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Parenting 101: Timothy's first year

My beloved son, Timothy:

From the time you were very small, I called you different nicknames: Choclo, Campeón, Héroe, Ganador, Chupi, Boppi, Biscocho, Flecha, Luchador, Corredor, Botón, and more. Campeón (Champion) was one of my favorites because you had already overcome a number of hurdles. Although the odds of pregnancy were not in our favor, you came anyway after your mommy underwent surgery for endometriosis. Then, at birth, your umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck three times. I was so, so glad when you actually arrived, healthy and beautiful.

With your birth behind us, we were a family of three. Your first summer welcomed you with 35 days of 100-plus-degree temperatures. We had just purchased a new air conditioner for your room, and we would wake up at night to make sure that you were okay. Fortunately, the nature of our work allowed for one of us to be with you at all times. This helped your mommy to make sure that you got breast milk for as long and as much as possible. And although she took the longer shifts at home, I enjoyed taking you on spins in my car to pay bills or meet with radio clients. You were easygoing; as long as I was moving, you were okay. Your mommy and I had zero experience, only theories, on how to raise children. But we soon learned the difference between a hungry cry, a poopy-diaper cry, and an I-want-attention cry. I enjoyed watching you and learning from you.
I remember when you were only about 20 inches long. You could lay on one of my arms while I held your head with my hand. You would smile and look up as I tried to water the lawn. Those moments were priceless. Only heaven can testify to the majesty of these ordinary yet life-giving moments. Recently at church I was asked to pray at the baby dedication of a little boy. I did not expect what happened next. I broke down and was speechless for a while. Holding this baby brought back so many memories from seven years ago, when I held you in my arms and enjoyed your presence.

Somewhere around 5 months old, you began to kick a little soccer ball that I had hung on top of your crib. As soon as I would shout gooool for special high kicks, you would respond with another great kick. You were healthy and strong. Your arms and legs developed well. Unlike other kids, however, you did not enjoy crawling. You just wanted to be held or to stand on your own. So every day after lunch, you and I would go out in the yard to do some walking. You held on to both my hands at first, and then just one. I remember one particular walk that first autumn. The leaves were falling, and you enjoyed stepping on them and hearing them crunch. Mommy had to call a few times to convince us to come in because we were having such a great time outside.

You began walking on your own at 11 months. I had spent hours trying to strengthen your legs. Perhaps I rushed you a little, but I wanted so badly to see you walk and grow.  I was often told, "They grow up quickly; enjoy them." I made it a point to enjoy you.

Just shy of turning one, you had your first small surgery. We had to have one of your eye ducts unblocked. You had to be put to sleep for a moment. Around that time, we also took our second furlough back to the States. We wondered how you would do on the airplane and with the crazy schedule we had ahead of us during the following two months. As we drove our car, I remember stopping every two hours or so to stretch your legs and to comfort you. I remember changing your diaper as you stood firm on the steering wheel.

Watching the mountains and the sunsets with you and Mommy was perfect and a bonding time for all of us. On that trip we made it to the Grand Canyon, which we toured while you hung out in the backpack. We wanted to share with you our love for the outdoors, and for you to see as much of this world as possible. According to the Bible, Heaven is beyond imagination, so I can only think that you are seeing the beauty of what’s not yet available to me. I am sure that angels are showing you around. You and Mommy have made it.

Timothy, I know you can’t read this blog, but I enjoy sharing your stories with our friends in so many places. Here are some notable entries we made in our family journal during your first year. On February 12, you said "mommy." On March 16, we wrote, “Baby officially sucks his thumb.” On March 26, you rolled over by yourself for the first time. In April, you traveled with us to an adventure race, and you got your first sand flea, which I had to get out while you were sleeping. On July 6, we noticed you breaking your first tooth. Our journal also records that July 10 was a difficult day. That day, you welcomed me at the door and gave me a big hug, as if knowing that I needed it. I thanked God for that. Timi, you made me feel at home. That sweet reunion will happen again.

Until then, I will treasure the memory of celebrating birthday number one:

To be continued . . . Timothy's second year.


  1. Aw,what a cutie. I like seeing these old pics. Ted and I met Timi on your furlough when he was about 1.

  2. It's amazing how much you can remember, Norberto. I'm so glad you're recording these memories. I have to admit that a lot of my girls' first months are a blur. I hope Ken is like you and can recall all the things that I don't remember well. :) Blessings, hermano!

  3. Thank you for sharing these memories. They make me smile and cry.

  4. Beautiful memories! Thank you for sharing. I have never got to meet you in person but I have so enjoyed the glimpse into your life from this blog.


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