My sweet little Lucybug:
You turned an entire year old this weekend, and that means I get to jot down a few things for you in the somewhat likely scenario that you read this years down the road. These are the entries that many people skip over, but that’s okay – the curious joys of fatherhood are singular beasts anyway.
First off, we had a party for you, and a bunch of your fans from the Los Angeles basin showed up to congratulate you. You should feel blessed that so many folks on both coasts think your parties rock; it took me years and years of being social chairman at my fraternity to perfect the ideal. Your birthday fell on Easter weekend this year, so the basic theme was “fertility” and “high fructose corn syrup” (you are not allowed any of the latter, by the way).
Both of your grandmothers came for the event, Nana (Tessa’s mom) from San Antonio, TX, and Gramma (my mom) from Mt. View, CA. Your Uncle Steve came as well, and they all brought you a bunch of nice new books and stuffed lambs. We have a Plastic Limit™ observed at our house, and a few of your earlier toys will be put into deep freeze so that we don’t end up being One Of Those Families Littered With Ankle-Breaking Crap. Your grandmothers also took care of you in the mornings, allowing us a gift more precious than sapphire: sleep.
Linda, Lucy, Sandy
It’s impossible to put into words what you have given us over the last year. It’s true that you were mostly an infant, and the temptation is to anthropomorphize you and give you traits you don’t necessarily have just because we think it’s cute. But the truth is, your disposition from the very beginning has been steadfast, pure, inquisitive, adventurous, decisive, and voracious for all the world has to offer.
You took your first step two weeks ago, and last week, you took two in a row before careening into the sofa. If someone wanted to know how to stop drinking, they should truly look at you trying to walk: one day at a time, you get a little better. It has made your sleep cycles a little disruptive, because we can sense you practicing. You’re so close you can feel it.
Lucy: 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year – click for bigger
New words: “hat,” “okay,” and a totally bizarre “no waaaay!” When we ask you what time it is (in either Spanish or English) you look up to the clock, and when we say “bellybutton” you grab your navel and laugh. Our favorite trick is to give you an empty 5-gallon water jug, which you use to walk across the room. I’ll even post a video of it if someone can tell me how to make a .mov file smaller for the internet.
A word about your present from me: a few weeks before Hurrican Katrina destroyed much of New Orleans, I was there in the French Quarter, stopping at a jewelry place that your mom and I love. We were both born in May (an emerald birthstone), but you, of course, lucked out in April, which are diamonds. I found a little necklace for you with both birthstones, an emerald surrounded by tiny diamonds.
It’s very small and didn’t break the bank – and you can’t wear it until you’re 15 and won’t swallow it – but I want you to know it’s a special object from a special place that is very different now, mere months after I first saw it.
Much can be said of you, my little sweetheart. You’re the best little hurricane that ever rearranged our lives. The low pressure system that keeps us all sane is your mother, a woman whose strength still flummoxes me daily. I have been in constant awe of her from the moment she went into contractions… to tonight, when she sliced an avocado for your dinner. Both actions, huge and tiny, make the whole.
When I think of this year, the best I’ve ever had, I will think of you both, how you fought so hard to get what you wanted, into and out of this world. Two women, separated by four feet in height, one poised to walk three steps in a glorious victory, the other glad to walk to the end of the earth as long as you were there, and me, hobbled by the ungainliness of my gender, happy to keep catching up.