Today you are O-N-E.
I could lie and say it was all unicorns and rainbows. But I won't. It was mighty hard, to step on a hamster wheel, lose my sense of self and be your mother, non-stop and every day.
But today is not about me. It's about you.
These past 12 months I have watched you all day. And yet I am doubtful if the 4 hours of fragmented sleep I manage to get every night would destroy my cognitive skills bad enough to forget you. Probably it would. So before it happens, I will try. Try to describe you, as you are, this very day. Although I am sure it is impossible to capture your wild effervescence in a neat little bottle, but if there is one thing I could give you on your birthday is the ability to see yourself from my eyes.
You are officially a toddler now. But I am not done with you being my baby yet. I still can't let go of your softness, your smell and the warmth of your seldom hugs. Yes, I know you hate cuddling, but please let me as long as I can . I think I need it more.
You are small and petite. Numbers on the scale do not concern me as much as they did once. It took some time. But I have come to realize that being in the 100th percentile isn't better than being in the 1st percentile , both are just different.
Your wild head of hair that always amused strangers has now gone wilder. And any efforts to tame them short by your mother have only proven disastrous.
You babbled Ba-ba, Da-da, Ta-ta, Na-na so far- in the same order. No Ma-Ma as yet. But I will be here waiting, just in case.
You have a special ear piercing glee which is only reserved for your dad's homecoming. What can I say? Do you know that feeling where you’re unhappy and overwhelmingly happy at the same time? That's how I feel about it.
You don't sit yet. My guess why? Sitting probably for you means slowing down and you harbor too much impatience for things slow. But who can stop you when you define your own trajectory? So you crawl, exploring endlessly and taking everything apart.
You hardly play with toys. Too mainstream. They lay abandoned as you indulge yourself with onion peels. Or empty water bottles. Or the dustbin. You love the dustbin. And are in awe of the refrigerator.
You know no fear. Open-bang-shut-without a blink is how you have worked out your way through the doors. And you roll off the bed as if you fly. I wish I was half as aggressively self-assured as you are.
You love music-SO MUCH.
You don't cry. You either shriek or shriek louder. You are an explosive little firecracker when it comes to your opinion and your are quite expressive about things you disapprove of.
You hate wearing clothes and cringe at diapers. Dressing time is drama time, involving a lot of jumping and wiggling and shrieking. Did I mention shrieking? I think I did.
You don't take NO for an answer. While others may see you as a tiny little punk who absolutely locks in, to me that's being assertive and positively determined .
You are a sleep thief. One B-I-G one! Your bumless energy wears me out even on a good day but continues to fuel your unexplained need to jump and declare party after 30 minutes of sleep.
You are the most perceptive little cookie I know. Born with a set of ultrasonic sensors you soak in the slightest of sound, smell, touch and sight making your every experience a sensory onslaught.
You are NOT quiet, contrary to what people believe. Prompt withdrawal is your first reaction to everything new, be it people or experiences. Once you are comfortable, then there is no holding you back.
People still tell me I was brave. But I have stopped reviewing my pregnancy, the unpleasant birth or the challenges you faced starting the first few hours of your life. It almost feels disrespectful to do so anymore. But the truth is, that there are days when I feel far from brave, days when I wonder why can't you be like other kids? Tad easier. I know I should be sorry, it's silly of me to homogenize you. You were different to begin with. I remember how I had lain awake more nights that I could reckon, when inside me you kicked so hard that I could hardly close my eyes. And now that you are here, I see that you are nothing like the phantom kid I had envisioned in my head.
God did not give me a blank canvas I could paint on. He gave me one that came with its own colors, intense and brilliant like sunshine but equally so pure that I would embrace them everyday even if it meant getting burned.
Happy Birthday Abir! I love you too much. More than I could ever explain and much more than you will ever know.