Wednesday, January 27, 2016

We are always the same age inside.

Calvin and I meet for the first time.

The end of January is a popular time for birthdays in my family. My birthday is January 23, and my nephew, Calvin, was born on January 27 last year. That’s right, my baby nephew turns one today.

Watching Calvin grow and learn and change this past year really got me thinking about age and growing up in general. Every time I see him, he has changed in some way, and it makes me kind of sad inside. I don’t want him to grow up! I love him just the way he is right now.

The thing is, I say that to myself every time I see him. I wanted him to stay a tiny newborn forever so that I could always hold him close and in my arms. Then he started to smile, and I thought, “Okay, he can stay this age so that I can watch his little baby face smile forever.” Then he learned to laugh and then sit up and then babble and then crawl. And I always thought, “Wow, he just keeps getting better. But I want him to stay exactly like this, the way he is now.”

And now he’s one.

It’s sad. But it’s also so exciting. He’s growing up before my eyes, and I get the joy of watching him and helping him and growing with him. It’s the ultimate bittersweet feeling.

From the moment I laid eyes on Calvin, I was in love. He stole my heart the second I held him in my arms. I felt this bond with him that has only continued to grow stronger throughout the past year. I can’t wait to continue to watch him grow and to bond even more with him.

Me, on the other hand, I turned 20 this year. TWENTY. How is that possible? How am I out of my teens and into my twenties? That’s scary. As a kid you think about growing up and wish you could just be older. Now I wish I were younger again. I sooo took nap time for granted as a kid -- I’d like a do-over on that one.

But it’s the same thing as my sadness of Calvin growing up. That’s what life is about: growing up, learning, changing. I don’t want to be sad about it anymore. I want to celebrate it!

So happy birthday to my sweet and adorable nephew. I love you so much and can’t wait to see where life takes you.

Lots of love,

Gertrude Stein, “The American Treasury"