Hello, future. Let’s go.
Hello, future. Let’s go.
You’re one. WTF.
This is how you turned one. Rough night for you. Rough few days (week?) You woke up crying at 1045. I picked you for the long haul at 1115 after some pick ups and put downs.
But you know? It’s all good. You’ve earned it. You have had such an understated year.
You were born in the shadow of a job switch and your sister going to school.
You were so quiet on our first vacation people wondered where you were.
You moved between nannies while smiling at each and every one.
You waited to crawl until nobody was really watching probably because you didn’t want to be a distraction.
You moved houses before you moved yourself.
You’ve been teething for 8 months and just got a tooth.
The sourest demeanor you ever have is cured by taking you outside so you can wave … to everyone.
You take meds with a smile (like you take everything else.)
You love your sister and let her make you smile like I never knew smiling was possible.
You are a momma’s boy. Keep that, homie. It will get you far. Or at least, protect you forever.
You have your grandfathers in you (and in your name), linked to them forever (and ever.)
You take your time. The more we rush and hustle around you the more you naturally, instinctively, and subtly, humble our pace.
You are everything this whole family needed.
And I get to brag that you turned one in my arms. (Note: I put you back in your crib peacefully a second before posting this. You probably woke up and faked some tears so I could have this moment and story to tell.) HBD, Jaanu!
This, by the way, was how you woke up. Not so bad, huh?
This video is incredible. Because you were such a chill baby for so long, but as soon as we got to food, your true personality came out. And all that chill you gave us the first 6+ months we know, was to keep us off-guard and let us know, we were in for a surprise.
FWIW, your Naniji and your Dadiji totally called it.
There’s no advice here. You knew what you wanted. Dadiji to feed you. And your Dadaji took it in stride because, frankly, if your sister had her choice of person to feed her we all know she’d choose your Dadaji. (True story.)
This is the kind of video we’re going to love for years; and it’s the kind of video I’m going to share with all your teachers (and then significant others) — because this is the kind of stuff that’s just you.
It’s just you.
And we love all of it.
Maybe this time it’s not about you as much as it’s about one of the most celebrated moments you’ll witness: someone getting married.
It’s incredible. I’m not sure how to help you understand it, but imagine one entire group of people, meeting and loving and enjoying time with an entirely different set of people, traveling far and wide, dedicating days and hours, eating dancing, singing, laughing…
…all because of you.
That’s what it feels like to get married and to bear witness to your own marriage. It’s humbling. The entire world and everything you’ve done, been up to that moment converges, in support and celebration of the most powerful love you’ve felt to date.
You? You took your Masi’s wedding all in stride. More “A” game, but I mean, how could you not be smiling this wide with all the love flowing around you?
You may have had a moment of hesitation at the outset, but you came around pretty quickly. And then, you were all in.
There are two people in your life you have absolute, undeniable responsibility for, from the moment you’re born. Your Mumma. And your sister.
I don’t want this to sound overly dramatic; I simply want to make clear the role you play in their lives. (Note: I have the same conversation with your sis lest you think there’s some slant or bias here.)
There’s a one month period every year where this will be more important than ever: January 12 – February 15. Why? Because you’ve got Anaiya’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, and your Mumma’s birthday coming at you faster than you’ll know what to do with.
Keep calm. Give hugs. Sit in laps as long as you can; and when you can’t any longer, sleep in them. That last one lasts forever; I know, because I still sleep in my Mumma’s lap.
You did a bang up job of it this year. You let them get whacky while you just smiled, and chilled, and hugged, and loved.
Sometimes, it can really be that simple. You found a way to make their day about them, but making sure you never made it about you. So young, and already, so wise. Keep it going, Jaanu.
And Happy Birthday, Mumma. Also, the house didn’t always look like that mess behind you. We’re moving soon.
You look good. But you can’t help that.
What can you help is how you carry all that good looking.
The past few weeks we’ve had a range of events that required you to flex styles, and you did them all seamlessly. Flexing styles and fitting in require more than simply changing clothes. That would be like saying my old school Subaru GL hatchback would win an F1 race because you painted it like Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes.
Also, I totally had to look up that last reference. I know nothing about Formula 1.
At the ripe old age of 7 months you’ve found a way to change colors while also, adapting your personality to accommodate the event. Sometimes it’s as simple as how you sit. But it’s alway as simple as how you feel.
Today you make me proud because I see in you a person who has this ability to fit in, to be present, and to find happiness in any environment. You’ve got a smile that can change the world — it’s already changed ours.
Keep that adaptability and awareness at your fingertips, Jaanu. It will serve you well. And it will serve the people around you, even better.
