Malcolm Lewis is one! A whole year old! Will the weeping (mine) stop at some point?
A couple of days ago I clicked over to the people tab on my phone and watched the little video it made for Malcolm. About two seconds in I started crying. Not like when people say they’re crying and they tear up a little, but full on, serious crying.
My sweet, wild, perfect, rambunctious, bright little baby looks nothing like the little alien he used to be. He was so so so so tiny. Yet he was already the Malcolm I love now, you know? From that very first breath of air and offended scream.
I’ve been feeling this simmering anxiety about him growing so fast, about him reaching this pivotal first birthday due to an underlying panic I have that I can’t possibly remember every perfect moment with him.
Already. Already there is too much magic, too much pain, too much laughter, too much wonder, too much fear, too much joy to hold onto as tightly as it deserves.
I try, I really try desperately, to remember it all. I even started a notebook to write down a sweet moment a day and I really did do it for about two months, but inevitably, I lost the habit. And the other flaw in that plan is that what I want to remember is not just the sweet standout moments, but what it felt like to live those days with him.
But in each new minute I spend with him, that minute, that moment overpowers everything in my brain. I’m just so fully consumed with the him in front of me, that I can’t fully remember the him he was two months ago, let alone twelve.
And that actually makes me proud. Isn’t that the whole goal—to be present? But the time! The time is slipping too fast.
I don’t want to stop the aging, I really don’t. I mean sometimes I feel like we’ve reached the absolute perfect baby age and maybe could we just slow it down and stay here for a few minutes longer?
But then, the next age? Even better. Yes, even this on the verge of toddlerhood age that comes with testing his limits a little. (For crying out loud, leave the dog’s water fountain alone already!)
Because in each little moment of growth, Malcolm becomes even more Malcolm.
I can see the Malcolm I know in the very first videos I have of him. There’s the sweet soothing sucking thing he does to this day seen on our first day home. There’s him lying in the swaddle staring off to the side, just thinking and watching. There’s the flailing arms and all-consuming stretch as we wake him up and take the swaddle off.
It’s our job as parents to foster in Malcolm those qualities that make him so Malcolm. To protect them, to hold onto them, to love them. To remember in every moment—the easy and the hard—that Malcolm is his own person, not an extension of us.
Malcolm is wild—crazily so. But he’s also so chill. Does that make sense? He’s so, so friendly, smiley, and desperate for attention (in the good way), yet he’s the best little buddy for tagging along to any myriad of things I need or want to do. He can entertain himself remarkably long yet is so engaging and fun.
He is full of curiosity—the outgoing, let me see that kind and also the silent observing kind, taking everything around him in. He surprises me each day with the new ways he can truly wear me out in the happiest of ways.
He loves me, loves us, in a way we can’t possibly deserve but will do everything we can to live up to.
When he’s upset and needs our comfort, when he sprint-crawls into whatever room I pop into for 14 seconds, when he bangs desperately on the shower door because he really, really needs to see me smile out at him again 20 seconds after the last time I did, when he nuzzles into my chest, when he finds so much joy in playing with my feet or legs or hands, when he falls asleep nursing, when he smiles at me, I feel so truly, remarkably lucky, so truly, remarkably worthwhile.
Also, you guys, he is really stinking cute.
You know, absolutely every parent thinks their child is perfect and special so what can I tell you to convince you that MY Malcolm is more so?
Well, nothing, really, because it’s just that he’s mine.
But this boy of mine? What a miracle.
Happy birthday, my sweet baby. I love you (desperately) and I like you (so so much).