Warning: The following is a love letter. If you find such thoughts offensive or smarmy, it’s probably best you not read on.
Well, you’re now a year old, no longer The Crouton but an absolutely delightful full loaf of fun, a most terrific Tiny Man.
Knowing how impatient you are in getting up to full speed — you pretty much blew off crawling with a modified butt-in-the-air crab walk and have been walking now for about a month, even kicking one of your many balls down our hallway — it wouldn’t surprise me if you’re able to read this in another year or so. You already know eight words and, as your Grampa knows full well, you’ll find magic in how you use those words.
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I want you to know what wonderful parents your Mom and Dad are. No child has ever had more loving, nurturing parents — a mother and father who blessed you with not only an insatiable curiosity, but also a wonderful sense of humor. Again, as you’ll find in time, your laughter is magical in how it brings grins to anyone who hears it.
Your Nana calls you charming, which isn’t really an adjective I’d normally use to describe a 1-year-old, but, man, for a toddler you’ve got some kind of charisma going for you already.
Just one example of your loving nature happened the other night at your birthday party. When we arrived, the house was full of your Mom and Dad’s friends, as well as your little friend Hunter.
As soon as we came in the door, you saw us, beamed a toothy grin, and made your way through ripped-open presents to come over to give each of our knees a big hug. Call it charm or charisma, your affectionate nature is a gift — one that will serve you well in the world you inherit.
Because you live only three blocks from Nana and me, we get to see you all of the time, and here’s what I know about you:
You’re not fussy. Even while cutting a new pearly white, you do so with a drooly sense of aplomb.
You love animals and can give a very credible “woof” while stalking our dogs, Buster and Bailey. Our cat, Mousifer, has bought into having you pat her (heartily, I might add).
You love water. Whether it’s picking succulent blooms and putting them in the dog’s water bowl or sitting in your pool or tub, you’re a born waterman. With your love of water and balls, I can see a future water polo player like your Mom.
You love electronic gadgets and, as far as I can tell, have never met a button you haven’t loved pushing. I’ve got to especially thank you for beelining straight to our phone to check our messages for us.
You’re a curious little raccoon whose tongue hangs from the side of your mouth when figuring out something for the first time.
You’re a practical joker. We had to buy Buster a new food dish after you carefully hid his old one in a vase next to the fireplace.
You’re a year old, Tiny Man. It doesn’t seem possible that a year’s gone by since you entered our lives. That will be another mystery for you to solve when you get older: Where does the time go? I have total faith you’ll be the one to figure it out.
One last thing, whenever we get to baby-sit you, you leave Nana and me refreshed and fully alive; you’re simply a gift.
We all love you dearly,