An Ode

Evan, Evan, Evan.

Poor guy. You’re a year old, and although there may be a few pictures of you here and there, so little has been written here about you. Okay, so little has been written here at ALL. Prior to this post, there were 20 about Anna, and only 2 about you. TWO. When Anna was one, we’d written about the first time she rolled over, signs she had made, and more. You get a list. One list. Of things you’ve put in your mouth. Hardly flattering.

So today, before we celebrate your first birthday (the party postponed after the family’s post-Christmas cold-o-rama), I would like to extemporize a little Ode to Evan.


You are so marvelous, so filled with vigor and with joy and O!
(That is to say, O’s.)
Your mad supahfast crawling skills, and your newly-found climbing abilities, inspire us to new heights each passing day—
—will you reach here?—oh,
you will? All right—
How about—there?
Oh, look at that! You can move chairs.
Across the room.
And then—ah.
We shall be neater.
We shall find higher places for things.
We need lots of very high shelves, now,

Little boy of mine, how fast you have grown!
Where has this year passed?—were you not once
a little
unable to sit up, unable to crawl, just
looking around, and then
LOOK at your feet, the light in your eyes as you could stand UP, right there,
right there in the middle of the room,
and now? NOW you are walking, 6, 7 steps sometimes,
to the piano, in the kitchen, from the bathroom
and soon, so much more.

How I love to feel you let go,
drift off in my arms, my warbly
slow humming Evan …
Evan …
cajoling you to sleep
with something resembling
that Miles Davis tune …
your hand so often clutching a tiny fork, an animal,
a little…something to hang on to,
see the hand … let … go …
feel, hear the baby breath soften, and even out,
and I shift your weight so gently
to the right—
remove one strap
to the left—
the other strap, reach back, unclip,
slip the sling out so carefully,
mustn’t wake you now,
and lay you tenderly down to
rest, to sleep some time before
you need mom again.

This is not enough.
Will it ever be?
I must go now, to be with you,
rather than
to write about you.
And this, truly, is what it always is now.
May you know that just like Anna,
you are our sweet child,
our sweetest little thing
we love you so—!

Look at the time.
My family needs me.


2 Responses to “An Ode”

  1. erika says:

    oh sweetie – this is so beautiful. I love you,

  2. kneek says:

    This does make my heart twitter. Now I have to go looking for the post on things Evan has put in his mouth. Have you read the book ‘What Pete Ate’? by Maira Kalman. You might find it very funny. We do. We read it over and over. Pete is a dog, not a baby, but still.

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