A year ago today, I went to the hospital to meet my little wolf baby. She had grown in my uterus for a solid nine months and was ready to meet the world. That night there was a full moon, the first full moon of the year- the wolf moon.
I wanted Jojo to be born on the wolf moon so badly, or Friday the 13th. Either one worked for me. Anything to imbue a bit of magic and wonder into her first breaths. Call me superstitious, I don't care. I just wanted her to be magical.
And she was. She is! Granted, I don't doubt she would have been less magical if I didn't go into labor at 2am, under the full moon, in the freezing snow, watching my breath come out in puffs and trying to hold her in until we got to the hospital. But she did.
A Strong Start
From the moment Jojo was born, she was strong, curious, and amazing. She immediately suckled, and spent the first few days in the hospital completely happy and full of snuggles.
I was overcome with an aching love for her the moment she was born. I blame Peatuk. He taught me how amazing a baby could be and prepared me to be enthusiastically loving towards his sister.
An Amazing Brother-Sister Bond
He prepared himself, too. Over the past year, Peatuk has been one of the best big brothers I could have hoped for. He loved this little cub as soon as he saw her through the nursery window. Since then, his love for her has only grown. He is kind, caring, and patient with Jojo. He is excited to show her things, to share with her. He takes joy in her development. He is protective of her.
Jojo returns his love. She adores her big brother, always wants to be close to him, and learns so many skills from him.
I hoped they would get along, but I never imagined that they would become so close. So many times they move around the house as a unit, playing, and exploring together. Of course they get on each other's nerves. Sometimes Peatuk is too snuggly. Sometimes Jojo wants to knock down his towers. But overall, they are amazing siblings.
Surrounded By Love
It wasn't just her immediate family that gave Jojo immense amounts of love and attention this past year. Her extended family and friends also showered her with affection and taught her so many things.
This has made Jojo a confident, open, trusting baby.
But Daddy's Little Girl
Even though Jojo has so many people who love her, she has shown a strong preference for daddy. From bathing with daddy during the first weeks when mama was too tired to hold her in the shower, snuggling with daddy in bed or on the couch, and playing with daddy… she always lights up as soon as daddy is around.
She loves being thrown in the air or tickled by daddy. When daddy comes home from work she immediately crawls to him, crying to be picked up and loved. At night, she likes being rocked by daddy and, in the mornings, snuggling up with him in bed.
A Year of Adventures and Explorations
The adventures our family went on this year might have been fewer than normal. We didn't even leave the country and haven't bothered to get Jojo a passport! But even small trips feel like an adventure when we're exploring our surroundings with such a curious human.
Jojo takes delight in the world around her. She loves new experiences, and as long as she is cuddled up in a carrier, she travels quite well.
Hikes, camping, simple walks around town, WordCamp, or taking care of a totally gross bungalow, they are all adventures with Jojo.
A Year of Development
The first year of development is by far the most obvious and, often, the most exciting. So many milestones shared. Jojo learned to roll over, to crawl, to stand up on her own, and almost walk.
She went from cooing to babbling, and now I swear she is developing her own intricate language.
She can stack 2-3 blocks on top of each other. She can sit up straight in a chair or alone on the couch. She can get off the bed. She can give hugs and blow kissing sounds.
Just the other day she added clapping and scribbling on paper with colored pencils to her list of can-dos. Maybe it's just because I'm her mother, but I find her incredibly smart, determined, and curious. It is going to be a joy to watch her grow up and learn more.
And Always Loved By Mama
For the past year, I have had the pleasure of staying home with Jojo. Day in and day out, I am by her side. We cuddle and watch movies. We nap. We go for long walks. She hangs out while I work or write. I play little games with her. We sing and dance together and spend a lot of time giggling.
I won't say there haven't been hard moments this past year. Jojo has her sour moments when she's tired or sick, just like anyone does. But overall this year has flown by. I am completely in love with this little girl.
Hopes for the Future
We never know what the future will bring, but there are several things I hope it has in store for Jojo. I hope that she continues to have lots of love- that the people around her are affectionate, understanding, and patient with her. I hope that she has many adventures- all around the world and back again. I hope that she continues to grow and develop in her own special ways. I wish her a long, healthy life filled with joy.
Most of all, I just hope that she will keep being her amazing self.