‘Tis the season to think about growth, change. Maybe not for everyone; after all, November usually heralds the death of leaves, the great hibernation of greenery and flowers, the sunset of life for the year. But not for me. I think about new beginnings. I think about big changes. I think about Charles and the havoc he has wrought in our lives since day one, two years ago.
I understand now why my parents feel compelled to recite the story of my birth every year on my birthday. For the past 29 years. I can’t help but think back to what I was doing two years ago, enormously pregnant, awaiting Charles’ dramatic entrance into the world. It was also an election year – he was born two nights later.
He’s so big now, so forceful, so emphatic. His language has exploded in recent weeks, but there is still a large enough gap to frustrate him to the point of tears at least once every day. He’s cuddly, and he says “Iwuvoo” every day to me as I drop him off at daycare. He’s taken to carrying his blankets around with him everywhere. He chooses his own clothes every day, his own pajamas every night. He loves to read, he loves to watch doggie videos on YouTube. He loves his grandparents with ferocity, insisting on calling them every time he sees the telephone. He’s shy around strangers. He’s the life of the party around other children. His eating habits are inexplicable, his preferences changing every day. He loves my socks. He smiles frequently.
He lights up my life.
His birthday party will be held on his actual birthday this year, Saturday the 6th, and his present from me and Tony is a small backpack, just like this:
I’m pretty sure he’ll love it, and it will be nice if he would carry his own diapers for a change. The extended Cook family is coming for the celebration, which will be the best gift of all, in Charles’ eyes.
On Monday, he’ll have his doctor’s checkup, complete with weigh-in and height check. Any guesses? I think he’s around 33 pounds, but it could be more. I have no doubt the doctor will pronounce him healthy as an ox, developing right on time. He jumps, he runs, he throws, he kicks, he talks, he shouts, he even whispers. What a kid.
Raising Charles has become a large part of who I am and what I want to do with my life. It is so rewarding, and I love that I am able to both run a business and raise a child. I knew I’d love it, but I didn’t know I’d love it this much.