>Ten. 10 months. This week, I had to fill out my schedule request for the next 6-week schedule to come out, and I had to remember to mark myself off for the big day: Zachary’s first birthday is that soon. And then, as if I wasn’t already feeling that, today I got an email from the photography studio we use to recieve some discounts for his first birthday photos. And yesterday in Target, I saw all of the Birthday Boy stuff they have. And I started bawling in the middle of the store when I saw the little tee with a big blue 1 on the chest.

It was just yesterday.

It seems as if Zach’s first year is flying by even quicker than Evan’s did. As a matter of fact, next month, because of the way everyone’s work schedule is falling, we are going to be making the trip down to John’s parents’ to celebrate Zach’s birthday with them. There’ll be cake and ice cream, and of course presents. And we’ll sing “Happy Birthday” to him. And I will cry. Just like I cry every year with Evan. But Zach? This is hitting me even harder. Maybe it is because I’m getting older. Maybe it is because we always assumed Evan was to be the only child and Zach seems even more of a gift because of it. And more than anything, I don’t ever want that gift to leave me. Having an older child has shown me just how quickly it all goes by. And so while this is the first birthday of many, I know that 2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9…..that they will all whirr by me in rapid succession. The tee with the blue one on it for that day and then the next day he is wearing a cap and gown, or a tux for his wedding. And even then, it will still have been just yesterday.

Just yesterday that I felt the last of those horrendous contractions and I begged the NICU staff to bring him to me. Just yesterday that the days of new babyhood flashed in a blur of home and togetherness and cuddles. Just yesterday that I held him on my chest and cried from his beauty.

So today, Zach is 10 months old. For 10 months, my very soul has existed outside of my body. For ten months, I have witnessed a miracle daily. And I won’t bore you with milestones reached or new things he is doing, other than to tell you that we swear he said “Bubby” the other day, which is what we call Evan. This was the first time he made a consonant sound, and so now we know he is okay. Everything has fallen into place. He has escaped the debaucle of his pregnancy and premature birth literally unscathed, making him even more of a miracle.

2 months left of his first year…

I have loved being this little boy’s mother. I cannot believe that he was not always a part of the plan. John is my heart. Evan has been my life and my breath. But Zach? Zach is my soul.


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