Saturday, April 22, 2006

Q = 1

Today Q turns 1. She has made it. And so have we.

We have a party for her consisting of her friends from the building and from rather close by in distance and in age. The adults nurse mimosas, and the little ones simply nurse. The new parents in the small crowd look more than a bit dazed, and my wife and I make a point to tell each other how happy we are that this is the last first birthday that we’ll ever have to celebrate.

First birthdays are actually rather fun to celebrate, though, since they’re basically about the parents. We eat exotic things like quiche and blueberry scones and bagels with full-on cream cheese, things way beyond the “dairy & berry” line that most of the invited kids can’t touch. Not to mention the champagne.

Many pictures are taken.

Q walks well now--has for a month--and incredibly self-possessed she works the room. She wears a deep red corduroy dress and looks good. She tastes cake for the first time and, as expected, doesn’t like it, preferring the balloon plate it arrived on instead. Her brother plays loudly in the corner with a friend from the building, exclaiming at one point through a laugh and a teetering spin in the middle of the room,“Everything is so funny!”

With much energetic support from the boy, we’ve practiced the candle and singing part of the ceremony, but when the real moment arrives Q responds more or less as we expected, looking to bury her face in her mother’s neck by the time we've finished the song and clapped for her. (Her brother broke into outright sobs when facing his first cake and lit candle, for what it’s worth.) The boy gladly blows out the candle on her behalf, and we light it again and again for him and for a few others who want their own turns at making wishes. We distribute the exquisite cake from a local bakery, eating around and under the "Q" in the center. The boy has two pieces.

Though we've requested that no one bring presents, everyone comes with bags and boxes, which give way, up in our apartment after short naps, to dolls and stuffed animals and a music player that she loves to play with and dance to.

As she's standing there, pointing to the new things in the house (and then the old), I think about how we will still mark her time in months for a while longer. But soon she will talk, and one candle will become two; she will acquire a taste for cake. I see so much of my wife in her--her tenacity, her beauty, her self-possession--that I want to tell her stories of who she can be.

For now, though, we celebrate who she is. Happy birthday, Q, little one. We are proud of you. We love you.

P.S. I've been keeping this blog more or less for a year, and for what it's worth I enjoyed revisiting my groggy take on Q's arrival in April 2005.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful little girl who is very lucky to have beautiful parents.