The Year of the Bird

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.*

Dear Charlie,

You are one year old today.

Do you remember what we were doing a year ago?  Do you remember what it was like to be a part of me?  Do you miss the safe, warm womb where you couldn’t feel cold or hungry ever?

I often wonder these things when I look at you.

I also wonder how you were ever so tiny.


How you were ever my little Bird.

Now you are my Big Bird, but that is dopey to say, so we just call you Bird.


The name has stuck.  I don’t know why or how, but everyone calls you Bird, not just me.  Daddy and Eddie…even Renae calls you Bird.

It’s completely ridiculous and we love it.


In case you didn’t notice, we do ridiculousness and nonsense around here quite a bit.  We truly believe that it’s important not to take ourselves so seriously, and we are trying to help you learn this.

So we laugh. A lot.

we exhaust you with our shenanigans.

we exhaust you with our shenanigans.

“There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination.”

Charlie, you amaze me.

You are SO DARN CLOSE to walking.  I think you can do it. You BOOK it when you are holding on to something or someone’s fingers.  But so far, you have only taken two tiny steps on your own.  You can stand on your own, no big deal, but instead of walking from there, you slide down to your buns and crawl to where you can hang out, and THEN walk.



This past weekend you found your tongue.  It’s constantly out of your mouth.  You have also found our faces.  You poke our eyes and pick at our nose and stick your fingers in our ears and mouth.  I have been trying to teach you the body parts, but once I start doing that you become uninterested.

I hope this is not a trend.


You play so well all by yourself, finding toys and pulling on things and exploring.  As long as you have something to occupy you, you’re content.  Eddie was totally into the TV by this age, but you don’t care much for it.  You would rather be exploring.

I think this ability is going to mean you are good at focusing on problem solving or creating new ideas.  You think it’s GREAT when Eddie plays with you. He has a HUGE imagination and you are more than willing to laugh at his antics.


I hope you guys always share this love of pretend. Of using your imaginations.  Of letting your life have whimsy and fun.

“We are the music makers… and we are the dreamers of dreams.”

You are full of nonsense. You love to laugh at Eddie and you are finally finding your voice.  You are normally pretty quiet, but when you start in on babbling, boy, you get going. And it gets loud.

Your current babble montage usually consists of “dee dee dee” (which we think means Eddie) and “da da da” (which we think means daddy).  You will occasionally say “mummmm” (Daddy tries to say you are saying Mommy, but it’s really pretty random and almost never directed at anything).

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And you are starting to get into music!

The theme to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is one that will get your attention every time, but you also will start dancing when your activity table places certain songs that Eddie dances to.  When Eddie was small, daddy would take him into our room to wake me up on weekends with “dance party” on the ipod.  This past weekend he tried it with you, and you LOVED it.

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Just like your brother, a tune with a good beat with get you doing the Baby Dance.  You know, the one where you stand up and bend at the knees repeatedly to the beat.  And the big smiles and the clapping.  I love it.

“The suspense is terrible… I hope it’ll last.”

I don’t know what your next year will hold, but I am excited for it.

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I am trying hard not to dwell too much on your first year.  I am celebrating it because it was amazing.  You are amazing.  You have brought so much laughter and joy to our family this year.  You healed me, Charlie, but you also healed your dad and your brother.

Depression ripped at us in ways we didn’t know, but you settled into this family and began filling those tears with smiles and smirks.  With snuggles and coos.

As much as it was awesome and I wish we could freeze time, I know that is not possible. So I look to tomorrow…to the future.

To what you will look like toddling down the hall after your brother.

To how you will react to grass in your toes in a few short months.

To what your voice will sound like when words start tumbling out.

To what your hugs will feel like when you start throwing your arms around us.

I know from experience that this next year will transform you from a baby to a person with an attitude, an opinion, and a personality.

The waiting is hard, but it’s so fun at the same time.

You were born into a special family, Bird. One you loves you very much and values your individuality and what you add to us as a team.

I hope you always know you are not just a faceless part of our family, but an important part of our team.

We love you, we support you, and that can never change. Ever.


Happy birthday, my sweet Bird.

You will get a lot of love today and this weekend.

And you deserve every single bit of it.


Cheer up, Charlie! It's your birthday!

Cheer up, Charlie! It’s your birthday!

*All quotes from Willy Wonka

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Happy birthday to Charlie! I’ve loved watching him grow up on your blog this past year. He is such a little cutie.

  2. EEEKKK It cannot be a year already?? Where has the time gone?? Both of your boys are so stinking cute and I hope momma bear is prepared to be beating girls off, specially with their eyes. Happy Birthday lil’ man..

  3. Amen and amen. I absolutely love the word picture you have drawn for us, and bird, of his first year v

  4. Happy 1st Birthday, Charlie Bird!
    I have watched you grow up right on your Mom’s blog, and I am looking forward to following your adventures in your 2nd year! Have a wonderful day!

  5. Dear Charlie, Through your mom’s writings I have gotten to know you and even met you a couple of times. You and your brother are such special little boys, a true joy. Your mom is such a special lady. I wish you the best first birthday and give your mom an extra hug and few more slobbery kisses, this first birthday is a hard one for us mommies.

    ~Jen, a fan

  6. Happy Birthday Charlie Bird!! (And those striped jammies? Deadly cuteness.)

  7. I, simply, cannot believe that it’s been a year already.

    Bird, know that you have a, truly, wonderful family about you.

  8. Amazing how fast this year went by. Happy Birthday, Charlie.

  9. And oh what a year it has been! Love this letter and love that little sweet bird of yours. 🙂