Yesterday you were 17 months old. Today, you are 17 months old and one day. Tomorrow you’ll be… I’ll stop this right now.
You were a baby the last time I wrote in this book, Part I, and now you’re a toddler, already leaning way to the side of “Kidness,” so far from those ancient days of infancy. (There’s a famous quote from Franklin Roosevelt, President from 1932-1945, referring to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, which precipitated the U.S. entry into World War II, -- He said of that date, December 7th, 1941, that it was “A day that would live in infamy.” I’m telling you all this just so I can get in a bad pun—“A day that will live in infancy.”)
No more days of infancy. It’s strange and wonderful to see what a person you’ve become.
Last Sunday (Which was the first day of spring), we had a little brunch. Uncle Danny, Josh Cohen, Susan Brown, and Heather and Mark Nutting with their 4-month-old baby Ian, were our guests.
You were fascinated with Ian, squatting over him as Heather changed his diaper on the rug. I watched you do this and I felt a sadness I couldn’t describe. It took me a day to figure it out, but here it is: Separation. Your mom and I refer to you as “The Baby”—How’s the baby? Is the baby sleeping? Is the baby crying? But here you were—“The Baby”—studying another baby, seeing him as one smaller than yourself, younger than yourself—someone who came AFTER you. That’s a big concept, and I don’t know if you entirely grasp it, but you certainly have a piece of it.
This little baby was different from you, at another level of babyness, and you sensed it. You’re becoming distinct, an individual, an observer of the world around you. There is an Annie Kosh in the world now. You have a Self. You’re an “I” and a “Me.” You’re on your way. You live with us and we love you and take care of you, but your life is your own. Your experiences are yours only. That’s how it should be, but still, I felt a little sad.
You’re such a treasure to us, such a delight, even when you are miserable and you’re changing and growing so quickly, --we just want to hold on a little, slow things down so we can absorb the wonder of you. But I have a feeling that your wonderfulness is so immense that we could never fully absorb it. So we have to go for the ride, learn to live with the fact that you exceed all the boundaries and edges. You are uncontainable—our love for you is uncontainable, hence the little ache every time we look at you. It’s the wonderful ache of our hearts stretching past infinity.