To my son on his birthday…

Xander turns 1

Dear Xander,

It was on a breezy and mild East Texas morning a year ago today that you came leaping into the world.

Today is your first birthday.

Indeed, you came leaping and bounding into the world. When your mother told the doctor and nurses that you were coming, they responded with a cordial professional interest and continued to prepare the equipment.

You did not wait.

I glanced at their amazed faces as your head emerged, with the doctor lunging forward to just barely catch you as your were born…  she didn’t even have her gloves completely on.

Xander at Christmas paradeSince then, you’ve continued to press on with haste, eager to catch up with your siblings. So far, you’ve done everything early…  hitting every benchmark ahead of your brothers and sisters. You’re on the verge of talking, communicating already in single or two-word phrases. You nod and shake your head in response to yes/no questions, and obey when told simple directives. You seem to remember things well and draw quick connections in cause and effect situations. You’re so clever at problem solving and figuring ways around obstacles. I can tell you’re going to be quite a handful as a toddler.

In appearance you are encapsulated by your nickname: “Mr. Big,” because you are a big boy. In the highest percentile in height, you’ve got long, almost flipper-like feet and the wide palms of your grandfather. Like the rest of the Prosser children, you’ve also inherited your grandmother’s long graceful fingers. Gauging your broad shoulder and long stout legs, I’d wager you’re going to be the largest of my children.

A well-built blue-eyed and red-headed Celtic lad, with a blithe and winsome personality, you’re going to charm many…  indeed, you already do.

Your brothers and sisters adore you, and take pains to include you in their activities whenever you come trundling after them with your big-eyed, open-mouthed laughing smile. But you also seem drawn to solitude, even at this young age. You remind me so much of you big brother Israel, with how you can content yourself alone for long stretches of time.

One afternoon a few weeks back I’d suddenly noticed that you were just a bit too quiet for just a bit too long while playing in the Nursery. The other children were all in the living room watching a movie but you were alone, playing by yourself with the scattered toys on the soft carpeted floor. Totally content in silence, yellow sunbeams cascading around your ruddy and beautiful face.

Son, I feel like I know you so well, and yet so much of you remains hidden. But I look forward to discovering you more this year.

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