Today is Josephine's First Birthday.
I have never been moved by anyone else's birthday. Sure they're nice whether they're mine or anyone else's, but at no time have I ever turned to Steve all teary-eyed and said, "I can't believe my mom is sixty-three!". So is quite a surprise to me that I have blubbered more than somewhat over these last two days. Really, me getting a bit misty over seeing our baby's picture and hearing a birthday greeting read on Breakfast Television this morning is something I would have laid odds against not too many years ago. Yet I watched for it with the same eagerness with which I always waited to hear my name called on Romper Room.(Cue violins) Except that no-one ever sent my name in and it's unusual enough that I couldn't expect to hear it otherwise and pretend that it was for me.
Last night, I held my arms out to Josephine, hoping she'd take more than the two or three staggers and lurches that she's been up to lately and said to Steve, "I always wanted a daughter who walked within a year because of that line from that Squeeze song "Up the Junction" (She gave birth to a daughter, within a year a walker, she looked just like her mother, if there could be another... and then the song gets REALLY depressing.). Josephine then dropped and crawled to me and I gave a big sigh. That in itself made me sigh again, because I am a sigher and a tsker and a grunter, and Josephine has picked up on the fact that bending, lifting, sitting and carrying things require making those accompanying noises. Unlike me, she is a hummer while she eats. That's pretty cute now, but it will have to stop by the time she's ready to go eat at other people's houses, because no one is getting my Flamingo Kid reference, which means I'm old and have bad taste in Matt Dillon movies. Within minutes though, she was back up and standing by the Art Deco dentist's cabinet we use as a bar (I'm just showing off here) and when Steve held his arms out to her, she took five steady, concentrated, businesslike steps with a look of pride on her face that wiped the floor with my petty aspirations. She went from baby to toddler in that minute, for herself and for her daddy and because it was her manifest destiny that it should happen then, not as a little performing monkey. I burbled and leaked a few tears and got a little verklempt (I actually did that fluttering hand over heart thing) and said "First they walk toward you, and then they learn to walk away" (except that it was more like, Fuh...fuh...furst they walk toward you and then they learn to wa...wa...walk a waaaaaaaaay! With the way part starting with a keening and ending with a sob and snuffle). And then Beauty got her head stuck in the leg opening of the high chair trying to get a sliver of Brussels Sprout and we snapped back into being tired parents who were trying to finish dinner at eight forty-nine, when we were interrupted by our daughter growing up and a dog with a flair for the anticlimactic.