Thursday, December 15, 2005

Happy Birthday, Franko

Dear Franklin,
You are now 12 hours shy of your first full year of breathing air with your own lungs, of feeling air pressure with your own skin, and taking nourishment through your own mouth. You made it. A year of life on the outside. Let's just set down here and think about that for a second. You're a year old. First birthday coming up. Youre an hour into it, actually. Still haven't gone to sleep even though mom is feigning sleep next to you. No, you're still up, pacing. don't even know. Pacing, at such a young age. You're growing up so fast.

We did some grooving tonight, you and I did. We listened to all those birthday songs, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Cibo Matto, George Harrison...and did we dance? Did we ever! You had such a great time and I was the happiest man in the building holding you in my arms as we twisted and shouted around the dining room. You even demonstrated that you've outgrown your fear of that inflatable penguin in my office. Good for you, big fella.

Last night, Mom came home with a project for us. She brought three strings of birthday lights for me to hang up on the balcony. Turns out that one 10m string was enough, and 10m more than your dear old dad had the hardware to support. But, I managed. While you were inside reading "Go Dog, Go" I was outside, hanging by my toes from the ledge of the apartment above us, and I strung your birthday lights. Well, yes, actually, it was rather dangerous, but it was worth it to see the look on your face when you saw the blue lights flashing back and forth and in circles around the balcony. It was rather cold, though, so we didn't stay out forever. But tonight, you came into the comptuer room and sat on my lap and we watched them through the window. Do you remember? Of course you do.

You're learning everything so fast now. Your teacher wrote in your correspondance book today that she asks you yes or no questions at school and you always answer them correctly. You know exactly what's going on. Tonight, while I was looking for the evil .dll file that's associated with the Look2Me adware annoyance that keeps my Firefox from operating smoothly, I took a break and walked with you all the way across the dining room to the kitchen. You probably didn't need to but you held my hands the whole way. Your steps were a little ungainly and fun to watch, but you know what--if I'm not mistaken, you reached a milestone before another milestone. (If I am mistaken, I'm sure no one will say anything about it. Not even your Aunt Sarah.)

You're a toddler a day early! I told my students today that a toddler is a child that is just learning to walk and moves around with a "toddling" motion. Then I showed them what "toddling" looked like. I'll be they never forget. I'll bet you'll never forget, either.

You'll never forget the biggest cake in the world that your dad made for you because he didn't want you to have to suffer the indignity of a first birthday with nothing but a soul-less Taiwanese birthday cake to ring out the old year. Nossirree Frank. With the help of the fine folks at Duncan Hines, your pop made an Angel Food cake with his own two hands. Mom helped out by buying a heart-shaped pan that will fit in our tiny oven. A pan which, as it turns out, is slightly smaller than a Bundt pan and not up to containing the contents of a cake which rises and rises. And builds and builds.

Goodness gracious kid, you have a birthday cake for your first birthday that was so big that it wouldn't even stay in the oven! Your birthday cake was so big that the oven door wouldn't stay closed any longer. You know what? Your nursery doesn't have enough kids and teachers to eat all this cake, so we might just have to stay home from work and school tomorrow to polish it off. Too big to fit in the refrigerator. Man oh man, what a lucky kid you are.

I haven't even told you about the icing yet. I don't want to think about it. Mom is going to have to put on your old clothes before we get to work on this tomorrow night. Won't that be funny? Mom wearing your old clothes? Jeez, if she does that, you just might have a little brother before your next birthday. Ha ha ha. No, I'll explain it to you later.

You've had such a good first year. People all over the world know about you. Everyone's looking out for you. Everyone wants to know what you look like, too, so I'd better get busy posting some pictures of you so I'll have time to put that bucket of frosting on your cake before I collapse on the bed exhausted. No, no, you're worth it. I love you with all my heart.

Sleep well little Franklin. I'll see you in the morning.

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