Today you are one year old.
A year ago today, you arrived into this world as a person in your own rite.
My arms were the first to hold you. Abba's face was the first you saw.
Your eyes were wide as you took in the outside world
that held the echo of familiarity but was still wholly alien.
After we snuggled for a moment, you were taken away for silly things
like weighing, measuring, checking-over.
You protested, screaming and kicking, outraged to be removed from my arms,
and loudly discontent until you returned there.
(I really appreciated that.)
Within a few days of knowing you in person,
We were referring to you as an intense child.
When you were happy, you were very happy.
When you were upset, you were very upset.
That is still true.
Most of the time, the whole world is your delight.
New foods and tastes,
The simplest toy,
The briefest game of hide-and-seek or tickle-attack,
And your gigantic, gorgeous, infectious belly laugh fills the room.
(And when you are angry, there is no mistaking it.)
As easily as you are pleased by just about everything,
there is nothing – NOTHING – you love more than your family.
Your earliest and strongest attachment was to me – Ima.
Nothing brought you more happiness than snuggling up close,
sleeping away those cold first winter months of your life on my chest.
Even now, just a glance from me can cause the most beautiful,
rapturous smile to spread across your face.
As you grew a bit more aware, you realized that Abba,
whose features your face mirrors so closely,
is the best entertainer, and prepares the best dinners of all.
(He is also a sucker for prolonged cuddling, of which you are particularly fond.)
But neither of these compares to your complete and total adoration of Asher.
Your big brother can do no wrong.
Even when he is pushing you to the ground or stealing your dinner,
You are infatuated with him.
You long to play with his toys alongside him,
to walk like him, talk like him, eat like him.
In the last month, you two have become playmates, copying one another, and creating
the most beautiful sounds of little-boy conversational laughter
that so happily fill our whole house.
When he congratulates you, “Good walking, Rami!”
your face lights up as though you had just been awarded the Nobel Prize.
I often call you “my heart.”
Because of you Asher has a brother.
Because of you I understand the joy of having a child that so resembles my beloved.
Because of you I have experienced the ability to love one child
just as fiercely as, yet totally differently fromanother.
Because of you I came back to life.
Because of you I believe in miracles.
Happy first birthday, my sweet boy.
I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store.