Also, keep making your sister laugh. It’s awesome.
We’ve already talked about the power of touch. About being grateful and thankful. About building bridges. We’ve covered some topics.
This might be our most important.
Give. Just. Give.
Of yourself. Of your soul. Of your wallet. Of your time. Of your energy. Of. Your. Self.
You may not realize it, but 6 months in, that’s what you’re doing right now. You’re being present. You’re spending time. You’re giving love. And hugs. And holy hell are you giving hugs. It helps that you’re a fairly huggable young man, whose body basically morphs to and absorbs the shape of whatever you hug, but still. Holy hell do you hug.
Where was I? WTH I just lost myself thinking about hugging you by the way. Remember that when I take your car keys away one night.
Think of progress. Think of your history books. Not even US History, but World History. Think of how we got from Pyramids to Skyscrapers. From Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama. From suffering to suffrage. From infant mortality to required rear-facing car seats up to like, 90 lbs (I exaggerate, but still.)
We got there because people gave forward. Ideas. Time. Energy. People gave. To make the world better than it was.
I look back on my childhood and even early adulthood and realize I never gave enough, and I never acknowledged, enough, what I was given. Perhaps the most important thing I was given were shoulders. To lean on, to cry on, and then, and now, to stand on.
I ask that you acknowledge always the shoulders you are standing on so you are thankful for what you’ve been given, but perhaps even more importantly, you look up, you look forward, and adjust your shoulders for the feet looking for their foothold. It will come at you sooner than you think. Your ability to make an impact in this world and to give starts on Day 1. (Nice work, by the way.)
You make an amazing elf. You will, undeniably, make, an even more incredible person. I’ll leave the definition of “incredible” to you, forever and for always.
Today you make me proud because in you, I see already, such an incredible ability to give.
Go on and dust your shoulders off, Jaanu.
Two years ago I hit a rough spot at work. I have many of those. I hope one day I can explain why … so you don’t have those yourself.
Two years ago, I hit a rough spot at work, and I made an active choice. I was going to spend every some time every single day talking about what made me grateful and what made me thankful.
I did this for a long time.
About a year later, we realized we were going to have you.
And today, two years later, here we are. Here you are. And you’ve plugged yourself into the perfect place. You are the love your sister’s life, from moment one; and your mother and I feel the same.
Two years removed, I look at this moment and say unequivocally: #iamgrateful and #iamthankful. I say I am, and I tell you Jaanu, no matter how I may act in precise moments, I always and I always will be. You (and your sister) have made certain of it.
Today you make me proud because, today, you have given me yet another reason to be forever grateful and forever thankful.
I love you, homie. We were a family before you; but we are only a complete family because of you.
Rulers. Scales. Tape. Google Analytics.
These are all tools you use to measure, Length. Width. Height. Weight. Clothing. And the performance of your website.
What gets measured, gets done, goes an adage you will probably here when you get to working (it makes me sad that some things, I believe, will never change.)
What you’ll learn over time though, is that what truly matters is the space between everything that can be measured. The specific and the measurable gives us security and confidence that we can truly know the world (we can’t).
What’s in-between however, is infinite. It moves in every direction. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, sure; but the truest distance between two points is actually magic. With all the things that matter, there’s no straight line, just infinite emotion and hope and love shooting out in every possible direction.
It’s immeasurable. And the immeasurable, the thing you can’t know or measure, the thing you can only believe, is the only way to explain moments like this.
You. And Dadi Masi. How you and your sister have forged such a strong bond with her when geography, time and space conspire to enforce the opposite, I can’t know. I can only know, it’s beautiful, and it’s immeasurable.
And it’s further evidence that you’re mine. Today, you make me proud because you understand that sometimes, you don’t need proof or evidence, you just need to feel.
It ain’t right.
Jaanu, there are some people who are trying to turn us into a world of walls. Walls have sides. Not the good kind. The kind you take. Not the kind you leave.
I’m not a fan of walls. Your Mom and I are looking at buying a house soon and every time we walk into a place the first thing I’m looking at is what walls we can take down. I get them. Walls are necessary. Like medicine is necessary. Like funky cheese is necessary.
But too many walls and they lose their purpose. You move from a place where you’re keeping the bad things out, to a place where you’re keeping only you, in.
That’s why I prefer bridges. Bridges have sides too. The kind you talk about because you’re committed to leaving from or going to. The bridge isn’t the end goal. It’s the vehicle that enables the ultimate end goal: connections.
Today you make me proud because, just a few months in, and you already get the value of bridging. Keep doing that hard work and heavy lifting, BBCC.