My Oliver. My Ollie Robin. My Ollie-Monster.
Oh the places we have been in the past 13 months. Literally speaking, we've rarely gone much farther than 10 miles from our house (and often not much farther than the living room from the bedroom) but figuratively speaking we've travelled the world. You've grown from being the mysterious ache in my belly, wedged in my ribs and rolling in giant waves just under my skin, to a helpless, screaming, scared little bird, dependant on me for any comfort or joy or security. From a baby, curious but timid in facing the world around him to a toddler (admittedly who isn't yet quite toddling) who is discovering he has a voice, a personality, a sense of humor. In just 13 months you have grown more than my heart could've dared to imagine. (I foresaw the broad strokes, but it's the tiny details that make you who you are. And you are so much.)
I haven't written much about these days and I don't know why. I suppose in the very early days I didn't have a moment (or a brain cell) to spare to write it down. You were so all consuming - in good ways and in less good ways - and blogging didn't appear anywhere on the list. To be honest, many days showering wasn't on the list and toothbrushing made the to-do list, but didn't always get checked off. (Yes, it was that heavy in those first weeks.) And then I settled into a routine but got stuck in the routine of that routine. I was adoring you and loving you, but I couldn't see the joy or the beauty or the fun in so much of it. It was there, I'm sure, but my mind was clouded with milestones not yet reached and a yearning for a solid night's sleep. But slowly I awoke and could see you for the beauty that you bring. I had a full palette of your colors to paint from. And yet I still didn't write.
I'll be honest. I thought I'd remember. I thought I would never forget your firsts. Your quirks. Your passions and your fears. I thought I would remember each little moment and be able to recite them to you as I tickled your feet and nuzzled your sweet neck and rocked you to sleep while you grew. Each change was a revelation, each new skill monumental - how could I let them fade from my memory? I couldn't. I wouldn't.
But that was before you *really* blossomed. Before I realized that your revelations would no longer come monthly or even weekly, but daily. Hourly. You would change and grow in unexpected ways before my very eyes. Like time lapse photography I have watched you become almost recognizable from the Oliver of a week ago. And the week before that. You are a wealth of discovery - each moment ripe for a new development, be it teeth or skill or just your budding personality. It's all too much for my mind to take in, much as it wants to stretch to accommodate every eyelash and freckle, every bug bite and swollen gum, (with a tooth begging to poke free).
So, my Ollie Robin Boy, I'm going to do it. I'm going to write you, to tell you all about the boy you are becoming. I'm going to grab the moments as they flit past and pin them like butterflies to corkboard. This will be my space - our space - to revel in the minutiae of our lives. To see the tiny details and the broad strokes. To paint your beautiful colors and to savor each line as they come together to draw you as the amazing creature you are. YOU.
These will be my letters to you, sweet baby.
Letters from your mama.