Our little boy turns one.
The little boy that had to fight so hard to take his first breath has been with us for one year.
It's sort of unreal that this day is here - the pain, drama, sleepless nights that started a year ago are so vivid and real that it seems impossible to have made it through 365 days. Then you look back and it feels like the blink of an eye. All the cliche statements are true and I don't need to write them all here - you all know.
Shell wanted very much to put up a bunch of pictures (big surprise there, eh?) and post a blog entry. For me, it's been hard to know what to say these past few months. Life is so busy and we get so little sleep that it all just runs together into kind of a blurry mess. When I used to sit down and write these blog entries, I'd usually have a point to make - something that had to be said. But the real story is one of struggle and pain and living on so little sleep that you can't think straight. Truth be told, yes, there are genuinely amazing moments that happen all the time - but they're so mixed into the sleepless blur it's hard to remember them clearly.
I think people want to see our family grow up together, see how the spirited fight that our youngest boy has in him and see where his life goes. And there's no shortage of fight in this little boy, let me tell you. That being said, this blog has been a very, very personal airing of feelings and it's hard to find the courage to keep that going all the time. Sometimes to say exactly how we feel about something, it means sharing stories and details that are too personal for the web to see. Afterall, we have real people - ones who may be reading this blog right now - that come into our home in a professional capacity everyday of the week. We have public agencies that have the right to pry into our lives at any time - and they can read this blog. So it's very hard to share our day to day story in the tone I've always written in, because, well, I usually don't like pulling punches, softening the blows, etc. Rough stuff happens all the time and the smallest things can send our day into a tailspin - but as much as you want to shout those things out, we need all these people that aren't just family or friends. So the blog is going to evolve into Shell's daily control - something she can post the pictures of our days on, tell her side of the story and keep everyone in the know about how things are going here on the homefront, where we fight the fight that legends are made of on a daily basis.
What I can say about this past year is this:
I've never been prouder to be a father than the past year. My three children have made me the proudest man in the world. Michailey and Emme have proved themselves to be amazing little girls that get amazing grades in school, love their special brother without thinking about it, and love each other and their parents more than anything in the world.
Mikey has opened my eyes (and continues to do so) to just how normal he really is. He needs love. Check. He likes to be tickled. Check. He knows my voice and it makes him happy to hear me and see me. Check. Check. Check.
I can admit that it's hard to accept that I'm not raising the boy I thought I would have. I fall prey to wondering why it happened to him. What really happens is that I selfishly don't put him first and I put my own desires first. I can't say I won't do it, but with Shell's help, I'm realizing just how normal Mikey really is.
One year ago today, my wife and son's lives were in the balance. It wasn't hypothetical - it was real. It wasn't a tv show. Today, they've both had their passports stamped in St. Maarten and spent a week in New Orleans at a 5 star hotel. They're here, full of life and love - no matter what your sense of a higher power is, you can't tell me it isn't amazing.
Check out our slide show! I'm working on getting them into the blog, but for now, click here!