You make eleven months today. I just made 42 years myself. Such a difference. Every month is a milestone for you, but I can’t even get excited about my annual birthday anymore.
Still I try to cherish each day. I’m well aware of the fragility of life. An old friend’s father just died in a house fire. Meanwhile another friend’s husband is slowly dying. When confronted with such pain I shed a tear and hardly know what to say. It’s one thing to contemplate such losses, and quite another to experience directly.
Pain is a fact of life. You know about pain: You’re teething. You’ve had vaccinations. You’ve bumped your head. In the scale of your life these little hurts are not little at all. Of course I’d like to shield you from all such pain, but that’s not possible. It’s not even healthy.
But as you know also and already, life is full of wonder too. Even after 42 years, I’m happy to report that life still springs big surprises on me, things I could never have anticipated. Like, for example, the election of Obama. One of the main reasons I voted for Obama was so that I could tell you I did some day; I hope that when that day comes I still feel as positive about it.
But of course the best surprise in my life has got to be you. We had a couple weeks off work over the holidays. I thought it might wear us out, caring for you full-time. You pretty much demand constant supervision as you crawl all over the place and put everything you can in your mouth. But — surprise — it wasn’t tiring. Quite the opposite. It was invigorating.
We’ll always be 41 years apart. I’m sure I’ll always seem old to you, but even as I fumble toward maturity I strive to retain a certain childlike perspective. I hope you’ll continue to help me with that.