Happy Birthday, Ba. I had a pretty good week; which means … you’d have had an even better one. There’s something incredible about a grandparent’s love. I witnessed it first-hand with you, and I’m seeing it first-hand with our kids too. All love gets magnified; all missteps get marginalized. It’s not even rose colored glasses … I think it’s parents getting a second chance to look at the kids in their lives and thinking “you know, maybe I would have looked at the world more like this, knowing then what I know now.” It’s something I’m working on experiencing before my second time around. Because of you. Because of them.
We’re taking the kids to Candytopia tomorrow; all for you. For all I know, I know the one thing for sure — Candytopia would’ve been exactly how you’d have wanted to celebrate your birthday with these (or any) little monkeys around. We’ll roll with less rules for that reason, tomorrow. Love you, Ba. For teaching me the word unconditional.
#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for that feeling you gave us, and how unavoidable it is at the best and worst of times — just enveloping love when it’s needed or welcome the most. Hope you and Daddy had a great dinner tonight.
With Mom on a much deserved getaway, I leaned heavy on my sis, mom and dad. Lord knows my competence with our kids requires much much support to be viable. This dad needs training wheels. Any way, it was awesome.
The kids fell madly in love and it was all reciprocated. Special moments abound, for which #iamgrateful and #iamthankful From chocolate ice cream for dinner with Dadaji (him spending all his time holding her bowl so it didn’t fall, and her reminding him to eat his stuff), to dinner on the couch with Tito Foi, to fruit for breakfast, to Jaanu teasing Dadaji and Dadiji. Life is good.
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.
What a great family weekend in the Poconos. We haven’t spent nearly enough time with the family, which means you, my loveliest of little ones, haven’t built that connect yet either. We’ll get better about it. There’s no choice. These are the people who raised me and every single person in one of the following pictures has had such a profound influence on my life, it’s disappointing to me how little time you’ve actually spent with them. That is on me to fix.
I can talk about the Poconos in so many ways. A few highlights:
Dadaji being your formal stroller pusher. He likes predictability and schedules. And now he’s got one very clear place to own the relationship with you.
Dadiji filled with pride. When you smile. When you turn. When you eat. When you do anything, I swear I can see her heart swell from the outside in.
Dadi Naniji. One of the sweetest and most purely loving people in the world doing what she does best with everyone, with you — loving.
Hitu Dada Mama. One of the quirkiest members of the family and one who will undoubtedly become one of your favorites. He’s always behind the scenes but he’s always there. Like in the pictures…never the subject, always enabling. And he was the first one to hold you each morning because he was awake, there, and waiting. Like he always is.
Charu Dadi Mami. She’s going to make you stronger and she’s going to make you laugh. And she’s also going to make you famous with her photography. With so many boys around, she’s one reason you’ll be spoiled and supported unconditionally.
Chetu Dada Mama. The baby whisperer. You already have some amazing photos with him but they don’t capture his thirst for life. His will be a pair of arms and a lap that you will always gravitate to — every child does.
Prity Dadi Mami. She fought hard to have you sleep in her room but we were silly parents about it. 🙂 It happens. She’s the one who made this weekend happen and you’ll see, that when family events happen, she’s such a powerful glue. She was the first person to welcome your mom to this side of the family.
Tito Foi. If there’s a person who loves you and thinks about you more, please let us know. She gave you one of the longest, most relaxing, and most public (there was quite an audience) massages you’ll ever have. Expect more such pampering through eternity.
Suraj Kaka. The human jungle gym. Not just for kids, for adults too. It was his first time meeting you but you can see the love in his eyes. You’ll always be protected when he’s there. He’s truly all heart.
Holly Aunty. For many of us, the first time meeting her, so you were in no different a place. But she embraced you the right way, and you’re going to have a friend for life in that one — for now though, we’ll jus tfocus on commenting on each other’s Facebook walls. 🙂
Sohum Kaka. Daddy’s older brother. He’s off to San Francisco to become Teacher Man, and do what he does best — make other people better. I couldn’t be happier that he got time with you before he left. You know, he was the first baby Daddy actually remembers holding and changing diapers for?
