HALL THINGS CONSIDERED: Happy 1st Birthday to my son Jaxson!

On the left, Jaxson was about two days old. On the right, Jaxson was celebrating the 4th of July, just a few days before his first birthday.

Just like a couple of weeks ago, it seemed as though it was not meant for me to write this column. I’ve been under the weather the past several days and so I wasn’t able to get around to this as quickly as I had hoped.

However, today just so happens to be my son Jaxson’s very first birthday and so I could not let this opportunity pass by without acknowledging

it. Even as I write this with only a few short hours before our deadline, I have to dedicate this one to our baby boy who is growing up right before our eyes.

For many, it has probably felt like the world has stood still for the past year. But for my wife, Carmen, and I, it has absolutely flown by.

It felt like just last week we were getting excited to share the news of Carmen’s pregnancy with everyone. And now we are already celebrating our little one turning 1.

If you’ve followed this column recently, then you have learned what it’s been like for us raising Jaxson thus far. Of course, I’ve used many of those columns to talk about how he gets into mischief and how we can’t turn our heads for a second if we don’t want to see something get broken.

So since it’s his special day, I’ll go easy on him and share what a joy and a blessing it has been to be his father these past 12 months.

I’ll never forget getting to see him for the first time, getting to take the first picture of him when the nurse put him on the scales, and then getting to hold him for the first time after they checked him out and got him all cleaned up.

Then after a stay in the hospital that lasted a little bit longer than we had planned, we got to take him home and share him with his family.

All of his grandparents were so proud to get to finally meet him which made me even more proud. Then all of them supported us as much as they could the next several weeks and still continue to do so a year later.

Then came all of the “firsts” we got to celebrate with little Jaxson.

For his first Halloween we weren’t able to go anywhere but we still dressed him up in a little dinosaur costume.

Then for his first Thanksgiving and Christmas, we got the chance to celebrate and show him off to a few more relatives he hadn’t got to meet yet.

On New Year’s Eve, I celebrated the best way I ever had by holding a sleeping baby while watching the ball drop.

For Easter weekend, we took Jaxson to the Laurel Lake Camping Resort to get his picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Then the next morning we went to church, and afterwards he decided he wanted to nap more than he wanted to hunt eggs.

And for his first Independence Day, well, like I mentioned, I was under the weather along with Carmen and Jaxson. But we still got him dressed up in red, white and blue, and got to see a few of the neighborhood fireworks from our back porch.

Aside from all of the holidays, we’ve also been blessed to see him reach new milestones almost weekly.

First he learned how to roll himself over onto his belly, and then roll himself back over onto his back. That led to him being able to do an army crawl which led to him being able to do a regular crawl.

Then he started to figure out that he could pull himself up onto his walker and to some of our furniture. From there, he slowly started cruising along our couches and tables. And then he started to get real brave and take “baby steps” from one chair to the next.

Now we have a 1-year-old who is walking all over the house and getting wherever he wants to go in the blink of an eye.

All of his other habits have progressed along the way as well.

When he was first born, we were barely able to get him to eat. Now, he has no problem eating or drinking, and does not hesitate to pick up any crumb he finds to put in his mouth.

His sleep schedule still really isn’t a schedule, but whenever he does decide to go to bed, he usually gives us a pretty good night’s rest.

And considering how much we have to travel because of our family being spread out, he has always done well on the roads and out and about. He only cries when he’s hungry or when he’s dirtied a diaper. And he does well in his stroller when we need to go out.

It has truly been a joy witnessing all of this but it’s also been a joy just getting to be with him.

I know that the next several years are going to go by even faster than this past one did. So I’ve just been trying to do my best to cherish every precious moment with him while I can.

I try to take as many pictures as I can and record as many videos as I can because every day with him has truly been special.

He is just such a precious blessing from God and I’m so thankful to get to be his father.

I hope you have a Happy First Birthday, Jaxson! Daddy loves you more than you’ll ever know!

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