You are on the cusp of 1 and a half. This, for me, is the best age yet – you are pure delight: a winning combination of angelic innocence, infectious giggles and exploding language skills which amaze me every day. A recent snapshot of new words: butterfly (butterby), mushroom, paintbrush, peanut butter (peta butta), starfish. Today you came out with your first sentence: More please (morpease), mama. About sultanas, obviously.
There are so many weird things about becoming a parent, but watching this creature transform gradually from a red, squashy, screaming caterpillar into a fully-fledged human is by far the most awesome.
A lot of this newfound delight is down to you finally starting to sleep through the night, which makes everything SO much easier (and makes you just that tiny smidge easier to love). Who knows how long this particular sleep cycle will last; it’s been long enough that I no longer go to bed with one ear open. It’s also your giggles and shrieks of delight when you love something in that whole-hearted, whole-bodied way that only a toddler can love something. What do you love right now? SULTANAS. Your sticker book ‘Oshee’ (Let’s Explore the Ocean). Your manimao (cat) and tigee toys. Going for walks. Sitting in your cubby in the wardrobe. Teepee (tv), especially Elmo and Emma. Cuggles (cuddles). What do you hate? Wearing pants, mostly.
This is the first time I’ve felt the true privilege of bearing witness to your growth, and been able to appreciate it in a way that I haven’t before. I’m so lucky to be able to enjoy this time with you. This time is fleeting, I know. It’s one of the great parental paradoxes: Hurry up and grow. Please stop growing.
In a few months we will head to your Baba’s hometown of Mumbai, where you will spend some long-awaited time with your Aba and Aji, and meet your Atya in person for the first time. I’m a little scared of how you will cope with the flight and jet-lag, but I am so excited for you, and for them. You are going to be immersed in a whole new way of life – a different language, different food, different clothes, new experiences – from a culture you’ve only experienced a little of. The love, however, will be just the same.
May you be bathed in love and light your entire life, my darling girl. You’ve brought so much of that to our lives.
Love you boogaloo,