Today you are fourteen months old. We missed recording month thirteen because we were in Orlando. Your nana was in the hospital and in the rush to get down in time for his surgery we didn’t think about taking the camera. I worried about taking care of you during such a stressful time but I needn’t have worried since you thought the ICU waiting room was a veritable jungle gym. And with watching you run up and down the corridor, or tenderly holding your Pooh Bear and whispering sweet nothings to it, it was you who took care of us, taking our focus off our anxiety because when you’re staring at us with a four tooth grin [oh yes, the teeth are finally here!] its kind of impossible to do anything but smile back. You bonded with everyone those nearly three weeks and when we left you missed them terribly. It made me sad to see you longing for the companionship of a home filled with people who doted on you but I alternately felt grateful that there is such a home for you to go to where you are greeted with love everywhere you turn, a place to miss as intensely as you did.
So much happened these past two months. You go up the stairs. And belly flop down. You love the stairs, its as though you and the stairs are opposing magnetic poles because you can’t stop yourself from hiking up and down without pause until we pop the gate on. [Is mountain climbing in your future? As your mother I both support it and implore you to please never think of such dangerous hobbies.] You loved taking things out of boxes, cabinets, drawers, and now? You love putting them back in. You open doors if the handle is long enough, shut any door you get your hands on, and turn lights on and off if in the arms of someone standing too close to a switch. You no longer nap in your swing, taking all naps in the crib, and the swaddler too is officially history [no, that’s not a tear- just had a thing in my eye]. You also went on your first merry-go-round clinging to the bar as the horse went up and down- and in that moment as I saw your grin I wasn’t sure if this was life or if I was dreaming because moments this beautiful just couldn’t be real.
You also love Elmo. Especially Elmo’s Four Ducks. I used to despise Elmo. I felt he was all that had gone wrong with Sesame Street, but now? He melts my heart. We no longer have TV but we watch this song each morning on-line and your face breaks into a grin and you look at me like are you for real? This amazing song again? My life rocks! Each and every time.
You talk more now, trying out different vowels and consonants, you wave your arms and implore though we’re not entirely sure what you’re saying most of the time. Still, slowly, we’re figuring it out. You say momma, bye-bye, duck, and you point at everything and say that. You bellow the K sound desi-ishtyle but we don’t know for certain what it means, your father’s name? Kya? Khana? The jury’s out on that. My favorite is when you say daddy. You say it like you grew up in an English-Medium prep school in Pakistan or are trying out for a role in a 1960’s Bollywood film. In our attempt to impart language it appears we might just be imparting the accent?
But let’s not forget your hair. Your hair, the very focused subject of conversation amongst strangers and family with passerbys stopping to admire the wild spirals that spring forth defining your personality and family [some at least] shaking their heads and proffering scissors to snip them back just a little. I knew with both of your parents sporting heads of curls that you would be no different but I had not anticipated for a minute how much I would love those curls, how they are so silky soft and frame your face your boyish face with a softness that makes my heart skip a beat. And yes, I admit I have fun with it too, and I sincerely think you won’t mind yourself in my hair band [the three seconds you allowed it on your hair] since I can tell you have your father’s sense of humor and easy going nature.
Your Khala Aamina came to visit during these past two months, with her new husband. She came a year ago when you were three weeks old and the two of you spent most of her stay one year ago stuck together like velcro, you slept on her, snuggled on her, and pretty much didn’t leave her arms unless I needed to feed you [because yeah she changed your diapers too!]. You’ve changed a lot since then, no longer a quiet little lump of baby but an active boy who can’t sit quite still ever. So it was the strangest thing that this time, when you saw her, and she picked you up, a strange expression passed over your face and then you simply fell into her arms. And you stayed there just like you did that time last year. When you weren’t clinging to her like a koala bear on a bamboo shoot, you were racing around the room laughing and clapping and beaming at her, so much so you that you slammed headfirst into a wooden toy [we purchased for its safe corners] and gave yourself a cut right down your forehead [It healed fast, and a bite of ice cream erased the tears like magic]. The relationship you two has doesn’t cease to amaze me. I honestly think children recognize the people who truly love them and they respond to that love, you saw your Khala’s pure love for you and you melted into that love.
I wish I could surround you with that kind of love at all times but life is full of all types of people and as much as I want to protect you from the bitter and petty ones I won’t always be able to. Just know that the people you need to focus on are the ones who see the light in your eyes and see the beautiful person you are. As A Woman My Age so beautifully put it, because you are: You are worthy. You are the treasure.