January 20, 2015

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas...

Chapman Collins Smith, the little peanut who could

...my true love turned one.

Two weeks ago today my littlest sweetheart grew up on me. Well, he's been doing that for a while, but now my Chappers is officially a year old.

His absolute delight at the world, his adoration of two besotted siblings, his sweet-natured squeals when we walk in to the room - every piece of him adds up to be just the boy our family needed.

Some people would call him a rainbow baby, the promise of hope after a storm of loss. I simply think he was just the right baby at just the right time to capture all our hearts.

We need you far more than you need us, little man, and we loved you from the very start.

You are the happiest Chappy, the most content child who wants only to be with us, to soak up the noise, giggles and excitement of two boisterous big siblings.

You/ve taught me so much, Chapman. After a season of grief over your sister's struggle and sadness at the loss of a baby before you, you taught me how to swim without sinking. I could keep moving without going entirely numb; I could be sad and still experience the joy of you. I didn't shut one bit out; I didn't lose a year of memories or pretend it wasn't happening.

You kept me going in the hard parts, kicking from the inside and beaming through big brown eyes once we met.

You've brought out the softest, most selfless parts of Mac and Mary Brooks, who I thought couldn't get much sweeter.

You, my love, were just what the doctor ordered. Thank you for growing at your own pace, for forcing your very scheduled mother to allow your strengths to develop on a timing not her own.

Thank you for being the snuggliest one yet, for grinning wider than any other peanut could have, for having a personality that belies your tiny stature.

You're finally on the charts, big boy! Without adjusting for your early arrival, you're first percentile for weight, seventh for length and twentieth for that noggin you balance between your shoulders.

I'm not sure what we did before you, Chapman, and I'm so glad we don't have to do without you anymore. May the years to come pass a tenth as quickly as this one did!

Happy, happy birthday to the best belated Christmas present I ever got.


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