When I was pregnant with you the days crept at snail’s pace and now that you’re here time shows no promise of slowing down. Some days I forget what day of the week it is since days and nights blend together seamlessly [as evidenced by the fact that your birthday was officially several days earlier!] This was a month of firsts. Your first car ride, your first doctor visit and first shot (ouch), your first cuddle and kiss. Sometimes I catch you staring with wide-eyed fascination at the fan, a brightly colored pillow or the gentle glow of the lamp and I’m reminded that everything is new to you, everything is a first. I wish I could ask you someday what it feels like to experience the world so new but like everyone before you and since you won’t remember these moments that I will never forget.
On the surface it could seem like a mundane month. You eat, you sleep, you poop. But there is already so much more to you. Each day you grow and change. I’m amazed how someone so small dictates the life of everyone around him. I wake when you wake. I sleep when you sleep. You cry, I run. You smile, I melt.
I’ve held other people’s babies before. Babies who in my arms turned from cooing angels into crying trembling creatures who I could simply not console. While pregnant with you I harbored a secret fear: what if I could not console you? The day they handed you to me you were indeed a crying trembling creature in but once in my arms your cries stopped, your eyes widened and you stared at me as if you had been searching for me your entire life.
Once upon a time I was a teacher and I met an amazing student. An Afghani refugee. He had seen his father die and his mother lose a leg to an IED. The things he endured could break a grown man and yet he came to school each day with a large smile and a zest for life. He was so funny, not like a little child, his sarcastic sense of humor made all the teachers laugh. The children respected him almost as an elder, as if they knew that inside this little boy was an old wise soul. Some people have a nur [light] that radiates from them and touches your heart- he had a special nur that touched everyone he met. In the middle of the school year he told me he was moving to Sacramento. We hugged each other and cried. I never saw him again. His name was Waleed and he was easily one of the most special people I ever met.
Welcome to the world Waleed, you may only be one month old but you’ve been in my heart all my life.