Luckily for him, Stella passed down her prized possession, a small, brown, gangly monkey named George. A sleeping companion for her over the course of three years, the mate she teethed on and held during long stretches of crying it out. When we entered her room every morning, it was George she held onto. He was there before bedtime, coming to life behind my pathetic George accent, waving to her and kissing her cheeks and playing hide and go seek. He once got lost in a thrift store. Another time he was left at a restaurant up the street, only to be picked up a few minutes before bedtime.
One day last year, she went to bed without him. And that was that.
Now George is safely in the tight grasp of her brother, thanks to her generous offer several months ago. Leo and George were pals from the moment they entered into a sleeping partnership. We play the same bed time games as before, only Leo likes to shove him in my face before pulling him away in laughter. His third word in life, trailing bye-bye and light by only a few weeks, was a baby slanted Geerg. Early this morning, nearing 2am, I went into Leo's room to find George soaking wet from poor Leo's teething mouth.
Nothing much has changed for poor George.
I mention all of this because my cuddly and cranky little man turned ONE a few days back and I want to remember everything I can from this glorious season of life.
He loves to be around people. Anyone really, but especially his family. He sits on Papa's lap with this beautiful unencumbered contentment written all over his face. His go to cuddle move is burying his forehead into your forehead, like some ancient symbol of love. During his long ten months of periodic colic, we could always calm him down by walking into a restaurant or into the city or over to his grandparents, where he would inevitably forget his troubles.
I sing him silent night before bed every evening and for whatever reason, he giggles almost every single time I start in, almost as if he can hear just how off key I am.
There is that perfect moment that comes every day, when my boy and my girl are playing together in a room, him hopelessly chewing on a particular object, her lost in a world of drawing and imagination. This is the moment where my deepest joy and my deepest pain intersect. The sweetness of my children playing together, content in the company of one another, is a sight so beautiful I can't help but stop whatever it is I'm doing to simply stare at my good fortune. The richness of such moments is always met by the sorrow over the one who will always be missing from the picture.
For his first birthday, we spent an afternoon running around our Downtown oasis, the White River State Park.