"Because time itself is like a spiral, something special happens on your birthday each year:
The same energy that God invested in you at birth is present once again."
India-US to ink biggest arms deal!
Walmart cuts prices 10-30%!
Gandhi's last words, not Hey Ram!
These are just some of the headlines that hit me as I scan the news sites today. But the one news that is the most reverberating, is the one that is missing.
Thambi turns 1!
Yes, you turn 1 today, little love. And you don't even know it. Your day goes about just like any other day. You woke up this morning and sat in the dark in your crib for a long time, playing silently. I opened the door at 7:10 AM, and you were holding onto a blanket. The minute you saw me, you scrambled to your feet, held onto the crib railings and bobbed your head up and down excitedly. I picked you up. You father also walked in to greet you. You looked at him strangely noting the shaving cream on his face. Still, you wanted to jump into his arms from mine, but I whisked you away to the bathroom to change your diaper. You were hungry and squirming around uncomfortably. We went downstairs and you had a bit of milk from your new blue sipper, with the birthday tune from our site, playing in the background. Then you jumped out of my lap and went away to explore.
Little bits of nothing on the ground, found their way into your hands and you discovered what they were with your mouth. I opened up Anna's box full of tracks and you dipped in, taking things out and strewing them all over the floor. And then you came into the kitchen just as I opened the dishwasher. Unloading the cutlery absorbed you for the next 5 minutes. You were playing near the stairs when your father came downstairs and carried you into the kitchen. It was almost time for his bus, but he decided to miss it, so he could spend some quiet moments with you before leaving for work. You sat on his lap, as you always do every morning, and insistently asked for bits of his bread and coffee, with your persistent little grunts. I think its one of the happiest moments of your day. Being with him like that.
While I hurriedly got your Anna ready, your father got you ready and we all sat in our Buddy, and drove to the station. It was a beautiful day and relatively warm...a bit foggy with a high of 45 degrees. Better than some of the other days we have seen so far. And definitely better than the frigid snowstorm of a day you chose to come into the world exactly a year ago! We came home, and I sat you in your booster, and fixed some morning cereal for all of us. You ate quickly enough, throwing all the spoons I gave you to play with on the floor, and then leaning down to look at it. Still you ate quickly enough. Your Anna, on the other hand, decided breakfast wasn't his thing, because he was sad. Sad because I had hurried him all morning! *sigh* So his breakfast untouched, we dropped him off at school. Before he got out, he leaned over to give you exactly 3 kisses on your forehead and wish you a happy birthday. And then, he was gone. You were already quite sleepy by then, and silently looked out the window as we drove back. You came into my arms willingly and I took you out and put you straight to bed. You went down without a sound and are sleeping right now as I type my thoughts on your birthday...
Looking back on this past one month...the biggest thing that has happened in your little life is that you have begun walking. A few days into it and you are trying to do it everywhere. All you need is to find some support standing up, and you are off on your toddly toddly feet, swaying and rocking unsteadily, finding your balance sometimes, and toppling over sometimes. Its so much fun to watch you. The novelty hasn't worn off, especially for your brother, who declared proudly to his teacher....My baby is walking now, and sometimes he runs!!! Everytime you take a step, he calls me excitedly to come and look. I think its a huge thing for him because he sees you more as a real person now, than just a baby. I was telling him this morning about how we cannot call you a baby anymore, because you are now a toddler. He was very caught by that. He has some birthday wishes for you of his own, but I will make a note of that as a separate conversation.
You are now quite a playmate for him. It doesn't happen always, but there are times when the two of you have found a way to step into a little world of your own, filled with smiles and relative harmony. Anna has also begun to seek you out consciously to play with him. You both love playing in the tunnel together. He chases you from behind, or imagines you are chasing him for all he's worth and on and on this game goes, till you tire of it and come to find me. This disappoints him very much and he tries to physically carry you back to the play, and you allow him to, however awkward his grip is. He then sets you down, panting and complaining of how heavy you are, and I smile at the little sweet irony in that!
You are also quite a good sport, my little one. You catch onto any game very quickly and punctuate it with your delighted gurgles. Like the way you go to the stairs, climb onto the first step and stop and wait for someone to spot you. And when we do, you give us an impish smile and invite us to chase you up the stairs. The minute you realise we are on your trail, you get very hyper and excited. Its all quite wicked and fun!
I dare say you are happy with your world. I wish I could take you out more and let you enjoy the fresh air, but the weather is just too harsh for it. And I console myself thinking of all the exposure you are bound to have when we undertake your first trans-atlantic journey back home, to the waiting arms of your granparents! You will be meeting a lot of new people in a few months and while it may puzzle you no end at first, I think you will begin to relish all the attention you will be getting. There were be new floors to explore and new bits of nothings to discover and put in your mouth. You will hear the pee-pee dum-dum of a traditional wedding, and go on trains and planes. And a whole array of experiences to absorb while you sleep.
Your Anna and me have collaborated on the plan for today. Birthdays to him means a pizza treat, given that's how they celebrate it in school. So he has informed us that we are to order pizza for dinner. I plan to make some payasam, the good old fashioned way. Years later, when you read this letter, you might be struck, as I am now, by the eclectic fusion of cuisines and the east meets west and America meets India concept in this. Pizza and payasam. I promise you, you will get little bites of cheese and some of the bread and maybe a topping or two, and looooots more of the payasam. So fill up, ok?
Moving on...it is my fond hope that you will say your first word soon. I really long for that, but I can certainly wait till the time those connections are made in your little brain. I wish you'd let me read to you. I really wish you would. But right now, all that fascinates you with a book is learning how to slam in shut, or thump on it mercilessly with your palm. We'll work on that ok, you and I?
You are going to be discovering a lot of things in your world as this second year unfolds...but there's just one thing I want to add to that knowledge base...people say good things come in small packages. Mine just came in a box!
Happy birthday dearest Sathya!