It was about this time of night seven years and one day ago that I went to bed, exhausted from a pregnancy that had not been an easy one. Knowing it was the eve of your birth. Knowing that nine months of carrying you around with me, feeling you stretch and hiccup and kick, and feeling your tiny, precious life intertwined with mine was coming to an end.
And on December 19, you were born. And Henry, from the minute you arrived in this world you had us all in the palm of your hand.
You were teensy tiny.
You were unbelievably adorable.
You were perfect.
And that red hair. I remember taking off that scratchy cap just to look at your hair. To ruffle up the copper peach-fuzzy crown you wore, and smooth it back down again. You know, you hated that scratchy hat. Of course it was huge on your tiny little head. And you were right, it was scratchy. (But you hated hats of any sort, even those of the softest cotton). You would twist and turn your head around in that little cap, trying to work yourself out of it, and it would end up halfway down your nose, completely covering your little eyes. Eventually, I just stopped putting hats on you altogether. And you were happy, Henry.
It is hard to believe that today you are seven years old. You are already making your way in this world. You are making yourself known. You remind me of my Dad…someone seems to know you, wherever you go. Maybe it’s the hair. Or the hearing aids. Or the freckles! Or the very, very bad knock knock jokes. For example…
Owl I didn’t know you were a bird! Hahahahahahaha!
(Do you tell other people these jokes, Henry?) I laugh despite the fact that these jokes of yours are completely NOT funny. At all. But Henry, you are laughing so hard that I can’t help it. Seven years later, you are still my happy baby boy.
I am so glad that I belong to you, Henry John.
Happy birthday, smokey cheeks. (That’s a Henryism. I don’t exactly know what “smokey cheeks” means.)