Nowadays, you're working on "babababababa," and "puh," and "gggggggah." It wouldn't surprise me if you turned to me and said, "Papa, hand me that stuffed bear" tomorrow. I don't think you will, but it wouldn't surprise me at all.
I love feeding you solid food, because the first bite is always an adventure for you. You grab my arm and pull it hard so you can shove the spoon in your mouth, and then you always make this horrible face. I guess you're expecting something besides First Pears or Apples and Blueberries. But it doesn't take more than three beats of your heart and you're ready for more. It wasn't what you thought you were going to get, but it sure turns out to be good!
Life can be like that a lot. The truth is, before you were born, I never knew what to expect from you. I mean, what was I supposed to think? There were a thousand possibilities, and none of the ones that occured to me were anything like you. But once you arrived—as a matter of fact, from the first moment I saw you—the truth is, it didn't even take a single beat of my heart to know how right you are.
I spent my last semester in college knocking around the British Isles with a bunch of other students as part of a study tour. I can remember sitting on my bed the first night in Ireland, staring out the window at the streets of this little town called Ennis, convinced that it was all going to blow by too fast for me to absorb it. And in some ways it did. Those were three of the best months of my life, and though the time went by at the same pace it's ticking by now, it feels like I woke up the next morning with you napping on my belly.
So I'm trying to make sure that I remember what it means to hold you, to walk with you from room to room, talking through the mundane ordinariness of my day. I don't ever want to forget the way you grip my lower jaw with your hands and giggle when I pretend I'm going to bite off your fingers.
I've got no illusions about time, though. I know that even though the earth will continue to spin at its mindboggling pace, there will be days when tomorrow can't come soon enough, and after all of it is said and done, you'll be standing next to me in your house somewhere and we'll be laughing about all of the things I used to do to embarrass you when you were young.
Your mother made you a hat for Christmas. She's worried that you'll be cold in Kentucky. Me? I can't wait to see what you think of snow.