November 01, 2005

One Year Ago

One year ago today, I looked like this in the morning and like this in the evening. Our family went from an equal number of grownups and children to the grownups being outnumbered. Unless you count the dog, we females also gained the majority a year ago. Unfortunately, the brown eyed group gained ascendancy over the blue eyed Adamses. But all those classifications of who is winning and who is losing don't add up to the win we all have with our youngest and shortest family member.

Labor with The Baby was not as easy or relatively painless as it had been with The Middle Girl, much to my disappointment. It also took longer than I had hoped. But the end result and the unexpected arrival of my second daughter was well worth it all. Some days I still can't quite believe I have two daughters, which for someone who never had a sister seems like uncharted territory.

The Baby has always seemed to be more easy going than her big sister, who is not known around here as the Drama Queen without good reason. The Baby is generally calm and generally smiling, although now that she can walk and fancies herself one of the big kids, she's starting to believe in property rights. In other words, everything is or should be her property.

The Baby is like her siblings in many ways. She crawled about the same age (between five and six months) and she started walking at about the same age (around eleven months). She has a ready smile and loves to wave to "her public" (all the people behind us) when we're at church.

She's also different in many ways than her siblings. Her skin and eyes are darker. She's shorter and lighter weight (so small that on her first birthday she still weighs too little to be turned around forward facing in her carseat). Although she reached milestones at much the same time she did it in her own way, dragging herself in a combat crawl for a month or more before actually crawling and taking half a dozen steps at a time for weeks before walking, unlike her siblings who took off and walked everywhere within a day of putting a few steps together.

The main physical difference though between The Baby and her siblings is, of course, her birthmark. I didn't notice it at birth, though my husband says he did, but within a very few days it was very obvious that she had a red mark on her forehead. It looked like she'd come pre-marked as a Hindu with a caste mark. I'd heard of birthmarks, of course, but I'd never really thought about them and never really known what kinds or types there were. I'd never heard the word hemangioma before. I wasn't really prepared to see one on my daughter's forehead and it bothered me for a long time. I covered it up for months every time we left the house.

It still bothers me. I'd still cover it up if she'd stop ripping her hats off. I think she's beautiful, wonderful and brilliant. I want those qualities to be the first things everyone notices and not the fact that she has a large red lump on her head.

She won't wear a hat very often anymore, and that, as with many other parenting adventures has taught me a lot. It's taught me patience -- I have to wait for the mark to go down and fade -- and taught me to deal with my own embarrassments, to not worry about what others think so much and also to explain and talk about hemangiomas to others who have never heard of them. I guess I'll always be a bit sensitive about it, but I hope that my sensitivity continues to fade as her birthmark is fading already.

In the meantime, my little one year old cares not at all about her mother's neuroses as long as they don't interfere with her morning nur-nur which she craves more than any adult craves morning coffee. After her wake up milk, she takes on the day, toddling and babbling with the best of them. I think I'm incredibly lucky to know her. Happy Birthday Baby Girl!



My oldest nephew had a birthmark on his neck and it was gone little by little. His daughter has one on the top of her head, raised like baby Beatrix's. It'll probably fade too. I know it's not a huge deal, but it is difficult if you've not had a child with one before.

Love to you on her birthday!

Posted by: melissa at November 1, 2005 09:41 AM

It's actually already fading. It was much brighter red and less blotchy 6 months ago.

Posted by: Jordana at November 1, 2005 09:43 AM

Happy birthday to sweet baby Bea! She needs to come east and give Jay some walking lessons ;)

Posted by: Lenise at November 1, 2005 09:58 AM

I'm thrilled to share a birthday with her! Happy birthday, young lady!

Posted by: RP at November 1, 2005 10:29 AM

Such a wonderful smile!
Happy birthday no so little one.

Posted by: Sarah G. at November 1, 2005 11:11 AM

Happy Birthday Bea! We can't call her "Baby Bea" anymore, as she is a full-fledged toddler. Her smile will go on to melt many hearts.

God has a way of humbling us sometimes, yet He blesses us above and beyond what we deserve. Blessing starts with a Bea.

Posted by: MarcV at November 1, 2005 11:14 AM

Since I consider myself more of an auntie (should I say almost antie) it is with sheer delight and pride that I can wish sweet little Bea the happiest of birthdays.
And my love to you and the rest of the family too!

Posted by: Blair at November 1, 2005 04:55 PM

Another milestone! I hope she enjoys her special day.

Posted by: Meredith at November 1, 2005 08:39 PM

Happy Birthday to the beautiful Baby Girl!!!!

Amazing how fast time flies.

Posted by: chris at November 2, 2005 06:16 AM

Happy Birthday, small one. I'm sorry I forgot a present, but I have a coupla empty cardboard boxes around here that I suspect would do just as well to keep her entertained.

Posted by: skinnydan at November 2, 2005 07:56 AM

Yes, yes, I'm late to the party, but Happy Birthday, Bea! And many many many more!!!

Posted by: angie at November 2, 2005 10:29 AM

Happy birthday, Sweet Bea! What a beautiful Baby.

Posted by: Another Jordana at November 2, 2005 07:09 PM