May 02, 2006
I remember talking about this before, about the idea that this event happening in two days is not, if one is to be strict about it, your first birthday. Your first birthday (and I remember it well) was 363 days ago, and you yelled.
This coming Thursday, then, is your second birthday, but it is the one at which you will turn one.
Ok now I'm confused. Let us state, therefore, for the record, that two days from today, and barring any argument by the leap year pedants with their whole 365.25 crud, you will have been alive and existing outside the comfort of your mother's insides for one full calendar year. (That's a Gregorian calendar year of 365.2425 days, rather than a Julian year, a sidereal year, a tropical year, an anomalistic year, a draconic year or a sothic year).
I've never put up the photos of that day, mostly because you looked like a combination of frankenstein's monster and the alien chestburster thingy, but there are certainly photos here that were taken only minutes after that.
What strikes me, when I look at them, is how much you haven't changed. I'm struck by the way that you still look at me like I'm some kind of freaky alien whose main task in life is to make you giggle and feed you Okonomiyaki whenever you demand it. Certainly I'm good at both of these things, but I hope you'll learn that I'm good at other stuff too.
You've really started to enjoy walking around with your block trolley now, and we're trying to encourage you to stand and walk by yourself, but you don't yet seem to have grasped the concept that you're able to stand without it.
I distinctly remember the day that my dad, your Grandad Ian, took me to the park and taught me how to ride a bike with no training wheels. It was a red bike, one that got stolen soon after this little anecdote took place, if memory serves me. We went to the park opposite our house in Newry Street Carlton, and he firmly grasped the back of my seat.
With dad holding on, steadying me, I felt ready to ride. We did one lap of the park, me shouting with joy, not able to look over my shoulder for fear of crashing but continually yelling to my dad "are you holding on?". He kept yelling that he was, and we kept going, faster and faster. I remember it seeming like I was going faster than should have been even possible.
Something must have twigged, maybe his voice changed, or maybe I realised that he probably couldn't run that fast, but when I turned around to see him standing about 10 feet behind me, I fell right off my bike. The point being, punkin, that sometimes you surprise yourself with your own capabilities when you think that you're being supported.
Not that I'm suggesting that I'm planning on telling you that I'm holding on to you when I'm obviously not.
It wouldn't work if you knew I was going to do it.