I sat down to write about you at the age of One, to attempt to describe you and your life in a way that is accurate enough to preserve some memory of you at this age, to paint a picture that we can both look back on (maybe even together) someday that would allow us both to step back inside the world of you as One.
I’m failing for one main reason. To describe something accurately, it must be something you can view with an objective eye. You are still so much a part of me and our lives are still so intricately intertwined that for a large portion of the day, we float through the hours if not attached to each other like a boat and its sail, then bobbing along like two buoys tied together, separating slightly in the waves but never more than an arm’s reach apart.
And how would I ever sum up the countless changes you’ve gone through in this single year? Has it really been seven months since you last required my hand firmly grasped in yours to take more than a step or two?
How do I describe the efficiency of our nonverbal communication with each other and the way you have struggled to branch out from that as you begin to increasingly interact with the world outside our home, a world that doesn’t speak our language?
We sleep together, we eat together (me from a plate, you from me – haha), we play together, we read together and the brief times when we are not together, I feel your absence like a heavy ball of tar in the pit of my stomach.
When you smile, my heart too lights up with your happiness.
When you pout with frustration or disappointment, your lower lip protruding from the line of your downturned chin in just the way you’ve learned garners the most attention, I catch my face as I feel it contort in imitation of your expression.
You give me, much older than One, a window through which I can experience all of the wonder, fear and excitement of a world that is still new.
So rather than attempt to describe the indescribable, I will just wish you a happy birthday, little boy. I’m sure we will miss One but I can’t wait to see Two.