To me, Henry, parenting is like.. baking a cupcake.
First, you have to bake the cake.
And that cake? If you do it right, it's delicious.
But man. They're easy to mess up. And I do. A lot.
And there are all these recipes on how to bake the best one. And if there are a million recipes, how the heck do you know which one is best?
And sometimes.. I bake the exact recipe twice and one time it's perfectly happy..gregarious, even, and the next time, it's moody.
I'm not saying you're moody.
I'm saying that baby Harper prepared me for moody cake.
I'm saying that she is the cupcake.
And in the weeks leading up to your birth, I prepared myself.
For a cupcake who didn't sleep..ever, who wanted absolute. constant. contact. For a very, very loud cupcake. For an unpredictable cupcake. For a cupcake only Daddy and I understood. Usually. Hopefully.
A big cupcake? A little cupcake? You never really know until it's time to pull them out.
In my vast baking experience, all I knew is that if I tried really, really hard and I never gave up that the cupcake would turn out great.
You know.. after the colic subsided. And I learned cupcake language. And the cupcake learned to walk. And choose her own clothes.
Now it might sound like I'm talking down on the cupcake, but hear me out:
When you've never made a cupcake? Never even changed a cupcake's..liner? Cupcakes are scary and hard!
Just keep cuddling the cupcake.
Laugh with the cupcake.
Cry with the cupcake.
Read to the cupcake.
Kiss the cupcake.
Chase the cupcake.
Teach the cupcake.
Keep. Cuddling. The. Cupcake.
That was my plan for cupcake #2. In it's entirety. Plus handy acquired knowledge such as the expert wielding of the bulb syringe for snotty cupcakes and immobilizing, yet humane holds for dressing squirmy cupcakes.
That's how to make them great.
Because that's what happened with your sister.
(Your BFF, who, much to my delight, has taken to kissing you and hugging you many times a day. And my Lord.. When you lean your head down for her to kiss it? I die. Right there. Every time.)
But sweet Henry, here I was, preparing for a cupcake for nine whole months. . .
Fretting about the symphony of ingredients and how to measure them perfectly...when to add them.
And how on Earth I was going to bake two cupcakes at once.
I didn't have a double oven and everybody knows you can't just throw them in there together and hope for the best.
I didn't have two recipes and the recipe I have takes so much tweaking.. so much trial and error.
What I never, ever expected, is that 365 days ago, I wouldn't get a cupcake.
At 5:55 p.m. on December 14th, 2011,
I got the icing.
Happy 1st birthday, sweet, sweet, sweet, smart, easy, happy, funny, fearless, excited, loving, cuddly Henry.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming to us.