Owen’s First Birthday

Tomorrow we will celebrate Owen’s first birthday. I post this picture of him (with Ella, on Easter Sunday) because it so perfectly reveals his rowdy spirit. He loves to throw. He loves to shout. What Ella builds–strange installations–he destroys.

Most of all, he loves to eat–by the greedy handful. Bananas. Chicken thighs. Guacamole. Dirt. Ella’s horrible Magic Clip Dolls. And just this Saturday, birthday cake, which he devoured angrily, his little mind figuring it out: “They’ve been holding out on me!”

My favorite part of the day: Halfway through dinner, Owen balls his fists, smirks at me, and growls. I growl back. Ella shouts. Owen shouts, smashing his fists on his tray. The meal devolves to outright savagery–notwithstanding Karen, of course.

Anyone who has ever dined with me will attest to this fact: I’ve always wanted for the perfectly savage dinner companion. (Ella, God bless her, eats like a bird).

My son. I love the sound of that phrase. I love his bulk, the smell of his head. I love the sister he has made of Ella, my darling. I love the feeling he conjures in our home–the sensation of purpose, a family unified by a sole, implicit duty: to take care of each other. One year after the fact, I have to admit: I love the little guy.

Originally posted on Facebook.