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Monday, April 12, 2010

1 Year!

Dear Asa,

A year: Three hundred and sixty-five days. Fifty-two weeks. Twelve months. Four seasons. One full rotation around the sun. Is it possible? Can we already be here, celebrating your birthday?

Here I am, my love, awe struck by your progress, your growth, your evolution. A steep upward incline, you have rocketed through this first year. Rolling over, sitting up, cooing, eating, walking, talking - and this is just this beginning! This is the tip of the iceberg, just a sliver of your life.

And it's been this fullest, biggest and busiest year of mine.

You are not the only one to have done some growing. I, like all new mothers, jumped head first into this ocean of parenthood. Some days I could only doggy-paddle, just barely keeping my head above water. Struggling for the patience, the energy and the perseverance. Some days I cried, some days I felt insufficient. Some days I wasn't good enough. And other days I glide through glassy seas, backstroking through the waves. Surfing on swells of pure love, higher than I've ever been. Some days, the answers come easy to these fingertips, some days I don't even search for them, they're just there. But not a single day passes, that I do not grow to love you more.

We've spent the last month of your first year in Australia. Here you've met your grandparents, four cousins, two aunts, two uncles and many friends. It's strange to think that you won't remember this time. You won't have memories of running on the beach with Uncle Hamish, doing headstands with Lily and Grace or being chased around the kitchen bench by Dawnie and Dave. You won't remember your first swim in the ocean, your first taste of Vegemite or your day on the farm. You won't recall your first camping trip, or your first sight of parrots and kangaroos. But I will tell you, love. I'll tell you all the stories, over and over, so that they become a part of your memory, a part of your experience.

Every single day I look at you and I cannot really believe that you will ever be any bigger than you are in that exact moment. How could it be? You're so big already. I've seen all the moments from the first until this very one; and to think that there will be thousands, millions, trillions and billions more is....nearly unfathomable, really. Sure, sometimes I catch a glimpse and you look so boyish. The curve of your cheek, the gap in your teeth, the speed in your step - you could almost be a little boy, a kid, a toddler. But then the light changes, the clouds shift, and my baby is back. I see the baby still when I change your diaper, when you grip your toes and pull them towards your mouth, laughing. I see my baby still when you cry, when you're tired, when you're upset. The baby is there (and I suspect that he always will be, in some small, motherly way), if you look. But the boy emerges, the toddler toddles out and the little babe starts to fade away.

You have many tricks now, and you seems to learn new ones daily. Lately you like to dance, play the air drums (like dad and Guy taught you), show off your headstand and "smell" the flowers. This smelling involves more licking than anything else, you scrunch up your nose, put the flower (or leaf, twig, clump of grass, etc) in your mouth and breath in and out exaggeratedly. It's wonderful.

You love to eat bananas still, and strawberries are quickly making their way to the top of the list. Lately you won't let anyone feed you. Nope, you can do it all by yourself, thank you very much. You screech and holler at me every time I try to stick that spoon in your face. So I put pretty much everything in front of you and let you go. You are a great eater, refusing nothing (unless it's on the end of a spoon, in my hand of course). Squash, pickles, watermelon, yogurt - you name it! You are especially interested in anything that comes from someone else's plate. As we sit for dinner you are quickly under foot, begging scraps off any who will offer.

Your birthday celebration was a total success. There was family, music, laughter and love. Cake, presents, champagne and sunshine. What more could one wish for? Letting you go at that cake was probably more fun for me than it was for you. For as long as I've imagined having children I have pictured that moment. Setting the pristine cake in front of you, waiting for silent seconds as you contemplate your choices, your odds. Is it really mine, you look up at me and ask with your eyes. Go for it love, I encourage you. Then wait, wait....wait....and pounce! The cake is yours! All yours! Fingers digging in, hands and palms smashing, spreading the cream and the crumbs everywhere. It was gorgeous. Just like I always thought it would be. Thanks for that one love.

Sometimes, when you are sleeping in my arms, I gaze down at you and the tears just pour out. I simply can't help it. It's as if all this love, all this joy and pride is overflowing inside me, and there are moments when it spills over. Your face still and serene, breath gentle, rhythmic. The curve of dark lashes, the curl of blond hair and the clean breezy scent of you. I am overcome. All these features, all these small bends and mounds, they will become the body, the face of a man. This thought rockets through me with equals parts joy and apprehension. What a task, what duty. And what a privilege.

Happy birthday my love.

1 comment:

bess said...

aaahh...my comment just hicoughed and disappeared.
um i was thinking, like "yay! asa rocks, so do you and ang too...and how'd a year speed by so dang fast"
love you!



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