I guess the first and most celebrated milestone of any baby is the day she turns one. There are people who plan these events like they were planning weddings. Seriously. The wife began making plans for Isay’s first birth anniversary the day after she was baptized. Isay was just four months old during her christening.
It’s a funny thing because if you really think about it, the one birthday you’re bound to have absolutely no recollection of is your first.
But in an age where you can easily pack memories into digital packages and unbox them years later looking like they happened just yesterday, celebrating a first birthday gives you a chance to create time capsules that you can show your kid when she grows up—you know, to give her an idea what the world was like when she turned one.
(Before I begin, allow me to apologize for not having posted for quite some time. Three months, yes? Between covering Manny Pacquiao’s last fight and some seismic shifts in the office, things have been pretty hectic my end and there was little time to update my blogs. Hope this post makes up for lost time.)
I had always been fascinated with the word ever since I encountered it a few years ago.
It is said that the word, which has Welsh roots, has no direct English translation. After cursory research on it, I understood why. English even struggles to define hiraeth. I came across several attempts to define the word in English, and three caught my attention. There are dictionaries that refer to it as that intense longing or yearning for one’s homeland. Some define it as some sort of melancholic homesickness for a home one can never return to. Then there is my favorite: A longing; a heart-gutting yearning to belong that dissipates only after one finally finds his home.
That last definition is what resonates with me a lot.
LONG before Isay turned six months old, my wife and I had already discussed getting her on solid food. The little bunny had been exclusively breastfeeding before that and it was time to amp up her feeding time.
(Note: She still breastfeeds. When my wife is at work, she nurses expressed milk from the bottle. We are hoping this lasts as long as it can. The benefits have been invaluable, to say the least. We always tell friends and family how, during a flu epidemic that rocked the house, Isay was the only one untouched.)
We had previously spoken to Isay’s pedia and read up on every available literature we could get our hands on. We went through everything we learned and deciced to begin the next chapter of Isay’s life.
WAY before Isay turned six months old, the wife and I had decided to make it special by taking her on her first airplane ride. When picking a destination, we settled on Hong Kong, so that we could take the little bunny to Disneyland.
During the course of the planning, we decided to bring the wife’s parents along for some family bonding time. Since it was the first time Isay would be on a trip, we made sure we combed through every possible situation we would face. Airplane rides, train rides, long walks, long days. Since Isay could only appreciate this trip through pictures, we wanted to make sure she would be at least comfortable the whole four days we would be in HK.
Why travel? Because we want her to get comfortable going to different places and visiting different cultures. If there is one thing we want our baby to develop, it’s a sense of adventure and discovery, the joy of traveling.
THERE are times in one’s life when you can only wish that life slows down. These are breakneck-speed times and days whiz by almost impossibly fast that sometimes you can only gasp for breath then sigh later at the moments that just passed you by.
Isay turned four months old recently. And still I wake up thinking that the wife gave birth yesterday. Four months. Four months? How did four months just suddenly slip past me?
IF THE idea of this blog had struck me earlier, I would have definitely recapped each passing month of Isay. But since this got off to a late start, about roughly two months into this magical ride they call fatherhood, It was pretty much too late for months one and two.
But the seed of the monthly update continued to germinate in my mind. I do write monthly letters to Isay in a little red book that I keep private. But since there were a few stuff that I didn’t mind sharing, I couldn’t let go of this monthly update thing. So forgive me for cramming the first quarter of Isay’s first year into a single post.
There was so much to learn and share from Isay’s first three months. And it hardly matters whether you’re a normal joe type of a father like everyone else or you suffer from anxiety disorder like I do. The first few months of fatherhood will be a steep learning curve that you are totally unprepared to go through.