The number one.
Such an innocent, deceiving little number. Because one is so much more than just the beginning of something. It’s magical and a bit mad. Eager, but takes its damn sweet time. Sweet, but prepared to steal your purse. You fickle, gorgeous thing.
To be fair, one put up with a lot of shit. Literally. There is poop everywhere. Sometimes I find it on my elbow. And once on my sandwich. I don’t really want to talk about it.
It’s been a hell of a year: Beautiful. Scary. Stinkier than we were led to believe. Harder. Kind of weird. Sticky tears — snotty sleeves. Someone stole my good booze. HUGE boobs. Lost socks. Smeared mascara. I miss my dog.
So. So very tired.
But we made it, dude. Mom kept you alive and somewhat dressed and only a little confused — we kept switching up the languages. And dutch people talk a little funny. It’s all the spit. Honestly, Cajuns don’t sound much better. You are kind of screwed.
You have rocked everything in my world and made me way cooler than I ever thought possible. I love you with such a fury I sometimes think it’ll crush you. I never expected this. I never expected to be so changed and so damn happy and so scared of little bugs that might possibly jump into your crib and sneak up your ear when I am not compulsively watching your every move.
I just want you to be safe. And I struggle with letting you grow. I know it’s important. I know you are stronger than I realize. I know that little boys are supposed to get bruises and itty bitty cuts and cooties and pet snakes and junk mail — but I hate all of those things and I have decided they are not allowed in my house.
I’m getting emotional, dammit. Where’s a snotty sleeve when you need one? Moving on.
You are so very wise. And we have the best conversations. Admittedly, they are a bit one-sided:
“Dawson, don’t put that on your penis.”
“Dawson, don’t put your penis on that.”
“Dawson, don’t stare at me while I’m peeing.”
“See. I told you your head would get stuck.”
“Don’t lick that.”
I’m in awe of you.
You are wonderfully chubby and alarmingly beautiful. Seriously. I am not just saying that because I gave birth to you and I think adverbs are sexy. Strangers stop me constantly to comment on your prettiness. After I have corrected them that you are not a girl, just a handsome face, I quickly thank them and act like it’s not a big deal. But deep down I’m thinking, this kid is finally going to land me a show on the Disney channel. I am totally okay with living out my childhood dreams through you. I feel like you kind of owe me for all the heartburn and that time I threw up at a wedding.
They talk about it in movies, in good books, and I am sure my mom mentioned it several thousand times — there is no greater love than what you feel towards your own child. It’s so thundering and loud that it becomes all you can see and feel and you just want to give all your kisses away and hold your baby so tight you tremble because you are so happy, so freaking delirious with adoration and worry that you could just burst.
And sometimes you do. You cry and cry and cry and then you laugh and laugh and laugh. Occasionally, you lose your mind. Motherhood — oy vey.
I hear that two will knock me on my ass and push me down on the playground while making fun of my mother and hair. And two sounds a lot scarier than one, but I’m ready. I am ready for each new year. And I intend on loving the blueberry shit right out of you.
Thank you for being mine. Thank you for trusting me with your big baby body and for sometimes lightly grabbing my face and making me feel like a queen. Thank you for every breath, every hiccup, every glorious spit up, and “mama”.
I think you could save the world with that gap-toothed smile. At least, get out of a speeding ticket.
Happy birthday, you extraordinary boy.