A year ago this evening, I held you close and whispered reassurances into your ear as a NICU nurse finally, after hours of attempts, set an IV catheter into a vein in your scalp. Our littlest unicorn baby.
Today, I arrived home from work and you ran to me, arms outstretched. I picked you up and swung you around and grinned at your squealing laughter.
A year ago, you wailed in frustration and fear, unable to easily latch on to nurse with all the complications the hospital brings (and an undiagnosed tongue tie, to boot). I cried alongside you because I couldn't fix any of it.
Today, you lie next to me, sweetly sleeping and making tiny, contented noises. Body curled towards me, hand laid upon my breast; you're a much sturdier and larger boy than a year ago. The only tears I shed today are those used to remember the fear and sorrow from last year, and the loving gratitude I feel today.
I wish I could hug myself a year ago. "This will pass. You'll get through it. It's going to get so much better."
But we made it through without that future knowledge.
And it is so good.