When we were waiting for Barrow to be born, the one thing I was sure of was that he would have brown eyes. When he finally emerged, a year and two days ago, he had the same bright baby blues he wears today. It was a reminder that life will always surprise you and that genetics are a mysterious and still unknowable thing. And yet, on a very basic level: baby, boy, Barrow, blue. It made a strange kind of sense.
In the year since, he has created and fulfilled his role in our family. Now he is the perfect complement to our previous trio and I can't imagine our household without him. Having a second kid was challenging in many ways. I felt like the romance and sentimentality of infancy often gave way to pragmatic concerns very quickly: how do we manage two children, how do we make sure the basic needs of everyone are being met. I often felt guilty that I wasn't writing more about Barrow, or spending time reading to him in a cozy and quiet room, or scribbling in the baby book that is still (shamefully, so very shamefully) still mostly empty.
I also had forgotten about the reptilian existence of very young babies. Their needs are basic and they are not cute very often. Personalities remain unformed. But in these last few months there has been a real blossoming, and Barrow has really come into his own (as much as someone can when they can't walk, talk, or poop in a respectable way).
He is showing signs of a personality that makes me feel like he will carry himself well with the goofy name we strapped him with. He is curious and flirtatious. He is so happy and quick to smile and laugh. He moons over his big sister and looks to her constantly. He is physically affectionate and loves the feel of scruff on his cheek or kisses on his neck. He bounces up and down with enthusiasm and gnaws on the bars of his crib. He likes to nap and gratefully sinks into his crib with a soothie and his love. Right now he has approximately six teeth, large and asymmetrical, poking along his gums. And always, always, the lone dimple: the heartbreaker.
With both kids, I was so excited when they learned to move themselves on their own. I like seeing where they will go of their own volition. Barrow doesn't like to be alone and will come trundling around the corner to see who's coming in or out the front door. He doesn't want to be the last one in a room.
And so now he is one, and we all continue to grow together. Happy birthday, little man.