On Thursday you turned eleven months old. This time last year your Abu and I walked around our neighborhood taking in the cool evening breeze while you kicked and swam inside me and now? Now you bounce in your ergo squealing and chattering- about to turn one years old. What a difference a year makes in the life of someone so small.
You are growing like a weed with this month the busiest one of huge developmental milestones. We say thali bajao– your face beams like you stole serious wattage from the sun- and you clap. It seems like such a small thing but its huge because its authentic communication with you. You also wave good-bye, drum your fingers against your lips and then laugh at the sounds that come out. Oh and you began walking. The week before you inexplicably began crawling at times with arms and legs raised off the ground- like a crab. Then one day, you stood up, and took your first steps. I squealed at the top of my lungs and promptly burst into tears, while you? You glanced back at me as though to say what? this? its about time really.
You are the center of our universe- and you know it. If we turn from you for an instant during our dinner conversations, you bang the table, grunt or squeal, demanding we not forget that all eyes should properly be focused on you. You babble with purpose now, raising your voice, inflecting your tone, and always demanding more food. You love to eat. You have tried it all. Chicken Tikka. Pad See Ew. Fettuccine Alfredo. Despite the fact that you still have no teeth, you eat without hesitation.
Despite all the eating you remain thin as a rail. I think its because you are perpetually in motion. Climbing over blankets, opening dressers, drawers, cabinets, sliding behind the sofa, banging on the tables. We went to your dadi ami’s house this month where you played with your cousins and where you shot up the stairs in thirty seconds flat and then requesting a ski lift [i.e. us] to bring you down so you could do it again. I love it though- that you entertain yourself so thoroughly, so much so I’ve relented and given you your own kitchen cabinet so you are free to pull out containers and lids, examining each as though you have in fact unearthed the dead sea scrolls.
While you are fully mobile, and ever curious and exploring, you never refuse my kisses or hugs. If I want to scoop you up from a game of bang the ducky on the wall, and just hold you tight and not let go, you smile and oblige. At night after pajama and diaper changes, you crawl up to me and kiss me, wrapping your arms around my neck and rest your head on my shoulder- surrendering to sleep in the sweetest of ways. When you’re older, learning Calculus and driving cars, I’m pretty sure this is what I will miss most.
Years ago your Abu and I bought a house. I wanted the benefits of home ownership like no wall-to-wall neighbors, covered parking, and space. I really wanted to buy a house. Then we bought a house. And while it is all those things, its a lot of work with falling dishwashers and squatting squirrels which are your responsibility not that of some elusive landlord because the buck stops with you. I was afraid parenting might be similar; rosy in theory but when you realize that here too, the buck stops with you alone, you might look back with wistfulness at what was. This hasn’t happened. Not during late night rocking, or poopy explosions, or inconsolable tears, the vacations we no longer take, the late night coffee shops we no longer frequent- and while yes there are days that are difficult there has not been a single day I have glanced backwards missing what once was. Nope. There has yet to be a moment I have ever felt anything other than overwhelmingly blessed to be your mother.