Can it really be one year? Our baby boy adds a vertical line to his age today as we celebrate his first birthday. Thanks be to God for this milestone!
Beau was born on an unsuspecting sunny February day. Just like with Sloan, we had no idea we would welcome a child on the date that we did. But after the doctor did a quick exam on Sidney at a routine checkup and proclaimed “You’re going to have a baby today,” there was no looking back.
Just a few hours later Beau would be born. He entered the world in the waning days of pre-pandemic normalcy. Despite the challenges he would soon face, those few sweet moments when Sidney and I held our son immediately after the delivery were filled with indescribable joy.
After that short period of bliss, Beau’s irregular breathing would come into focus. After a couple days at Conway Medical Center he would be transferred to McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, SC, where he was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. A 10-day stay in the NICU was trying on us all but we could not have felt more blessed that mid-February day when we took a healthy baby boy home to his adoring sister.
And healthy he would remain for the duration of his first year on this planet. Beau has had a happy, ailment-free 11.5 months. Don’t get me wrong, he has faced developmental challenges such as a misshaped head and some eating issues but nothing that some therapy couldn’t handle. And by no means would those issues mess with our son’s natural pleasant and low-key temperament, a nice complement to his sister’s rather unruly personality.
Beau has rolled with the punches since making his debut. A cross country move didn’t rattle him nor did a couple months away from his daddy (although the same can’t be said for the old man). He wore wires for two weeks in the NICU and a helmet for four months in the summer. He has thrived in a pandemic world and impressed his fellow passengers on long plane rides. Simply, Beau is a cool customer. He sleeps soundly, eats a lot, and loves to cuddle.
Our family has benefited so much because of Beau. I have my son, Sid has her mama’s boy, and Sloan has her brother. Beau has brought symmetry to our Reser clan and with it a new familial identify that I really dig. I couldn’t imagine life without him.
As I reflect on his first year, a lot of favorite memories come to mind. His triumphant homecoming when we was discharged from McLeod. His baptism at St. Andrew in front of family and friends. Our reunion at the airport after two long months. The hilarious and heartfelt interactions between him and his sister. The moment when crawling just clicked and he was off to the races. The time he unexpectedly picked up Sloan’s milk cup and guzzled everything that was remaining.
Over the next year, Beau will walk and start to say words. But before we focus on those developmental achievements, we will take today and the rest of the weekend to celebrate the road he paved just to arrive at this point. We love our Beau Bear very much and thank God for giving us such a blessing. Don’t Blink.