Friday, October 02, 2009

Happy Birthday to You: 20 Months Old

Dear Anabella,

This week you turned 20 months old.

Sigh. I remember my 20's. They were fantastic.

September is one of my favourite months of the year for many reasons. First of all, it's my birthday month, though this one has crawled pretty far down the reasons-I-love-September ladder since I grew out of my aforementioned 20's.

Second, school starts! Even though I am no longer in school, haven't been for a long, long, long (you get the point) time, I still feel a little nostalgic thrill every year when school begins. I love the feeling of all the university students pouring back into the city and walking around U of T campus with their new clothes and glossy books. I love watching the teenagers on the bus, gossiping or sulking, on their way to class.

Third, the weather. September is the new summer. Though I was born on the last official day of summer, I consider myself entirely a summer baby. I LOVE summer, the hotter the better. For the last few years September has been the sunniest, warmest, most beautiful summer month. We always spend Labour Day weekend and some of the following week in Ipperwash, soaking up those final summer rays on that most incredible beach -- a beach that clears out after holiday Monday and becomes all ours and ours alone. It is the definition of happiness for me to be on that beach with nobody else but the people I love most in the entire world.

September is pretty close to perfect. But for the last couple of years we have had some tough times in this particular month. In 2007, when you were still safely tucked away in my belly, there was a terrible accident with Momo and we nearly lost him. Then last year, the unthinkable happened to a family that we know. It stopped me in my tracks for a while and still does, when I think of them, even now. So this year when September rolled around I found that I entered it not with my usual giddy sense of excitement and joy but instead with a sense of foreboding doom.

Like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like everything is too perfect. Too beautiful. Too happy. I find myself starting to seek out all the terrible things that could happen. To ready myself for them. Steel myself against them. Prepare.

But then, just when I feel like I've gotten lost in the fog, there shines my light. My impish, smiling, squishable light. I just need to watch you for a minute, just being you, and I realize why I get so anxious about the possibility of something terrible happening. It's because of the love. Every day I love you more. And the more that I love you the more I stand to lose. It's that simple. It's the risk that we all take when we decide to become parents.

You are 20 months old this week. One day you will be 20 years old. Can my heart hold 20 years worth of ever increasing love? Can it hold 60? I have to assume that it can because if there is one truth, one undeniable fact that I can share with you it is this, every second of every minute of every hour that goes by I love you more and more and more. And somehow my heart just expands.

If there is one thing that can make September -- that beautiful, complicated month -- even more perfect that it already is, Anabella, it's you.

I love you.