What A Difference A Year Makes

24 Nov

A year. It’s been a whole 365 days since this happened and I played a cheesy Disney song to announce it.  Clearly, I’m not going easy on the cheese anytime soon, for here’s a letter I wrote my baby today, on his 1st birthday, as I watched him sleep and plotted how to sneak in a few kisses while he couldn’t protest. Thanks for being patient with my absence from this blog and coming along on this journey with me. Things will be more regular around here, fingers crossed, because we have a new series starting on the blog next week!


My precious pumpkin, Daddy’s titto tapeto, our babyjaan,
Today is a day I did not dream of. Blame it on your Mummy’s limited imagination. I couldn’t look past my pregnancy beyond the point of your birth. I knew the months that followed would be a whirl, a blur, and require all my resources, so your first birthday wasn’t something I actively thought about. Yet, here we are. And I’m short one infant and tall on a trailblazing toddler.

I have frequently wondered after having you why people (and parents in particular) focus so heavily on the hardest bits of those early months. They go on about sleep deprivation and 360 degree life changes. Nobody actively comes up to you and simply says this:
It will be more wonderful than you ever imagined.

And it has been. It is.
Except for 3 hellish days in the hospital at 9 weeks old, when you smiled at us through a haze of 103 degree fever, every day has been pure joy, every moment a blessing, every smelly diaper as fragrant as Kate Spade’s latest perfume. Okay, I kid about that last one.

From beaming megawatt smiles starting at 6 weeks to calling out to passersby in the park to charming a planeload of passengers, people are your thing. In your universe, there are no strangers, only babies and big people waiting for the immense privilege of showering Your Royal Divaness with attention. First-born much? To steal a line from Plath, you endow the sun with gold, our gleaming California raisin.

Before you arrived, I was convinced you would be your own person, with independent attributes and characteristics. So it came as a surprise (and a burgeoning sense of alarm) to see you were so like me. Not just the shape of my eyes and my poker straight hair and large flat feet, you have a giant dose of your mother’s rather… umm, wilful, voluble personality, and poor Daddy doesn’t know what hit him. Two fire signs in the house are a shade too much roaring for your patient, gentle father, the love of your life and clearly your preferred parent.

I am your dal chawal, your constant, your everyday. You can’t miss someone who won’t go away. But Daddy, he’s your tandoori chicken, the cherry atop the icing atop the butter sponge cake, and my gladdest, most contented moments this past year have been watching the two of you together, mock-wrestling, giggling, grabbing hair and collars and using Daddy’s ears as handles while perched on his shoulders.

You complete us in ways we never thought possible. Physically, Daddy and I are ready to retire and nap for 7 years. As late 30s parents, the relentless exhaustion of it all has taken a toll, to be honest. But we wouldn’t have had you at any other time. Because it is now that we are mature enough to enjoy you without sweating the small stuff, stable enough to be a team and provide well for you, and old enough to know what matters to us without getting into skirmishes with other parents on their opinions and preferences.

With the exception of your refusal to sleep through the night consistently, you’ve been an easy baby, doling out radiant smiles to everything in your path, staying on a schedule like a clockwork mouse, adjusting your own meal and nap times as you grew, and amusing yourself while I tended to chores. You are secure in the knowledge that you can roam free, Mummy is a mere grunt away at any given time, and I love how you look back to check for approval for just half a tick before you hurl yourself into new discoveries or at an unsuspecting person not used to your friendliness.

And this is what I wish for you today, my solitary-candled babe: Fly into this world that so fascinates you, fling your arms around it, I will ardently wish for it to love you back. And when you need the comfort of home, my sweet child, your dal chawal will always be waiting.

Happy birthday, mein Liebling. Mummy’s got the whole world in her hands. ❤

8 Responses to “What A Difference A Year Makes”

  1. Aunty G November 25, 2015 at 1:48 am #

    The Wee One has now turned one
    Has become everyone’s honeybun
    We celebrate with you
    And look forward anew
    To the new series that’s going to be spun!

  2. R November 25, 2015 at 3:37 am #

    OJ, all those times I read the things you wrote about other children and wondered about the kind of wonderful mother you’d make and then you go and write this. So much warmth and love to mommy, daddy and the baby and lots of special, sloppy, squishy kisses to the birthday boy, being sent your way. This warm glow, may it always remain. (And thank you, for sharing this happiness)

  3. hAAthi November 26, 2015 at 2:49 am #

    I want to say something – but I feel like you’ve said it all.
    Much love to the little bub on his first ❤

  4. Aunty G December 1, 2015 at 8:34 am #

    The snowflakes are back on OJ’s site
    And they’re a very welcome sight
    Tho’ it’s hardly cold here
    ‘Tis the season of cheer
    So let’s all stay merry and bright!

  5. Ria December 2, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    How lyrical and gooey,this love.
    What is daddy’s sign ? I bet he knows he has fire on his hands 🙂

  6. Roshni December 8, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

    Happy birthday to your little one and congratulations for successfully surviving the first year!! 😀

  7. MM December 22, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

    Happy Birthday to Babyjaan!!! With a mom like you OJ, BJ will be only too happy to take on the world in all its blazing glory!!

  8. Orange Jammies January 1, 2016 at 1:03 am #

    Aunty G: Next week became next year
    Awful tardy, I fear
    But I hope to dare
    That what I plan to share
    Will spread smiles and cheer!

    R: Hugs, hugs, and hugs. Nothing can top your phenomenal news this year! 😀

    hAAthi: Thank you so much for still trying. And for your wishes. I am so grateful for both! ❤

    Ria: Daddy is twins. All 6 of them. 😉

    Roshni: Thank you! I feel like a badge wouldn't be unwarranted. Or maybe a Certificate of Successful Sleep Deprivation Survival.

    MM: I don't even know what that means! I'm a lamb in comparison. 😦

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