The very first pictures of Aiden:
And now a year later:
To my dearest Aiden, the birthday boy. Today was your birthday. We didn’t throw you a big birthday party, I hope that’s okay with you. I didn’t even make you a cake, I hope you don’t mind.
Grandma had cataract surgery yesterday so we decided to postpone your party to later this week but while I was grocery shopping earlier today in the late afternoon, I decided to just go ahead and throw you a little party tonight, nothing fancy, just your sisters, daddy, me, grandma & grandpa and your uncle Mike. I was planning on bringing fish tacos to your grandparents’ for dinner tonight(they’ve been needing extra help and care ever since they returned from Korea) so I decided to keep the same menu and then make a simple cake. I bought an angel food cake and whipping cream to make homemade whipped cream(so I can make it not too sweet so it doesn’t upset your stomach eating cake for the first time!). When we got home and I put you down for a nap(I had to lie with you for over an hour before you finally fell asleep), I made fish tacos and whipped cream, and planned on decorating the cake once we got to your grandparents’ house. We packed all the food and got everyone ready and was pretty much all ready to go but….. we couldn’t find your Korean traditional costume that you were suppose to wear at the party. We looked in every single room and every closet, every box, but never found it. We were planning on doing this Korean traditional ritual with you and needed the costume. So I decided we’d just go to your grandparents’ house to eat dinner with them, and do the cake and the ritual later this week. Once we got there, I found out my dad(your grandpa) didn’t even eat lunch because he thought I was going to bring this big feast for dinner since it was your birthday. But all I made were fish tacos. No appetizers or any other side dishes, just fish tacos. They were good fish tacos but I felt bad that my dad had skipped lunch because he was expecting a big fancy feast for dinner. I felt like I failed you and my dad. I thought about going ahead and decorating the cake for you to at least eat the cake, but I thought about having to make another cake a few days later and decided to just save the cake for later, when we find your costume(I’m hoping we’ll find it) and do the ritual. I’ve been so overwhelmed with life lately that the thought of making another cake just gave me more anxiety.
After we ate our not-fancy dinner, we put a dollop of whipped cream & raspberries on a plate and sang you a birthday song and let you go for it. Grandma kept saying, “Oh, I wish I had bought him a cake!” because she felt bad you didn’t get cake but a dollop of whipped cream instead, not even with a candle. You didn’t seem to mind it and loved the whipped cream! You tried to feed your sister Adi and got it all over her face, and on daddy’s arm. Daddy bathed you in the sink and when we got home I put you to sleep. You fell asleep plopped on my stomach and after I lied you gently on your pillow, I couldn’t stop smelling you and kissing you. You are my one year old boy now. You are growing up way too fast, my sweet little boy. You can wave bye, clap, you look to the window when I say, “Achilles!” and stretch your neck out with wide eyes to look for our dog, you smile constantly and we call you Mr. Smiles. You can say “Uh oh, mama, ppa(you’re trying to say appa which means daddy in Korean), your favorite thing to do is eat and cuddle, and boy can you eat! And cuddle! People love holding you because no matter who reaches out to hold you, you open up your arms and lean towards them and when they hold you, you rest your head on their shoulders. You melt all their hearts and you even made one gentleman teary-eyed at church. He always told me how cute you were and how smiley you were and then he would say, “But I bet he won’t like me, all babies hate me, I make them cry! They’re scared of me, every one of them!” So I told him I was going to prove him wrong and brought you to him. Undoubtedly, you opened your arms and leaned towards him to have him hold you and when he did, you cuddled with him and rested your head on his shoulder. Then you lifted your head back to see his face and then rested right back on his shoulder, and repeated it about two more times. The man’s heart just melted and he held you tight and smiled so big the whole time, with his eyes teary! You make everyone happy, but mostly you make mommy and daddy the happiest since we get to be with you the most. Your sisters adore you and greet you every morning with screams, excitement and hugs. You sure are very loved.
Mommy is trying so hard to be a great mom to you and even though I feel guilty constantly that I can’t do it all or how I should do this and shouldn’t do that, I want you to know that I am so happy I have you. Three kids has been so difficult for me, like mind blowing, overwhelmingly hard, I cry a lot and have anxiety attacks(I’ve never had anxiety attacks before I had 3 kids!) hard, but I am so glad I decided to have a third child because it is you. Mommy loves you. Infinitely.