You turned 13-months-old today. Your crowning achievement has been that you learned to walk. Your mom and I had very little involvement in this process other than the bewilderment we endured as we witnessed a breathtaking milestone from our little human. Last month you were able to stand for a few moments and now, here you are, completely mobile.
It probably took you all of a couple days to learn to walk. You went from taking a couple steps and falling back onto your butt to a full and confident walk.
I’m really hoping I can get you to start mowing the yard before summer’s gone.
You purposely sit in my lap now. I will sit on the ground with you while you are playing and you will walk over to your toys and pick up a ball or you will walk to the cat a yank a tuft of fur and then walk back to me and do a belly flop onto my lap. You will then pull yourself up, nestle and sit in my lap while waving whatever toy in front of you. We’ll sit there, facing the same direction for a minute or so and you’ll have to awkwardly climb out of my lap only to walk around and then return to belly flop onto my lap and begin the process again.
You think fart noises are really funny. I think that’s funny because I also think fart noises are funny. We’ll both hear a fart noise, real or fabricated, and we’ll both giggle. You really think they’re funny when I’m laughing. And when you laugh, I only laugh harder. And what gets me going is when you laugh at your own farts. I really need to get this on video so I have something to show at your rehearsal dinner.
We bought barrettes for you yesterday. Your hair is getting longer and the barrettes help keep it manageable while also giving a subtle clue to those who think we like to dress our long-haired Dutch boy in pink.
The Saturday before last your mom was out running errands. You and I were sitting in the grass in the front yard and a little beetle-like bug flew over and landed on the back of my hand. I got your attention and pointed to the bug. You stared at it inquisitively and just at the point where I thought you would have reached your finger out to touch the bug, it flew off of my hand and onto your thigh. You noticed that the bug was suddenly gone, but didn’t know where it went. I pointed to the bug on your leg. You looked down, saw the bug on you and immediately stood up and jumped into my arms, throwing your arms around my neck. You were afraid of the bug and you wanted me to save you. My first reaction was a little laugh. Then my instincts and heart lodged themselves in my throat when I then experienced the greatest feeling I have ever known. You wanted and trusted me to save you. To help you. To shield you. To hold you and to make the bad go away. You threw yourself at me because you knew that I would protect you.
I will remember that day for the rest of my life. I will remember the way, without hesitation, you looked at that little bug and then to me, and the lunge you took toward me. You didn’t look back for the bug. You just held on to me until I assured you that it was okay.
The bug encounter couldn’t have lasted more than ten seconds, but those ten seconds changed my life. It’s truly amazing how the smallest things, be it a bug or a fleeting moment, are the things that end up mattering the most.
I will always protect you. And make fart noises as long as they still make you laugh. As long as you’re happy, safe and laughing, I’ll find solace in knowing that I’m here, doing what I’m supposed to do.
I love you, sugar.