Dear Benjamin: 1 Year Old, Music, Mimosas, and Cake

February 10th, 2016

Can you believe this kid?


Yea. Me neither.


This weekend… We celebrated my son’s first birthday. It was full of fun, mimosas, neighbors, family, toys, giggles, more mimosas and of course, cake. I shed no tears (sike)… but it was truly all joy and pride in the fact that Burley, myself (and a host of other friends, family and neighbors) kept a human alive for an entire year and the fact that he is a bright, shining personality full of life and vigor.


Last Tuesday night (Benjamin’s birthdays eve) was a surprisingly emotional time. I had thought a few times, “man… I can’t believe this kid will be 1 tomorrow.” However, it wasn’t until my mother in law started sending me photos of the card game we were playing as my contractions started getting stronger, the candles that sat on the windowsill in our hospital room – overlooking the city of Atlanta as we labored through the hardest night of our lives… That I began to dwell on all this first year had been (read: fall to pieces).








Everything there is to say about a child turning 1 has all been said before.


“Where did the time go? I can’t believe it has already been a year”
“Was that only just a year? It feels like forever!”
“Being a parent is actually harder and more painful than even the pains of labor”
“I drink more during the week than I did before”


It’s all very true.


But, for my little Benjamin I would like to take a moment to recap what celebrating you looked like. And spoiler alert… It was good:










On your birthday (a Wednesday) we decided to throw you a party (the following Saturday). Yes, it sounds like we were behind the 8 ball… and we were. But you must understand son, you were only 1. You had no idea what a birthday was.


We decided it would be fun to get most of the people who have helped us bring you up this year, in one room and celebrate what we’ve all accomplished in you. So I decided to make a cake (more to come on that catastrophe), your uncle James and aunt Mer brought the champagne, your dad made bloody marys, and the rest of the crew provided the after-party that was an all day Superbowl extravaganza.


We sat on the living room floor as you opened gifts (queue the outfit change into your Michaelangelo ninja turtle gear), we played guitar as you showed off your newly discovered dance moves, we cheered you on as you waddled from person to person, and my heart burst at its seams.










This year… (whoops, I said I wasn’t going to do this… oh well) has been a true picture of “it takes a village.”


The people that surrounded you on your birthday are the hands that held you in the living room when I needed just 1. Freaking. Hour. Of. Sleep in your first sleepless months. They are the eyes that watched you for an hour or two when I needed to head out for a last minute meeting. They are the bodies that offered to take over (for free, I might add) so I could go have some mexican food and a margarita and feel like a normal human being. They are the ears that listened as I cried “This is really freaking hard.” They are the hearts that have truly loved you as their own and treated you that way since the moment you came to be.


They are the village that have raised you up in your first year, and I am so beyond grateful for each and every one of them. God was so very good in choosing this time and place for you to start your very important journey ahead.










So yea… your first birthday was catered to them mostly and a little to you, and you will get that some day.


But in all fairness, we did let you go to toooooooown on some chocolate cake, which was highly outside of your dad and I’s comfort zone, so I hope you appreciate that.


You are a clown and far too sharp for your 1 small year. You love a crowd, and you laugh with the adults like you are the one writing all the jokes. You cheer and clap and then laugh at our reactions as you find out how to own a room. You give 1 second kissed and .5 second hugs and I eat them up to the last drop. You pick up heavy things and love to hit me and Macey, especially when I tell you not to. You have my wild eyes and your dad’s charming smile that could melt a thousand hearts.


I couldn’t be more proud of who you are becoming. Calling you mine is the greatest honor i’ve ever known.


Happy Birthday, Benjamin.






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Maddie Richardson


Co-Founder, Marketwake Digital Marketer, Web Designer,
Atlanta Creative

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