Gone Fishin'

HEY!

I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!

9.27.2011

Year One

Austen, one year old, eating an apple while sitting in an apple tree.

Today is Austen's first birthday. The time has dragged and flown simultaneously, in that way all people and certainly all parents talk about.  It is a birthday for me too. It's a year of being a different kind of in love than I ever have been before, and a year of unraveling. A dissolution of the person I was for the first 33 years of my life, and a reconstitution into someone a little different.  I feel a little wiser and also dumbfounded; more flexible yet empowered to be unbending when necessary. The depth of field changes constantly, the focus changes constantly, but my grip on the camera is firm.
Austen, less than a month old. He drags this pillow around with him now. 
Of course, any changes I have observed in myself pale in comparison to what Austen has done. I feel a little sad that we are in the part of his life that he will remember almost none of, at least consciously.  What an odd thing. I'll have to tell him about it, take pictures and keep notes like this one.
One month old.
Austen, you came into the world with a clear and piercing voice, one I'll never forget.  When your mother needed rest, I walked miles up and down the halls of the maternity ward with you in my hands, curled against my neck and shoulder and chest. Getting you home, to bright fall sun spilling through our picture window onto all of us in the living room was one of the best days of my life.
Two months old, at Nauset Beach.
Our time at home, unencumbered by the constraints of work, was all too short. By the new year we were both back at work, and for a time, you were in day care. We saw you flagging there, coming home every day unrested and vacant, and we felt like the worst people in the world for deciding to have you and not being able to have you home with one of us for the first years of your life. We found a nanny we could share with a few other families, bit a big money bullet, and went for it. I hope you'll remember Brenna someday, but if you don't you should know that you and she got along wonderfully, and that you smiled in the mornings when you saw her and you were happy and engaged with us at the end of the workday when we would see you again.
Four months old. 
I hope you know also, that your smile and squeal of delight upon my return home every day has been the best moment of each and every one of those days. Except for all of the other best moments, all caused by you. I remember in the first few months of your life that there was ceaseless rocking and sung lullabies as I tried to get you to sleep. And I remember a little bit of sweet sadness this spring when you couldn't be rocked to sleep anymore, and I would read to you in your crib instead- not until you fell asleep, because you wouldn't, you'd just become docile and then snuggle into the side of the crib with a sigh. And I'd close the door, exhausted and needing a break, but again a little sad at taking my leave from you for the night. One night, not that long ago, you woke in the middle of the night, inconsolable. While I held you and swayed, you cried.  Then you stopped, and buried your little head under my chin. I knew it was time to put you back down but I really didn't want to.
Six months old. A total smile and laugh machine.
We took you to the ocean as soon as we could travel that far with you. It was late fall and cold and windy, but we still plunked you down on the sands of Mayflower Beach for a few moments. You clenched some of the fine sand in your fingers, and I could practically see the neurons firing in your little brain when you did. Over the spring and summer, we would return to the ocean, both the calm, gentle waters and marshes of Cape Cod bay, and the roaring embrace of your anagram beach, Nauset. You were mesmerized to watch me and your uncle skimboarding into the surf there. I'll have a skimboard made for you by next spring, I promise.
Nine months old. 
You should know that your mother has worked very hard to nourish you. First, with all of the struggles that come from nursing, and now as she goes and picks out fresh vegetables and whole grains and cooks them for you and mixes them. I've never seen so many little containers of food in our house, but you like it all and you have been growing big and strong all along.
10 months old. Loving the swing. 
I'm proud of you. There's no such thing as being "just a baby." You dream, you analyze, you move and you hear. Most of all, you love, joyfully, unconditionally, bravely.  You inspire your mother and I to love you back in the same way, and believe me, we do.

Less than a month old. I'll never forget how little he was at the beginning.