Happy Birthday! Your first!
It's quite crazy to think that you're now a one year old - a FULL year!
That's a FULL year of growing, adjusting, developing, and offering up love right before your mother and I. And honestly, it's a FULL year of having you change our lives for the utmost best since that very moment nearing midnight in a Brooklyn hospital, just a mere 365 days ago.
While we're completely in awe of the journey that is your life - sidebar: we're anxiously awaiting your first steps! Seriously, can you walk already? - I find your presence already to be dynamic and omnipresent of everyone who is aware of you. It's been quite interesting to truly grasp.
We held your first birthday in Prospect Park this weekend, and many stopped by just to share the day (despite it being the day before your birthday). What absolutely struck me is just how many people love you, Ace! Obviously, that is a given coming from a dad, or a family member, or just rhetoric that is the "right-thing-to-do" to say to a baby. But, seriously, you are beloved. I knew that before, but it became clear to me during this Park-Party we held for you.
As a one year old, all of your day care teachers - new and old - stopped by. All still wanting to hold you on a day, quite frankly, they aren't even being paid to do so.
I experience it every time I pick you up from daycare as well. All sorts of random people - children teachers, other parents, other children, administrators - are all yelling "byyeeeeee Ace" or popping out of their classrooms to shake your feet and/or pinch your cheeks in hopes of getting a farewell acknowledgment from you. Of course, if you're reading this and we're still living in New York City, you know that I am also racing by these people because I'm double-parked (or parked in some funky way) just outside and not looking to get a ticket.
Man, I hope you'll have a chance to really love this city. We'll see.
Nonetheless, in a year I've also seen you repair relationships. You've brought people together who haven't talked, communicated, or really, considered even having anything to do with one another.
Your pictures, they give hope to many of the elderly whom your grandmother STILL takes care of despite retirement. These same pictures are in the living room of folks who draw upon your smile and quirkiness for inspiration for life during their very latter years. And again, many of them have never met you.
Many of my students from NYU, who were so happy for your mom and I when we announced your arrival, STILL ask about you, and have become big fans of you through following your life via Instagram stories and photos.
Heck, there are even people who I've written off, and even others who haven't ever treated me fairly, now suddenly changing their tune because of you - and well, they have to be nice to me to have you in their life. Yes, you have THAT kind of pull already.
And of course for me, really, in a time where I oddly watch the demise of my father - your grandfather - to the terrible illness that is dementia, you balance out the darkness that is the impending, and all of the inevitable to come, with so much love, brightness, joy, and of course, the unconditional brightness of hope. It's been an interesting dynamic to balance at this stage in my life, but I am SO happy that you are part of the equation.
And I can't even speak for your mom...I'm sure she could add so much more context to this topic as well. But she doesn't have a blog. She's not nearly as cool as me. (just kidding).
But, in being very serious, after one year - Ace, you've already surpassed the high hopes I had for you. And it seems you've fulfilled so much more than we even imagined.
In one year, kiddo, you've filled my heart, and continue to over-pour it. And it seems, you've done the same for many - whether you see them everyday, or you've never met them.
It's all been a vey FULL year. And I'm looking forward to many more.