It’s been a year, kid.
I don’t have to constantly check up on you anymore, and be paranoid whether you are still breathing as you slumber, unknowing, naive, innocence in its most delicate form. I can only count your heartbeats, slow and steadily warm, whispering reassurances to me, making me believe still in a transient hope on a world so lost and pitifully dark. All the nights I’ve had to give up, interrupted sleep I’ve had to bide my tired mind by, the erstwhile activities and further indulgences I’ve had to forego to help in taking care of you, the stress, the weeping, the spewed bodily fluids, the horrid diapers, the sacrifices ventured and risks undertaken, everything and nothing all at once…I suppose it was all worth it in the end.
You’re still here, after all, breathing, laughing, crying. Living. One year in. It’s crazy to think just how much has changed, how everything has been elicited by insignificance, how everything slows down yet speeds up at the same time, nerves racing clockwork ticks, how much has changed, how far you have grown. It only feels like a trembling fingertip away when you were a newborn infant delivered from the hospital, and, lying there, ensconced in white silken sheets and resting with umber eyes wide shut, I saw a part of the universe that was apt with the stars in the sky. I basked in the warmth of someone who doesn’t have to be arrogant and jaded like the rest of the heartless horizons, a soul, that was a diamond moon, uncarved, pristine, an enigma. An incandescent light that catches the sparkle in every worthwhile heart. I left the room dazed that day, with ink all over my hands, holding a crumpled piece of paper, unsure of my own senses, pensive and ocean-deep.
Admittedly, I’m not the best babysitter. Sometimes I’m clumsy and end up panicking amid bloodstains and scarlet bumps. Sometimes I get vexed and irritated by your inability to act and your constant incessant shrieking, for heaven knows what reason. Sometimes I snap at you for your tantrums and for the things I know are not under your control. Most of the time I don’t know what the hell I’m even doing when I hold you. I know I’m a child-hating misanthrope that doesn’t take any shit from any other snot-nosed bratty brat that dare crosses my path, and I should be a choking hazard, kept fifty miles away from any person under 5 years old. But you are the exception.
Your shrieking laughter trumps all the crying and wailing I’ve endured from you. Your adorable cooing and chubby tottering alike, the fact that I was there for your initial steps, your first word (“Wa-ta.”), the numerous milestones that can’t be replaced by a million million-dollar paintings. The jubilance and uplift your cloudy childish curiosity banishes my demons temporarily and ties my emotions to a raspberry red balloon, sends me shimmering against your diamond moon, providing me an ephemeral glow, enough to get me though the day. You make me this incredibly maudlin and histrionic, hell, not everyone has the ability to do such a thing. And yes, I may have lost my room when you arrived, true enough, but I found a home in you.
To my sister’s chubby little child, stay wild and have fun, not only in your jungle themed party (which somehow has a clown?), but in this jungle of a life as well. True enough that your untainted whims may not last forever, but the memories remain like butterflies in my tongue, fluttering, tinting my lips with chromatic stained glass artworks, tasting of fairy dust and sweet sugary candy and an indistinguishable distinct bitter undertone, a hueful transfer with every cuddle and pinch and peck. You’ve got no reason to be sad, you need no reason to be happy, which is why you’re smiling all the time. You’ve got many people who love you unconditionally, so beat your chest and swing on the vines, you’ve got a lot to roar about. Don’t grow up too soon now. You deserve that much, at least.
Happy birthday, Gianni-ya.