This morning, it was snowing. Cole, sitting on the kitchen floor, dropped the plastic cups he was banging together and pushed himself to his feet to run after the cat. He screamed when the cat, tail twitching, vanished with a well-practiced leap over the safety gate. He screamed again when I put him in his high chair and screamed even louder when I put on his bib and tried to wipe his nose. Then he said "guh-GAH" and started making small munching noises as he picked up and carefully examined his breakfast -- a waffle, torn into pieces, and the remains of last night's roasted garlic potatoes.
A year ago, it was snowing. I was in the hospital with Kyrie, both of us trying to explain the concept of surrogacy to a series of sceptical nurses, who, despite the order signed by the court and a phone call to the legal department, couldn't make up their minds who should get the plastic bracelet that said "baby boy." On a table in the corner of the room, Cole was being cleaned up and weighed. I kept waiting for someone to say "I'm sorry," but instead, they put him my arms. I looked at him, then at Kyrie. I knew I was supposed to say something, but I couldn't string the words together.
Happy first birthday, Cole. And, Kyrie, though you're probably not reading this, I want to tell you that today I'm thinking of you with love and a heart-stopping gratitude for, well, everything. Just like I do every day.