There are a whole host of things I should be doing right now, but nowhere else I want to be than here, writing this, to you, my son.
You’re sleeping soundly in your cot, the 363rd night you have slept in our home. Tonight was the 365th time I’ve had the pleasure of putting you down to sleep – yes, I counted correctly, it’s a leap year clever one! For every single one of those days, every single one of those nights, whether sleepless or not, I am grateful. I’m so thankful. I’m so hopelessly overcome.
MKM, my son, my first-born, my love. This time last year, you were still growing inside me, probably kicking round about now. Baba and I were so excited to meet you, so ridiculously unaware of the joy you would bring. We were just innocents then, our baby safe in my womb, wondering dreamily of the life whom would come. And you came, canim benim. You came and totally blew up the bubble; you burst all and any of our dreams; you blew them much bigger and made them real for us three. With your dimpled left cheek and your one-fingered ordering point. With your smile, so contagious and your laugh so heavenly dear. When you laugh you lift spirits, warm hearts, reach our souls. Don’t ever stop laughing, Babyone. A year ago tonight I had no idea how it would feel to have you snuggled at my breast, to feel your heartbeat as I hold you, feel your breath as you fall deep asleep. I had no idea how my heart could beat outside my chest with such love, such all-encompassing love that my insides can’t contain all the power that it holds.
A year ago tonight I thought the story of a mother beating down a bear was a cute analogy, a mere story. Not tonight. Tonight, 365 days since I saw you that very first time, since I touched you, and smelt you and enveloped your being inside of mine, tonight I understand it, that story, and I don’t believe it’s a fable, anymore. I know it’s true, it could be true. I know it because I feel like the mother who is fighting the bear every second of every day because you’re my cub, MKM, and nobody, or nothing is going to cause you hurt or pain.
A year ago today I was probably doing the jobs that I’m now letting wait, tidying up, rushing round – are we ready? in every way. No we probably weren’t ready, in any of the ways; you excused us, and taught us and forgave us all that. A year ago today we hadn’t met yet, little man. I wouldn’t rewind for a second.
Three hundred and sixty-five days ago we thought we knew what love was, knew what purpose and meaning and dream was. We were wrong, Babyone; we know now.
Happy Birthday for tomorrow, my grown up baby boy; may it be the first of so many and be always filled with joy.