Neil Kaka. Swoon. That’s what most people do around him and I’m sure this time will be no different. But I think, he’s met his match. And you can see it in his face and the way he talks about you to his friends. The swooning is going the other way. And you know he’s made so many trips to see you here in Jersey City — though maybe it’s because of Daddy’s fridge, too?
Eeshan Kaka. He took you to your first coffee shop, you know. Eeshan Kaka is saving the world starting with North Carolina, so it was great to make sure you got extended time with him here. He’s got a mind and brainpower that reinforces your pedigree — and compensates for Daddy in so many ways.
Amu Kaka. He’s been the same personality since he was 12 months old — and it’s bound to be one of your favorites. We’re going to drive down to visit Kaka while he’s at Delaware, and we’re going to let him carry you and push the stroller. Because that’s a great way to pick up girls. The problem might be, that based on how he looks at you (and tweets about you), he may miss all the action around him.
That’s part of your family, munchkin. Look at all that love. And if it’s hard for you to read all this, maybe it’s better for you to check out the pictures below. One of my favorite goodbyes. As a man who has struggled with goodbyes for ages (one of the best parts of my childhood were when your Dada Mama’s used to come visit almost every Friday, one of the worst parts of my childhood were when they would leave on Sunday) this brought me to tears. Every person having their own unique moment with you. Every person smiling at you smiling back.
It’s the one thing I think everyone in the world needs more of. It’s the one thing I want most for you: to feel loved. Always. Unconditionally.
As your family hugged you, kissed you, reinforced their love for you, and then passed you along to the next in line, I couldn’t help but feel certain that you are one who’s loved in ways that go beyond any form of measurement. And that, makes Mommy and me, the happiest people in the world.
(Note: This covers January 14th, our first night home from the hospital. In some ways, my least favorite day. Ever.)
D*mn. You’ve got some pipes. And it’s our fault you had to use them as loudly, often, and consistently as you did. We simply didn’t know any better.
We tried changing you. We tried feeding you. We tried burping you. We tried swaddling you. We tried everything parents of two days could try. And nothing worked. Your screaming got louder. On and off. You were exhausted. And every time you wailed our hearts shattered into a million more pieces. There is no sound like your cries. Nothing could have prepared us for it. And nothing will ever make me forget it. Consider me well trained to avoid your tears ever again.
It was this very night I realized that loving you to the end of the world, to the end of time, will sometimes not be enough. I also realized that feeling the kind of love we feel for you can be crippling and debilitating. I have never felt so hopeless. I have actually never been so worthless. Your Ba-ji, your Naniji, your Dadaji, your mom — they were all extraordinary in action. Your Ba-ji and Naniji are the only reason we made it through the night. I feel like they are the only reason you made it through the night. An interesting study in contrasts. Where mine was love inaction, there’s was love in action. Troubleshooting. Collaborating. Trialing, erroring, and trialing again. From 10pm to 8am the next morning they operated at a furious pace. Forcing me to rest. Standing beside your mom and magnifying her existing strength. Holding you in their hands every step of the way (even if they weren’t actually holding you in their hands at certain points in time.)
I witnessed something powerful and amazing that night, in the shadow of my own limitations as a father. My angel has angels. Specifically, two guardian angels in your Ba-ji and Naniji, and you couldn’t be more blessed. Because sometimes the love of your parents may not be enough. And in those times, you’re blessed to know that you have a love that’s even more unique and tireless — the love of your grandparents.
Yes, lovely. On this day, my love for you was simply not enough. Instead, I learned by watching your grandparents display one of the greatest performances of my lifetime, leaving me humbled and inspired to pursue my apprenticeship in parenthood under them.
(Knowing full well that if I screw up in the slightest I’ll have them to answer to.)