Dear Baby J,
You’re two today! What a day. And I couldn’t be more proud of the beautiful little boy you are.
On this evening as I remember your birth, and as I recall your first birthday, I feel a little frantic. Panicked. I try to hold dear something so special to me, and search for the way to best hold it close. It is elusive. It is scary to let go of another year. To live inside this moment.
I love every moment of our time together, which is often. Each day your hair gently falls over your eyes and I work to move it to the side. I brush it in the mornings as you say: ‘nice’.
You love your puzzles and books like they hold your world together. Clifford still hasn’t come to pass and I’m shocked every time you work on this 24 piece puzzle that I thought you would start playing with in a couple years. Thank- you to Granna.
You love to say: ‘eat some, want some’ and within 30 seconds upon waking you have located the ‘cottage cheese’. You love your ‘app’, AKA apple sauce and last night at your birthday meal you told us the basmati rice was ‘cheese’ as you shoveled it in your mouth.
You love snuggling as we read at each and every naptime and bedtime. Kitten, Oop, Forky, and Pookie are you favourite characters. I do not take these moments for granted. We sing the Fire Truck Song routinely together and I let you choose which vehicle we are driving with each verse. Sometimes we drive people or other words. We laugh and kiss.
Your father and I are astounded at how you run to the bathroom, get and say ‘toilet seat’ as you put it on, set up the stool, and position your bottom properly on top. You love when I read the perpetual bathroom calendar to you, talking about each family member’s birthday, the months, and the animals that fill the pages. You are intrigued with this Oma and Opa; another set of ‘greats’ whom you’ve never met and will never meet. You must flush after each try and I somehow allow the waste of 4 litres of water, out of sheer pride for you.
Every morning we go upstairs to the balcony to get the watering can and water our garden. You always take great care of the beans, and love helping Feenie out the door into the fresh air. I learn to trust you with watering the plants however you need to, mostly dousing your toes and pouring the water down the cracks in the deck.
I see one of your gifts as ‘consciousness’. You are aware, mindful. You zone in on people and learn and remember someone’s name incredibly quickly (this comes from your Dad). You know probably 40 names of the students at church and have been known to hug whoever is in sight. Hugging is your thing, you hug people, trees, animals, even books. You show us how to love and care, freely and deeply.
You teach me about patience, living in the present, and compassion. I’m so tired after each day with you but I’d rather be with you (and Dad) than anywhere else. I am purely blessed by you and would do anything to keep you close. I hear letting go is the secret to being a good parent, and while I’m afraid to do it, I’m also more than willing since it’s the best thing for you.
How sweet that I caught you singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to yourself yesterday, the first time I heard you vaguely carry a tune on your own.
And so, on your second birthday, baby, I love you. May I do so sacrificially and purely all the coming days!