Dearest one (year old),
I remember when I was a kid and I read a book where the main character leaves Earth to live amongst aliens. I don’t remember the name of the book, but I loved the idea. If offered the chance, I told myself, I would leave. I mean, sure, I would miss my pets and my mom and everything– but– aliens! Space travel!! New!! This idea stuck with me as I grew, and is probably why I studied anthropology for so long. I told your daddy that as much as I loved him (and oh, I love him) I would have to go if aliens asked me to. He would always look at me a little sadly and then shake his head OK, comfortable with the odds of me getting to live on alien spacecraft.
But you know what, little one? When you were born I no longer wanted to leave Earth. Even if you and your dad got to come with, I don’t want us to go. I want you to know Earth and what it is to be human, what it means to love someone and to eat strawberry shortcake. All of the good things and even some of the bad and the boring and even, even broccoli.
So that’s my lesson from this year– you are so wonderful, so beautiful, so unique that I’ve had my philosophies and hidden dreams and heart completely changed by it. I don’t want to know other worlds so badly that I’d leave this one– now I want to know what the world is with you in it.
You grow so fast, so fast. I’ve loved every stage the best. I thought I knew joy, knew love, knew all the best things that the universe had to offer, but I didn’t, because I didn’t know you.
Happy first birthday, baby.
I have more to tell you, but no time to tell it. Later, perhaps.