Happy Birthday

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Dear J-

I have my doubts about my utility at home watching Calcifer today — he took naps for 90% of the time theVet was at work and thus my main contribution was stuffing the unholy concoction of rice cereal, formula, and strained prunes down his maw. That’s actually not too hard if you’re not too concerned with keeping the kid clean: I let him follow up a bite with a finger chaser, and as he sucked on the fingers the food would go down easier. Downside, of course, was having to clean up hands, face, bib, neck, collar, feet (hey, they get around when he’s eating), and my glasses afterwards. No doubt if he had a choice in the matter something tastier would be on the menu but it’s the regular dose of humility I need — today my most important contribution was getting those few ounces of mush from bowl to mouth (and lip to mouth, bib to mouth, chair to mouth …) and that helps put things in perspective.

It is figgy’s birthday today and one of my favorite pastimes has been checking out where he is and mentally ticking it off against where she was and using her as a measuring stick for where he will be. I could not have imagined the past four years with kid — now kids — at the time, only a vague sense of wonder that life was going to change now and how after nine months of watching the growing inside we now got to watch her growing outside. And none of the past four years could have been predicted at all. The strange things she does, the rituals and games with rules that make sense to her four-year-old mind all couldn’t have come from thin air. I hear so many echoes lately that I can’t be sure if it’s in my head or not: did I say that out loud or was it my little doppleganger?

We have had a fun ride over the past four years and I’m looking forward to the next four, the next fourteen, the next forty. I suppose that in 2007 my mind flashed to 2025 — the year she turns eighteen and is theoretically an adult — but only briefly, as the long day that followed and the first week of sleep deprivation stretched time into taffy and before I knew it she was two and we were buying sandwiches and cupcakes for family at the Zoo, little shirtdress and hugs for everyone. Its two years on from that already and time keeps galloping forward. Calcifer is nearly six months already and I can feel time dilating again in a curious trot, how did we get this far already, how fun has this ride been, and where are we going next? I can’t wait to find out.

Mike

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