I remember when I was 15 I couldn't wait to turn 16. And when I was 17, I would count down the days until the weekends- those chilly October Friday night ballgames or date nights with a guy in a fast car and a slow smile, hurrying my way through life to the next big thing. When I graduated from college, which I also tried to finish early so I could get on with being a prestigious adult, I couldn't wait to get married and then carry on with my big career in the flavor of the month. But since this exact time last year, since September 5, 2009 at exactly 3:43pm, life served up a big spoonful of karma in the form of the most precious little boy I could have ever imagined. And the life I have been trying to live in fast forward suddenly seemed to be moving at warp speed. When I brought Rinks home a year ago I was terrified, overjoyed, overwhelmed, and in amazement that a love so big could fit into a little body of 6 pounds 8 ounces. And from that day I have been grabbing on to the coat tails of life begging and pleading with it to slow down, to take it easy on my heart, as I watch each day and then week go by while my little baby turns into a little boy. Each time I hold Rinks I find myself clutching the moment and realizing that one day he will wriggle out of my arms and off into the world. And just as I predicted, with a fierce spirit and a curious mind my little soldier decided to start walking at 10 months. He never wobbled, never paused to ask if I was emotionally ready for it but rather just stood up and started walking. And now after years of looking forward to the next big thing, all I want to do is hold on to what I have at each given moment. Someone once asked me what it was like having a child, and I remember telling them it's like having your heart walking around in the world, feeling everything it feels, and doing everything you can to protect it because your own livelihood depends on it's function. And for my little Rinks, my short bald love, I want to guide each step of the way for him, removing obstacles in life like I remove the pebbles on the playground before he steps on one that might cause him to fall. And just as I know I can't possibly make time stand still, I resolve that this train is not going to slow down any time soon, so I guess that means I will just hold on a little tighter and enjoy the ride.
Happy 1st Birthday Rinks, love of our lives, and bundle of giggles; we love you more than any language could convey.
Mama and Daddy