To my Jeep on his first birthday,
This past year has changed me forever. On the day you were born, the evening was a warm yellow and orange. Your mother and I watched the fading light out of our hospital room as the earth rolled slowly away from the sun. That night, the miracle of your birth came alive and into my arms.
I watched your wrinkly white back change to a bright red. When you opened your mouth to cry, it was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard.
I am blessed every day with the exquisite privilege of being your father.
This past year, I have watched you and loved you. Ever the miracle, I have learned from your learning, and rejoiced in your wonder. I was there when you crawled backwards across the room, when you said your first word, and when you climbed to the top of the stairs. I was there when you took your first steps, when you learned to wave goodbye, and when you opened your mouth to laugh.
We have traveled together this year. To the East Coast, down to
Someday you will want to know: what was I like when I was one? I will tell you.
You bring me books to read, and we play with cars on the floor. You make a sound like an internal combustion engine. You love to surf on top of the guitar, and won’t let me play unless you have a turn. You love to eat, especially bites from our plates. Sometimes when you are really enjoying yourself, you make snorting noises like a wild boar. You love to feed us from your plate. You tell jokes and play games, but they are subtle. Often they are easy games like hiding (Where’s Jude?) and pointing. But sometimes they involve the organizing of blocks or throwing things onto the floor, and knocking things over. You don’t talk much, but you make your desires known through a series of hoots and moans. You want to touch everything, and hold it in your hands. You love cell phones, and you hold them to your ear and pretend to talk. You can throw balls, but not very far! And we just learned that you love to play with little dolls. It’s really cute. Please don’t blame me for this later in life.
On this day, one year past the first day of your life, I will make you a promise. Your mother and I love you more than we thought we could. We will stand beside you as you learn to walk, and behind you as you learn to run. We will yell with joy when you ride a bike, and wave goodbye when you get on the bus for Kindergarten. We will love you and laugh with you and support you in whoever you will become. Your dreams are our dreams to nurture and sow and build, from the tiniest hole in the ground to the tallest of skyscrapers.
When you laugh, the whole world laughs with you. You have your entire life ahead of you. Be bold! Be daring, and get out and chase down this life. It is yours to wrangle and capture and tame. This is my gift to you, my baby boy. The world is yours! May you live long and enjoy it.