As I sit here watching him play with his toys, I laugh – he’s so vigorous in his excitement. He pulls with his whole body, turning quickly from crawling into sitting with one swift manoeuvre, throws his hands in the air, up, down, up, down, eyebrows raised. He walks around the furniture, going faster the more excited he gets, his knees coming up higher, and I’m sure he’s going to topple over but he doesn’t, he controls it, saves it.
It’s Christmas Eve. He doesn’t know; this excitement is part of who he is, a baby growing. He’s learning and every day the same tasks are as much fun and as interesting as the day before, because this entire world is completely and utterly new to him. Even his hands and the five podgy fingers attached can entertain him for minutes at a time.
But I know it’s the day before Christmas. It’s such a special day in the year (baby or not) because it is absolutely full, brimming to the top, with magic. This year though, my Christmas wish (well, my all-year-round wish) finally came true with the arrival of our baby boy, Nathan Coburn Miller. And now that he’s 11 months old (he’ll be one exactly a month after Christmas) and is all too quickly growing from a baby into a little boy, I catch glimpses of who he might become. And even though I try hard to hold on to these crystal-ball moments, they disappear as quickly as a puff off warm breath on a frosty morning.
I find myself particularly emotional this Christmas. Every year, I find myself bubbling up into a gooey mess for seemingly no reason, triggered by Last Christmas or Driving Home For Christmas, or some other, any other, sentimental Christmas song. But 2017 is even more precarious in its ability to make me cry, because now I’m also excited for Nathan, for the Christmases when he will know what’s going on and the magic that will surround that.
In turn, as a new mummy, I think of his future, what it will mean for him, who he will be. I hope he stays cheeky and smiley forever, and that his obstinate determination will be an asset to him. But most of all, I hope he’s kind to others, that he’s happy and healthy, and that he is lucky enough to experience this feeling when he grows up.
Until then, Merry Christmas to all the new babies, and to you.
Image: Kris Miller.