You, Shmelty Caleb, walked right into your first birthday on your own two feet. I sit here watching you toddle around on those unsteady legs with such determination and the happy resolve to be just like your three adoring big bros - the wealth I have is beyond measure. I couldn't imagine a sweeter moment that very first time I laid a kiss upon your healthy newborn cheek, but my imagination was idle because these days - the days that mark this first year since your birth - have given me one sweet touch, one treasured memory, one heart-achingly beautiful moment upon another.
The person that lies within this little body is exquisite - full of loving pats, unending smiles, sensitive and tender perception and boundless curiosity.
You are the catalyst for your big(gest) brother's deeply burning desire for "more brothers". He frequently reminds me that you are THE MOST WONDERFUL BABY IN THE WHOLE WORLD. Today, when he awoke, he sought you out first, affixing a wet kiss upon the top of your head and saying, "you are MY precious boy". This kind of love is infectious.
Before I rescued you from your crib post-naptime, today, Paugie went in and comforted you, jumping into your crib, pulling you into his arms and saying, "Mommy is coming, but you don't have to worry because I'm here with you". My heart is a puddle on the floor. Again.
I frequently encounter you chasing down Jevy, pestering him with insistence on being a part of whatever he's currently about. The blessed introvert has adapted and now actually enjoys your presence, often seeking you out for a "fast and furious" game of ball with the exercise ball, which is officially bigger than you are. I often witness the subtle hand-off of his chocolate to you (the ultimate sacrifice of a chocolate lover), whilst you sit side-by-side in your matching high chairs.
Yesterday, you stood on the porch, waved your hand at Daddy and said, "buh bye" in a soft voice and saddened expression, as he left for work. The understanding you reflect of the world around you astounds me.
I love the way you growl at me when I deter you from an intended mission, laugh as I hoist you into my arms and lay your head so trustingly against me as I hold you tightly. You are my heart shmelter.