by Jonathan Lyons on November 13, 2012

At 11½ months, Curran is outgrowing some of his 18-month-size clothes.

As his first birthday approaches, I’m thinking about how far he’s come, and what a journey it’s been. A year ago this week, K and I were teaching full course loads at our university, she was very pregnant, and we knew that labor could arrive at any moment. I was full of nervous anticipation.

I’ve written about the labor and delivery, about how the first few months of his life are a greasy smear of bleary, sleep-deprived memories. Now we have a child who’s about to turn a year old. He says Mama, Papa, eye, and a few other words; he says the first syllable of nose, and knee, and has a word for kitty that sounds a bit like Quagmire’s “Giggity!”; he knows sign-language gestures for more, finished, and a few others. And he’s ravenously curious, pointing to the things he sees and wants to have us name. He picks out the kitties in Goodnight Moon when we ask him to, as well as the red balloon, the baby bunny, the fireplace, and the mama bunny. It’s been an amazing experience to watch his mind growing, to see him taking his first solo steps, or standing on his own, or pushing his walker around the house for ever-greater strolls, or to be part of it when he invents a new game, such as his current pastime of feeding us imaginary Cheerios from his palm full of . . . well . . . imaginary Cheerios. It’s humbling, watching as the mostly sleeping infant we brought home from the hospital nearly a year ago grows into a person, a human being who is more and more a realized individual with each passing moment.

He has a hearty, joy-saturated laugh, along with his own entirely unique sense of humor. From day to day, he’ll suddenly find a different gesture or word (he went through a “p” phase — plop and poop and so on) utterly hilarious!

He’s had a virus that has been plaguing the university and his daycare, but seems to be pulling out of that. His illness followed my having had the same thing; his was compounded by teething, which means that the last couple of nights have been the most restful since I first caught the damned thing. The previous week was one of middle-of-the-night rocking-chair sessions, trying to convince him to fall back asleep.

In October, as they began to appear in bins at the grocery store and on people’s porches and doorsteps, he developed serious fandom for pumpkins, excitedly pointing them out to us wherever we went.

So much change has come to him so quickly that it sometimes seems impossible. I feel unbelievably lucky that K is on sabbatical leave, and that I taught only one course this past spring semester; we’ve had an unusually generous stretch in which primarily to be parents. I cringe a bit when I think of us both teaching a full load again next fall. He’s come so far already — who knows what leaps and bounds await us in the coming year?

But for the moment, on this gorgeous autumn Sunday in November, I have a moment to be amazed and grateful.

* * * *

Jonathan Lyons is a new 2741ATHER. He lives and teaches and writes strange things in Central Pennsylvania. His latest novel, Signal to Noise: A Novel Infused With Music, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and cool indie bookstores everywhere.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

E.C. Fish November 14, 2012 at 3:30 am

I’ve got to ask, Jonathan– by “the first syllable of nose and knee,” do you mean the letter N?


Jonathan Lyons November 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Yep — it’s pretty much “Nuh” for both 🙂


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