One year ago, I was at the hospital after spending a day of early laboring at home. I had treated myself to a McDonald's milkshake, walked around the block and up and down the hallway countless times, and watched a lot of The Wire, Season 2. (There's a reason I don't remember much about those early episodes set on the Baltimore docks--I kept leaving the room to pace or bounce on my exercise ball.)
At this time last September 27, at 9:30 p.m., I was putting off the epidural so I could stay upright a little longer in my deee-luxe delivery room. I didn't know what Will looked like. I didn't know what it felt like to hold him, somebody I had created, in my arms and on my chest. I didn't have the capacity to imagine the 8 pounds and 6 ounces that were about to enter the world, and I certainly couldn't picture this walking, talking, kissing, laughing, joke-cracking behemoth of a one-year-old who so obviously sees his entire life as one big glass half full.
I've never survived a steeper learning curve or missed someone so much when he was only inches from me; never has one year gone by so fast while altering the order of things in so many fell swoops.
And here we are, those cliched parents with the cliched emotions (well, they feel new to us), whispering to each other over warm autumn bedcovers:
How is it that we love him more now than we did last month--last week--yesterday?
C'mon, let's look at him on the monitor one last time before turning out the lights.
Oh, God, he's cute. Look at how cute the little bubba is.
Thanks for being born, baby boy. Happy birthday.