Prelude: Treasure

Good morning Kirsten,

Who knows when you’ll read this, if ever, but you turn one today: Happy birthday! 

In some ways, your first year has flown by.  In others, it feels like a lifetime. From your perspective, I suppose, the latter is exactly what it’s been.

I have tried in this post to jot-down some of the things that I remember most about your first 365 days on Planet Earth.  I reckon that’s important for two reasons: first, perhaps you’ll enjoy reading about your younger self one day.  Second, because you change so quickly, I want to make sure that I don’t lose any of the memories that I’ve accumulated this year.

To start off, and illustrate just how much you’ve changed during your first year, here’s what you looked like when you were three hours old:

And here’s what you looked like when you were 363 days old:

The most important thing about the first year of your life is that you’ve been healthy and happy.  There have been times when you’ve felt a bit under the weather (e.g. after starting nursery, you seemed to catch every bug imaginable, including chickenpox) and a bit grumpy (like me, your sugar levels need to remain topped-up in order to be on top form), but they have been few and far between. Most days, you’ve been like this from the moment you wake up:

Of course, playing is your favourite thing to do, preferably with something you can chew on.  When you’re really enjoying something, you laugh, clap and roll your ankles. You’ve also recently started to bop along to music and nod your head when one of your favourite songs plays (I’m particularly delighted about that!). You get a kick out of books; especially ones with windows that you can open and things that pop out. For example, there’s a book called “I’m Hungry”, by Rob Campbell, which includes a pop-out tiger at the end.  You could read that book all day and still laugh every time at the last page.

This is one of the first times that we read a book together (shortly before you overtook me on the hair-front…):

You now really enjoy your food. You tend to eat at least some of whatever your mum and I have, whether we like it or not!  We also go out lots at the weekend. A current highlight of the week is brunch almost every Saturday morning with Uncle Mark at a café called Patricia’s. We’re there so often that they know how you like your toast and that you enjoy your orange juice from a takeaway espresso cup! 

You go to lots of classes (swimming, dancing, gymboree, etc.) and have had no trouble settling into nursery. Your mum has opted to spend two days each week with you this year. You get up to loads of fun things but you especially like swimming:

I could write loads more about what you do but maybe you’d be more interested in what you’re like. I’m biased, of course, but I think you’re a joy. You have your own distinct personality: you’re developing a sense of humour (you hide under your bath towel, for example, and play peekaboo); you’re interested in the world around you (I remember when you were very small and we used to walk beneath trees while out for a walk because you liked to look at the leaves); you enjoy company (just this morning, you were waving and talking to people while we were out and about); and you’re confident.

You needn’t take my word for all of that. Just look at how much folk enjoy spending time with you:

You’ve brought more joy into all of our lives than certainly I could ever have imagined. That’s especially the case for your mum and me but also for your grandparents and Uncle Mark (to name but a few). The world is simply a better place with you in it, and that’s before you’ve learned to speak and tell us what you think! It’s miraculous, really.

We have some fun things planned for your second year. I’ll check-in here to let you know how they went. Until then, as you’ll gather if you scroll down, the key question for you is: What’s Next? I can’t wait to find out how you want to answer it.

Love,

Your Dad.

P.S. This wouldn’t be a proper TF without a Tash (I’ll explain that to you one day). I’ve gone for Steve Carell on the basis that he played a dad in a great film called “Beautiful Boy”. I don’t think that I would have properly understood that film before you arrived:

At the risk of extending an already mammoth TF, I’ll also leave you two of the tracks that remind me most of your first year: the first is a ‘recomposed’ (whatever that means…) version of a Bach’s “Cello Suite No. 1”. I don’t really understand the names of classical pieces but this one seems to be called “Prelude“. I distinctly remember it playing during the drive home from the hospital after you were born and thinking that it was perfect for that moment. The second is “Treasure” by Sampha. It’s the soundtrack from “Beautiful Boy” and, again, it seems perfect for you. You’ll no doubt be sick of hearing both of them by the time your old enough to read this post..

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