About this time last year, I was basking in your newness and feeling quite proud of my little boy. According to the hospital’s standards, you were just three hours old. But I knew better.
Your father and I had known about you since the previous June, when Dadda got a message of sorts out in the field. A name. A specific name had come to him over the course of the day. “Ethan.” At first, he was confused. We didn’t really know any Ethans in our life. Why should this name come to his consciousness?
When he told me about the name, I wondered if our attempts at creating a sibling for Elly had been successful. A few days later, I nearly threw up at the smell of breakfast cooking and decided to take a pregnancy test. We were very successful indeed!
Ethan. So that’s what we were told to call you. I had always liked that name and your father agreed that it was a good name for a man. Having a name for you, given straight from God, right from the beginning; you were a living being for a full ten months before we ever laid eyes on you.
And having watched you grow for an entire year after your birth, I think you knew you were loved from the start. Oh Ethan, you were so wanted! A tiny blessing growing inside of me, pressing against my ribs and butterfly kicking my hips. To know without doubt that you were a tiny man, before any human invention might show it...your father and I felt as though we were a part of a tremendous plan. What does God have in store for you, Little Man? What does he have laid out for you, with a name that he himself decided for you? We can only wonder and pray.
I was just into the third trimester of my pregnancy with you when a woman prayed over you. She sort of gasped and asked if we knew what we were having. We laughed and said, “A baby!” She laughed as well, but pressed us. We said we knew you were a little boy and she said, “Yes, I was just told that in my prayer.” It made us smile.
When you finally arrived in the world, a full 5 days “late,” you were greeted with smiles and tears and warm embraces. Several hours later, you got to meet your grandparents and your big sister.
Elly had never been a sister before you came! She was just a little girl, eagerly awaiting the baby inside Momma’s tummy. She used to put her hand on you through my belly and listen for you with her head pressed up against me. She’d pull up her shirt and ask to touch tummies. Then we’d both giggle as we made an Ethan sandwich.
When we took you home a day later, we eagerly built a routine of nursing, sleeping and holding. Elly was a bit thrown off the first week, but when she learned she could HELP, then she thought you were the greatest thing in the world.
After a few months, you began to interact with us. A smile at 5 weeks! A coo at 6. Once you learned smiles, you never looked back. What a happy Little Man you turned out to be!
And now you are 1 year old. You are walking, talking and destructing wherever you go! We were told that you would be a great leader one day; that people will follow you not because you forced them to, but because they want to. They will respect you greatly, but feel free to call you by your first name, Ethan.
Your father pontificated the other day as to how fitting your first word actually is. Elly’s first word was Dadda, followed by Momma. You however, chose to say, “Hi!”
“Hi,” to Daddy.
“Hi,” to Grandma Julie.
“Hi,” to the egg customer at the door.
“Hi,” to the checkout lady.
“Hi,” to the nearby shopper.
“Hi!” to any folks around you.
And what better way to draw the world in than to first invite them in? You have such a large spirit, Little Man. I feel so blessed to be the one to know you from the very very beginning.
Now, on your birthday, I say to you: Ethan, GO GET ’UM!
Above: eating batter. Below: Dinosaur at Christmas time.
Waving “Hi,” from the bathtub.
Above: Squeezing play food. Below: Squeezing two-week-old chicks.
A rare moment caught on camera: the Little Man fast asleep.
We ventured outside for the first successful time this year. Ethan got to use Elly’s 12 month snow suit and Elly got to use Ethan’s 24 month snow suit! So, everyone was happy.
Notice the amazing “beaver paddles” he’s grown! We LOVE his little bucky teeth.
One big happy family! (Right, Elly?)