettysburg. You visited a home that was once part of the underground railroad and saw apples being pressed into cider. You visited the New York State Museum and have been to two firehouses and even took part in GISHWHES. Your daddy and I are so excited for more adventures this year. We can't wait to take you back to our hideaway on the lake and to Canada and Niagara Falls and so many other new places. We want you to learn through experiencing life and I think we're off to a great start.

Traci Taylor

I love your silly personality and how you just soak up every moment you’re around people, whether you know them or not. You are a sucker for ladies, young and old and love to flirt. I just love how when you smile, you smile with your whole face. And I love how your nose crinkles when you get really excited. You have the most adorable laugh and I love how you throw your head back and your entire body shakes with joy when your daddy and I play with you.

Traci Taylor

You are such a good sharer, something that just came naturally without us teaching you. You also feel deeply for others. I love the look of concern that comes over your face when you see someone crying or upset. It’s as though you want to find a way to help them be happy. There have been a few times this past year that I’ve been really sad, and you’ve wrapped your little arms around my neck, looked me in the eyes and then kissed me. You know just how to help my heart feel better.

Traci Taylor

I love the way you wake up in the morning or from a nap and stand in your crib, calling out for “mama” or “daddy” with a huge grin on your face and how when we pick you up, you nestle your tiny self into our chests. I also love how you fall asleep with your knees tucked in and hiney in the air. You love to run your fingers through my hair and while it hurts and I don’t like it very much, I remind myself that the day will come when you won’t want to snuggle with me anymore and so I let you.

Traci Taylor

I love listening to you talk. Just this last week, you decided you were a parrot. I yelled out “hey!” for your daddy and almost fell over when you, sitting right next to me, also yelled out ‘hey!” In just the last week, you’ve learned so many new words. From “hey” to “hello” (which melted my heart when I called daddy and your sweet voice answered the phone with a “hello.”) to “oh” and “uh oh.” When I ask you what “Uncle” Glenn says, you love to look at me and say “blah, blah, blah” and then throw your head back and giggle. You’re such a silly little boy!

Traci Taylor

I absolutely love your obsession with books. You definitely take after your mama when it comes to books and you, my son, have even gotten your daddy excited with reading which elates me. Your favorite books to read are ones about puppies and bugs and fire trucks.

Traci Taylor

You have been such an easy baby, but we have had some interesting moments. Your love of climbing and hiding have made me and daddy hold our breath on more than one occasion. And, Daddy and I thought we were going to get off easy when you started sleeping through the night as a tiny baby. Boy were we wrong! You are so curious and full of energy and don’t want to miss a single thing. Sometimes it takes me three hours to get you to bed and then you wake up, refreshed after just 15 minutes- jumping and giggling in your bed. You, my boy, are so full of life.

Traci Taylor

My sweet boy, my hope for your future is that you grow to become a man of God. That you will be strong, but have a gentle heart. That you will be independent, but always come back to your mama and daddy. I pray that you will always jump to help someone without a second thought and that you will stick up for the underdog. I pray that you will be bold, brave, and above all else, humble. I pray that you will carry with you your daddy’s humor and your mama’s determination. I believe that great things are in store for your life, my little one, and I thank God for letting me be here to witness the miracle that is you.

Traci Taylor

You may be growing (and much too quickly for this mama’s taste), but you will always be my baby.

Happy first birthday, John!

Love,
Your mama