Dear Kid: One Year

Dear Kid:

Just over a week ago you turned 365 days old. That means we’ve kept you alive for a year. A whole year. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes.

That’s a butt load of time, fyi.

Well, not really. In the great grand timeline of your life, 365 days will seem fairly inconsequential. Especially those first 365 days of your life, because you won’t remember one damn minute of it. I’m not trying to be negative or anything, but it’s true. If you’re reading this, you’re probably at LEAST in your 20’s, because dudes don’t really care about sentimental stuff any time before that. At least, I don’t think they do. (But either way, when your first girlfriend calls I won’t hesitate to say, “Let me go get him. I think he’s in his room reading the love letters I wrote to him that first year.”)

But just so I can put this into a context that’s familiar to you, let’s just assume that if you’re reading this, you’re in your early twenties. Remember a few weeks ago when you drank too many Captain Morgan cokes and woke up not knowing where you were, how you got there or why in God’s name you were wearing a cheerleader’s sweater from 1971? And all you know is that there was a lot of laughing, a little crying (crazy ex-girlfriend alert), a crap ton of stumbling around and you never want to hit the bottle ever again?

Well, that’s how you should view your first year. Except I didn’t feed you alcohol, and I never put you in a cheerleading costume. (That was your father back in 2006.) The similarity here is that there’s been a lot laughs, a few tears, no one else wants you to ever hit the bottle again either, and we all have headaches and are craving the Baconater.

But seriously, it’s hard for me to fathom that you won’t even remember a year of your life, because this year will be so engrained in the minds of your father and I that there is no amount of alcohol that could erase it. Trust me. We just got back from an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, and if there were, we would know.

Yes. We were in Mexico for your 1st birthday. And it was AWESOME. Your Godmother made me go. She was like, “Semisi is turning one. Let’s party.” Just kidding. You can’t party yet. But I will say that your first year’s celebration is really more about your father and I anyway, if I’m being honest. I mean, good job to you, sure. But good job to us for, you know, learning how to be parents. When you’re 18 you can start taking credit for being born, even though I will secretly still credit myself.

But listen, the real reason we were in Mexico was because your Godmother was getting married. Don’t worry though, she’ll make it up to you some day. TRUST. When you turn 21, we’ll send her out for Gatorade and a Taco John’s run the morning after, and I can say from experience SHE WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN. She did that for us after a New Year’s Eve extravaganza one year and 40 dollars and a dream later, she came back with enough potato ole’s to feed the Irish during the famine.

Since we’re talking about her – here’s a picture of her. Now you have proof that we had good reason to be gone:

It was important work. That’s me in the coral dress because I happen to be the one who married them.  So now you have a Godfather-in-law. He loves the Godfather movies so he is totally prepped and ready for this job. He is rad. His name is Albert. You're welcome.

Don’t feel bad though. We still threw you a party before we left:

And you ate cake:

Then we threw you another party after we got back. And you ate cake again:

So see? We really did make it about you.

Moving on.

Here is a progress report on your, umm…progress?

You walk.

Run, kind of. Like you’re drunk, actually. Why do we keep talking about drinking? Quit.

You eat. Everything. Anything. We cannot put food in front of you fast enough. This morning you ate a whole banana in about 2.5 seconds. I had not yet had one sip of my coffee and that banana had disappeared. Then, after taking a long swig of milk from your sippy cup and giving us a good grunt of satisfaction as you slammed it down on the table, you carried your father to daycare.

Speaking of carrying things, you’re very strong. You carry around things that you should not be able to carry. This would be helpful if we could channel it to bags of groceries or the laundry basket, but currently you’d rather pull full gallons of milk out of the fridge and move Gus the Dog’s house around the floor. As if that dog doesn’t have enough anxiety, now he has to re-live Nam.

And you talk. You say dadda, momma (more than dadda, now. Good work.), Papa, and the other day you whipped out a little “ba” after I said “bath.”

But you know what? None of that matters. You could be doing none of those things and I’d still like you just as much, because you’re just, well, damned likable. That hasn’t changed since day one. Yes, sometimes you throw temper tantrums when I remove you from crawling in to the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator, but we promptly ignore this unseemly behavior and you get over it, and then we all move on.

And like I said, even if you don’t remember this year, son, I can assure you that your father and I will hold on to, cherish and remember every moment day of it. On October 26th, just as our plane landed in Mexico, I turned to your father and told him that it was hard to believe that at that moment, one year prior, I was having contractions. Your father, stop watch in hand, would look down at my belly and up at me, waiting as labor progressed throughout the night. We were two people who had no idea what to expect. All we knew is that we were unbelievably excited to meet you. And 32 RIDICULOUSLY LONG, PAINFUL, MISERABLE hours later, there you were. More than fashionably late, but much anticipated. And, as it turns out, worth every 1,920 minutes of labor.

You still owe me for 9 months with no booze though.

But seriously, son, in an instant our lives changed for the better – all thanks to your arrival. Last night, as I was swaying you in your room, lights off, just before bedtime, I caught a glimpse of the two of us in the mirror. Your head was on my shoulder and your body was stretched along the entire length of mine, and suddenly I realized that in the blink of an eye, you’d changed from a small, 7 pound, squishy little baby:

…to a boy:

And let me just say that your dad and I will be forever grateful for the little guy you are today, the kid I’m sure we’re bound to delight in, and the man we’ll be proud to call Semisi Michael Kongaika.

All my love to you, son, one year later, and for every year to come,



  1. Love love love!! Happy birthday, little man!

  2. Yay!!

    I love the way your Godmothers make you celebrate. That's some solid choices in extended family there!

  3. Love. Happy Birthday Big Boy! (Sorry, I couldn't resist) (And really, you know I'm not even the first to call him that so don't give me that look.)

    Great post! You're such a cool mom!

  4. Wish I could eat cake twice in one week! Happy (belated) birthday to your son!


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