Me and Ben, Oakland, CA, Canon Rebel XTI
You are one year old today. One whole year! People keep saying they can’t believe it, that the year went by so fast, but I experienced the year more like you probably did- not fast at all, but long and full and rich and wide and deep. It was a challenging year in a lot of ways but I was always so inspired by your bright sweet face every morning. You are always ready, present, and full of joy to begin again.
You are an extraordinary little guy. You can see in your eyes that you are magic. Mark my words sweet Ben, in 20 years, 30 years, 50 years, they will still be saying, “That boy is magic.”
I chose the above photo of us to represent you because the way you express pleasure is by flapping. When you see something that delights you, you enthusiastically flap your arms and legs wildly. In this case it was the camera. You love the camera! You also love dogs. And cats. Once, we walked the neighbor’s dog Jupiter and you flapped like crazy and looked at me in disbelief like we were walking a big time celeb. “You KNOW him?!!” your eyes seemed to say. I felt really cool.
You recently discovered pointing. When you are in the Bjorn facing out your index fingers are cocked and ready for action. Dogs, trees, balls, small children? Look out. You cannot escape the pointers. Someone told me recently that pointing is a developmental milestone. Apparently you are a genius and started this early.
I need to take a moment to mention the ball obsession. You flap like crazy whenever you see one and HAVE TO HAVE IT or the world will definitely come to an end. Whenever we go to the grocery store and wander through the produce section the flapping begins. It took me a while to figure out that the oranges, pomogranates and lemons look like nirvana to you- a room full of colorful bouncy balls! Oh my god. What could be better?
You said the word mama (in context) for the first time yesterday. You reached for me and said, “Mama!” and I just melted into a pool at your feet. Little hint Ben: All you have to do is say “mama” and you can pretty much have whatever you want. Seriously. Even the cell phone.
We are convinced that you have extraordinary musical ability. We promise not to push this one on you, but we do notice how the maracas, the drums, the egg shakers, and your Music Together CD make you happier and more calm than anything else. Once when we were at the park a man was playing the ukulele and you just blissed out for nearly a half an hour without moving. Record breaking for a mover like you.
You are still having trouble with textured food. We went to a nutritionist recommended by the doctor recently and that was very frustrating. She didn’t even look at you during the appointment! Only at your chart that detailed your height and weight. Then she basically told me it was my fault, that we weren’t eating our meals together and that I was just generally holding you back. She then recommended you eat ice cream and fish sticks. WTF?!! excuse my french.
I am going to apologize to you now if I am in fact the one holding you back, but honestly I don’t buy it. I think you need more time and you know what? I am in no hurry. You can take all the time you need. You are perfect exactly as you are.
Well Ben, I better wrap up so when you wake up we can take you to the zoo and see your grandparents and sing you a birthday song. You are also getting a really cool Radio Flyer Walker Wagon today and I can’t wait to see you push that thing around.
When I think of how blessed I am to have you, well, it’s like the equivalent of a produce aisle full of colorful bouncy balls. Exciting, gorgeous, a colorful nirvana… and if it didn’t look so silly for me to do, I would flap my arms and legs in pure, absolute joy.