Tuesday, January 05, 2016

being one

Even those of us who celebrate our own birthdays do not, on the day of the big day, spend much time reviewing our accomplishments and shortcoming from the year that's just passed. You don't wake up on your sixty-second birthday and think -- wow, in this last year, I learned at least five new French words and moreover, I perfected rolling out tortelli con zucca. You're more likely to think ahead. For example: gosh, next year at this time I'll be sixty-three. That's three years from standard retirement age under Social Security.

With a young child, it's different. You do look back.
Remember the day she was born? How cold it was outside? Remember when she did tummy time and we couldn't imagine her sitting up? Look how far she's come!

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Yes, Snowdrop is a year old today.

Unlike a year ago, this day is not especially cold, hovering around freezing most of the daylight hours. I let Ed do cheeper duty and it is so very luxurious just to stay in bed and think about how good these days are for my family, for Ed and me.

Breakfast is in the sunroom!

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And so you know that we have before us at least a partly sunny day.

Because I have some time to myself this morning, I spend the hours catching up: I roll and freeze several balls of pizza dough. I descale the espresso machine. And I study Ocean's pages (something I rarely do) dating to the first weeks of Snowdrop's life.

In so many ways, our infancy predicts our childhood and our childhood predicts our adult years. Except -- you do not know in which ways! Which traits, which physical characteristics will vanish -- pffft! gone with the wind, never to be seen again? And which will be the ones that'll have us say later on -- you remember, she had this habit from day one!?

In the late morning, Ed and I go cross country skiing again. Though there is a blast of polar air in store for us next week, the snow is dwindling to an icy cover that will diminish even more with the expected Thursday rains. And so we especially enjoy our time on the trails, choosing one that meanders over marshlands and up through the woods.

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I do hesitate as two dogs come out of nowhere -- bounding toward me as if I were their best friend or worst enemy...

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They are alone and I wonder whose garden gate they managed to open. Is someone looking for them now? I stoop down to see who the owners may be, but they cavort off off and away, as if their own youthful exuberance forces them to seize that moment of freedom.

I go to Snowdrop's home just for a couple of hours in the afternoon. The big celebration of the little girl's birthday was, of course, the day after Christmas, with grandparents, aunts, uncles clustered around the little girl. There was cake, there was singing, there were gifts.

Today is low key and I leave her to the young parents in the evening -- they have their own small birthday plans.

Nor am I very active in engaging the little one-year old today. I sit back (or at times chase her around with my camera), letting her wander and wonder about the toys...

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 So much new stuff (in the broadest sense) the world throws in your lap each day!

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So much to like and admire!

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I've given her my grandma toys on the day of the family celebration. Just one book and one card today (and I'm not the only one who sneaked in a book on Paris for her birthday!)...

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The girl is sweetly polite about every last gift, but we have to remember, it's not always easy being one...

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Here, she is resting on the floor with a wee booklet. I can see her in this pose when she is sixteen! Oh! That's not so far off!

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Since Ocean notes the experience of being a grandma, I allow myself one time released selfie of Snowdrop and me.

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But I'll end her part of today's story with what I see so often and admire so much -- her ready and happy smile.

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In the evening, Ed and I go out for our postponed dinner date -- at Brasserie V, a place where we sit at the bar and fill up on mussels and fries. It may not look like much, but it really is the height of pleasurable dining for us.

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The day ends for me with that deep contentment that comes when you know the people you love are doing okay in life.

One birthday down, many to go. Happy years ahead, Snowdrop. Your joy is so very contagious!