Our dear sweet little Thatcher just had his first birthday and we celebrated for days! All of his family (and that is A LOT of people) arrived while he was still napping. When he made his grand debut, he didn’t quite understand all that was happening -- I think he was a little confused that ALL the people who love him in his life were all in the same room together. He usually sees a few of us on FaceTime (video chat) more than in person. After he realized who we were though, we had the BEST time. There was a lot of cake smashing, a lot of singing, a lot of playing, and a lot of love for this little man.
I just have to tell you about the sweetest moment of the entire celebration. But, first a little background.
Thatcher is not a snuggler. He is so happy and joyful, but he usually is not a cuddler at all. He loves his routine, something his parents have done well in helping to establish with him. You know when Thatcher is ready for bed, because he just lays his head down wherever he is and puts his thumb in his mouth and “night night Thatcher." From time to time, as he is getting older, he crawls up to his mom or dad and gives them a lingering hug, or Thatcher's version of snuggling. He puts his head on their shoulder and puts his thumb in his mouth and cuddles. Those snuggles are precious. Because he doesn't prefer to snuggle on our terms, when he chooses to give those hugs and snuggles it really means something. He's choosing to express something. He gives hugs and snuggles because he loves and values who he is with.
So, back to the celebration…
One of Thatcher’s little buddies, Henry, and his parents dropped by one of the nights we were with Thatcher -- they just live down the block from Thatcher and his mom and dad. Thatcher and Henry are only two months apart; they are going to grow up together and share life, and it’s just so fun to watch them interact. When Henry arrived and Thatcher realized who he was, Thatcher immediately clamored to get down from the chair he had been sitting on. He crawled over to Henry, pulled himself up on Henry, and put his head on Henry’s shoulder. Thatcher would alternate from looking right at Henry and baby talking and then put his head back on his shoulder. They hugged, in the way that only just-turned-one-year-olds can. At first, little Henry didn't really know what to do... thinking, "Why is this guy hugging me?” But after a minute or so, they both tumbled, mid hug, to the ground. And then the laughing and squealing began.
So… here is what I learned from Thatcher (and his friend Henry):
1. Always greet your friends with gusto. They’ll like that a lot.
2. Don’t be afraid to show you love your friends, even if you might fall in the process. That’s okay too.
3. I wish I could share love as easy as Thatcher did when he saw Henry. He didn’t worry about whether Henry would reject him, or laugh at him. He was just glad to see his friend and he told him so…. in his own way.
4. We are made for connection. We need each other.
5. It’s a risk sharing the most vulnerable parts of ourselves, but in the sharing, we become richer and our relationships have more meaning.
That’s all I have for today... just a cyber hug and some cyber cookies and milk. I owe you!