Friday, January 18, 2013

To Michael, on His Very First Birthday

Dearest Michael,

Today, you completed your first year, and left your infancy behind you. Your once-miniscule stick legs have chubbed out with baby fat and muscle, and grow sturdier by the day as you bravely test the ground beneath your tiny feet. Those terrible reflux days behind you now, you're sleeping comfortably, eating enthusiastically, and developing one of the most joyous personalities that I've ever encountered.  What a happy, serene little boy you've become- that is, when you're not bored, overtired, or clearly and loudly expressing your distress over being left behind, deprived of something you're interested in, or kept out of action that you can hear, but not see.

I've looked upon you in wonder all day, as you grasp at my legs with sticky fingers and big ideas, and the changes so readily observable in your precious features. The thickening hair, ever-sprouting teeth, deepening dimples, widening grin. The intelligence and mischief growing in your eyes.

And my mind is ever in two places at once: cherishing the daily privilege of being able to observe the accomplishments you've managed thus far, and looking ahead to all of the developments that lie just ahead in the days, weeks and years to come. What sort of toddler will you be?  What sort of young boy? Teen? Man? 

I can only guess at such things, as I try to remember to hold on tightly to these brief moments that you are as you are now: innocent, sweet, eternally curious, conveniently portable, ever-so-soft, and still dependent on me in an intimate, special, absolute way. A way that you never will be again.

Happy Birthday, Little Buddy.

What an amazing year it's been.