Today BabyRoX is 11 months old. Eleven! Wow. That happened…fast. Soon he won’t be BabyRoX. He’ll be ToddleRoX. (But we’ll still call him BabyRoX.)

He’s trying to walk. I’m not ready for that milestone just yet. I’m not ready to watch my baby stand up and run away from me. But I’m also not going to stop him. I’m trying to think about all the fun, awesome things we’ll be able to do in the year ahead. We will go for nature walks and ride trains and sort things and stack things and cook food and eat food and make art and roll down hills. He’ll be able to do more and more and more big-people things. He’ll start talking. Whole sentences, not just Mama and Hi and Bye. It’s going to be awesome! I know it!

But yes, I’m a little sad and sniffly, looking at his newborn pics and kissing his little nose and watching him look at me with such excitement and adoration, because even though he is only 11 months old today, it went by so fast that I feel like he will be 15 years old in no time at all. And I’m just not ready to have a teenager! They usually don’t look at their mothers with excitement and adoration, unless that mother is handing out car keys or money or delicious food. You know how some people don’t really dig the baby stage? Well. I am not one of those people. I have ALWAYS loved babies. I will sit and hold babies for hours and not get bored. So of course I’m a little sad to be exiting the baby stage with my own darling baby.

The past 11 months have truly been the best of my life. There was an interesting post on A Practical Wedding yesterday, concerning mixed feelings around motherhood. It’s a topic I’ve seen elsewhere on the Interwebs, too. And I think it’s important to acknowledge that people are different, and there is no ONE universal experience of anything, let alone something as complex and layered and life-changing as motherhood. But I had read all this stuff about how it’s hard work having kids, and how juggling the mother identity with all the other aspects of myself could be really difficult and maybe not so happy. I was fully prepared to welcome any and all emotions that becoming a mom, giving birth, and having a tiny person to take care, would bring. Actually, I was expecting to struggle a good bit. But for me, this has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. I lucked out. My birth was amazing and just how I envisioned. I had a healthy, happy baby that still rarely fusses. I was surrounded by support. Breastfeeding was no problem. I didn’t have post-partum depression or anxiety. All of these circumstances combined to let me absorb the massive amounts of oxytocin flooding my system, to sit with my precious little boy and just fall head over heels in love.

Yes, I think having an empowering, peaceful, unmedicated homebirth played a role in my transition to motherhood. Yes, I think encapsulating my placenta helped with my postpartum recovery and hormone shift. Obviously, having a healthy and laid-back baby made the whole taking care of a newborn stage WAY easier. And I do think some of this was just… luck. Good fortune. In any case, the past 11 months have been filled with more joy and love than I could have imagined – and my life was already filled with generous amounts of both. BabyRoX is an inquisitive, active, happy little guy. He loves to sing and drum on things. He loves to study people – intently. He takes about 10 minutes to warm up to a new place, and then he’s off exploring. He is an amazing climber and will scale near-vertical inclines with impressive speed. He does NOT like to wear socks. Because he loves to suck on his toes. New places and new people delight him. Laughter delights him even more. When he eats foods he likes, he throws his hands up in the air and dances. He prefers savory to sweet to and warm to cold.

Sometimes he bites.

Hey, no one’s perfect.

But to me and Mark, he’s the best. He’s our favorite person other than each other to hang out with. And just wait til you see his Halloween costume! OMG. I can’t even.