A whole year. My beautiful boy. Even-keeled, high-hearted, generous, bold, affectionate, deft, keenly attentive. He has some words: Ada, ‘bye, ball, this, that. On his birthday he closed a drawer: “Sssut.” He put his face in a rose: “F’ow’.” There’s language ready to boil over. He doesn’t walk quite yet, but he’s quick enough as it is, scampering to the stairs if I’ve been forgetful with the door, waiting for me to race after him, then shrieking and chortling in madcap glee as he begins a rapid ascent. It’s the game he enjoys as much as the I can. He’s feeling his oats and his muscles; his lavish kisses now have teeth in them sometimes. My face looks like I’ve lost a fight with a house cat or a blackberry patch where he’s been too exuberant with a set of strong hands and those fingernails he hates to have trimmed.
The twenty-first: he opened some presents. In this box, once we helped him look beyond the ribbon, were a pair of blue shoes. They are a little too big to wear right now, but he was very interested in stuffing them with pieces of bread.
This photo was not staged, I swear.
There was beautiful weather, so we went to the Japanese Garden to see the Noguchi sculptures. Jolyon exhibited fine sensibilities, pointing at the art and exclaiming, “Dis! Dis! Dat! Dat! Dat!” (His favorites seemed to be some simple black ink paintings that accompanied the show.) Down at the koi pond, the irises and waterlilies were blooming. The fat fish were entrancing, of course, and so were the waterfalls. But Jolly was the only one among us to notice something else. He jabbered and pointed across the pond until I followed his finger and saw the refracted light from the waterfall dancing across a rock face and glimmering like myriad fairy lamps in the azalea branches. I’m afraid the tranquility of the garden was somewhat punctured, but I hope the other visitors at least appreciated the pure enthusiasm in the squeals.
All photos in this post are courtesy of my dad. Thanks, Dad!
Our Jolly. He’s an armful. But we’re all pretty crazy about him. It’s been a good year. A challenging year, to be sure, but quite possibly my favorite one yet. So glad you’re here, little man.