Sunday, January 10, 2010
Happy Birthday James
James, now you are one and I thought that this time would have passed a bit more slowly since there were no hurricanes and flooded houses. I assumed you would just be born and I would have a lovely maternity leave and life would continue as usual. But that's not the way that life works, and if I have learned anything over the years it is the lesson about life being made up of peaks and valleys, yin and yang, highs and lows and the profound swings in between the two. I am starting to understand why it happens and that leads me to believe that maybe it is something more than blind, dumb luck that brings me immense joy on the heels of crippling sadness. It cannot be a coincidence, there is some greater reason why you, like your sister in the year of Katrina, came into my life in the saddest year I ever experienced. Were you, like Lucy, sent to fill a hole in my heart, to ease an ache that nothing, save the unconditional love of a new baby can help?
I like to think that it is true because it is just impossible for it to be otherwise by the looks of you. I have never met a happier, more content, more loving, more joy-filled baby. It is obvious in those eyes that never stop smiling. So, thanks for coming along at just the right time with that perfect smile and a heart filled with love.
Thanks also for being the busiest baby ever. You leave me no time to daydream and lounge around feeling sorry for myself. If I start to do either of those things, for even a second, you will have something sharp in your hands or in your mouth or maybe a handful of Lucy's hair in your sticky, fat fingers or Loki's snout gripped between your palms. Nothing is safe with you on the move, you find every hazard imaginable and have a knack for opening doors and cabinets I thought were permanently stuck. I think you are probably strong enough to pick me up, but we haven't tried that yet. Thank you. Thank you.
I am impressed by your energy. I was warned about boys, it is true, but I was also incredibly spoiled by Lucy who was introspective, calm, and able to play quietly for hours at a time in the pack and play or the corner of the living room. Your curiosity has led us to baby-proofing the house, or at least discussing it, something we never had to worry about with Lucy, something neither of us feels like dealing with. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that at the end of the day your father and I literally flop onto the sofa, fingers crossed, holding our breath until we are sure that you are fully asleep.
You have an infections laugh and a beautiful smile and you are full and fine and totally deserving of your nickname, Big Sexy. You are just on the verge of walking (any day now, we think). You love every food that we have ever put in front of you and would drink bottles of milk all day long if we let you. You can say a few basic words: mama, dada, baba. You have the baby talk/gibberish thing down and often treat us to fake phone calls to other babies on your 'phone' or whatever square-ish shaped object that happens to be around. You like having stories read to you, love listening to music and dancing. You can clap, snap and wink/blink and you love waving hello and goodbye.
Lately you have started to enjoy sitting on my lap and rocking while we stare at and talk to your ceiling fan and light. This is my favorite part of the day right now, my 15 minutes of quality time with you, when nothing else in the world matters except smelling your baby clean hair, listening to your happy babbles and kissing your putty-like fingers. I hope this goes on for a while. So, thanks for being the best part of my day and the best part of my year. Thanks for coming along early enough to get to know your grandfather who, I am certain, left an indelible mark on you in a short period of time and loved you very much.
Happy First Birthday Jamesy - Love, Mama