February 11, 2008
The Yearly Max
To Max on his first birthday:
My life’s focus has of course completely changed since you arrived. During the pregnancy it was a bit surreal and detached for me (surely not so for your mother), and when you were born I confess there was no epiphinal sense of joy and wonder as often described by fathers, but rather bemusement when I first looked upon you all red and slimy. “Now what?” was the prevalent thought ringing through my head. When they whisked you away under somewhat emergency circumstances was when I began to realize the implications of your arrival at the seven month mark. The experience has long since faded for you, and I can only guess how traumatic those first few hours in the NICU must have seemed. By the time they allowed us in you were sleeping calmly, all hooked up to the frightening apparatus that keeps premature lungs inflated and the wires that transmit throughout the ward those disconcerting warning beeps representing the slightest anomaly. The nurses know how such a sight strikes a parent, and they were very professional and compassionate in explaining it all as par for the course. If there are angels on earth then surely some abide with these wonderful people.
We were so fortunate to be able to bring you home after just ten days. I say “just” in comparison to the possible two months it could have been. It was difficult to have to keep you sequestered at home for those two months, though, and your Omie Sally had an even worse time because she had taken ill and did not get to see you outside the hospital for several weeks. When the quarantine expired we were beside ourselves with pride and joy taking you out in public, and our suspicions that you were the cutest boy in the universe were confirmed by many a passerby.
You have grown so fast these past 365 days. After just a couple of months you really didn’t resemble a preemie, and people were astonished to learn not only that fact but also that you were so big for your age. Your strength is pretty amazing as well, having nearly given me a concussion with one of your kicks and nearly breaking momma’s nose with your wild head bobs.
Though, as I said, there was no overwhelming sense of joy and wonder on the day of your birth (likely just the plain old kind of overwhelming), there have since been countless rapturous moments with you in my arms, feeling as if I wanted to squeeze you inside of myself. Watching all the changes, from the color and curls of your hair to the way you breathe in your sleep, has been nothing short of the most marvelous moments of my life. The flipside of these times is what I assume confronts most parents, that being the uneasy fear of harm or, less morbidly, the disdain for your rapid growing up. I look forward to so many things that sometimes I forget the value of the present moment, but one of your many vociferous expulsions usually serves as a well-placed reality check.
I just want you to know today that I am as happy and proud as can be to be part of your world, and I hope that in our world you can create and fulfill the highest expectations of your potential.
Love ALL WAYS,
UPDATE (via Hafsnet News):
Grammy Win Honors Young M.C.C.
Best Classical Crossover Album
(Award to the Artist(s) and/or to the Conductor.)
- A Love Supreme: The Legacy Of John Coltrane
Turtle Island Quartet
So we celebrate with more photos!
I remember your call one year ago, O'Tim, and I must say you sounded quite calm and collected in that call. Of course, I just figured that the hospital had medicated you! :-)