When I turned 14, my parents birthday present to me were my baby videos on VHS (I got a cell phone too, but that’s not the moral of the story). I know it sounds anti-climactic for a teenager’s birthday present, but I was thrilled with the videos. I had only known the older me, the me I was then – I had always wanted to know what I was like as a kid. Of course, Grandma M and Pop-Pop 3 had kept very detailed photo albums, but videos are different. You get to see yourself in action, you get to witness your personality instead of hearing about it second-hand.
In my first baby video, I threw up. Everywhere. It wasn’t exactly the romantic notion of my “adorable” baby videos like I had imagined. But luckily, that one was followed by cuter ones – I remember one of me laughing in my old bedroom, and it reminds me so much of you, just laughing at absolutely nothing but finding it hilarious nonetheless. The other one I remember really well is of me using myownbaby walker (like the one I got you) to run away from my dad. I remember that Pop-Pop 3 talked to me in every video, like he was narrating my life for me since I couldn’t do it yet.
Now, since J is a photographer and E is like lightning with the video camera and I play around with both of those mediums, you are going to have a very well documented childhood. But just in case you get the “what was I like then” bug and don’t want to wait for all of us to gather the mass media we have on you, here’s the abridged version of you as a baby, my Little Man.
You’re not afraid of anything. Not dogs or stairs or falling down. You dive head-first into everything.
You’re tough. You get right back up when you take a tumble.
You’re adventurous. Everything you see that you want to know about, you find out about.
You’re a quick learner. It doesn’t take you long to pick up on something once you’ve seen or heard someone do it.
You’ve been incredibly observational since you were a baby. I used to just walk around the house with you and you’d stare wide-eyed at everything we passed, like you were just taking it all in.
You’re mischievous. You’ve got the perfect I’m-up-to-something-I-shouldn’t-be smile.
You’re the world’s biggest daddy’s boy. If E is within a mile of you, he’d better be right next to you…or else.
You’re cranky after you wake-up from a nap. I still love you, though :)
Everything Sports Man does, you want to do. It’s cute to watch. You adore him.
You want what you want. I suppose that’s a universal toddler trait, but either way – when you want something, no one is going to stop you from getting it. That’ll come in handy later on in life.
Overall, you are and always have been a very smiley little guy.
You say “cheese” whenever someone points a camera or an iPhone at you.
You blow kisses every time you say goodbye.
You can outrun me when you have the element of surprise on your side, and I jog regularly. Not okay.
You love being around people.
When you accomplish something you’ve been working at, no matter how small it is, you smile the world’s biggest smile at whoever is closest to you. Sometimes you say “yay!”
Until you started walking, you loved being held. It might have had something to do with the fact that you were never put down (I remember J saying she had to vacuum with you strapped to her chest in the Baby Bjorn), but you’ve always been incredibly huggable so that’s not our fault.
If you’ve been sitting or after you fall down, the way you stand back up is by getting on all fours, walking your hands to your feet and sticking your tiny butt straight up in the air to regain your balance before you stand again. It’s the cutest thing ever.
You’ve always had my eyes and C’s mouth. The rest of you is just…you. 100% unique.
Everyone loves your chin. I have a feeling it will remain very popular.
You exclaim, “Doggy!” anytime a dog walks past you. Even if it’s walked past you a hundred times in five minutes.
You sleep with a “lovey” at night. It’s a type of blanket. If you wake up without it, you cry.
You stick out your bottom lip when you cry really hard.
You’ve definitely got your own personality. The grins (from the cute to the mischievous), the Liam laugh, the “come and get me” looks, even the cries – they’re all one of a kind.
And one last thing you may not know about yourself, but is undoubtedly true – you are special. To so many people in so many ways, and I feel very lucky to be able to know all of the things about you that I do. I promise to continue making videos of the things I see and memories of all of the things in between.
And if you ever get a girlfriend, I reserve the right to show, read and tell her every last one.