Ace is two years old today. Like everyone always remarks, I can’t believe how our time together has flown by. At the same time, having her in my life has changed it in such significant ways that it’s hard to remember life before she joined me. Her needs are a major factor in how I structure my day and my budget. I measure and worry over her food, her exercise, her moans and grunts, her sleep, her poo. I am so intimate with her tiny body, washing, brushing, putting in eye drops and even injections, clipping and cleaning, and plucking away the ticks. My phone and camera are 99% filled with her images. I pack her into cars, buses, trains, and airplanes. I pay her bills. I comfort her through fear. I laugh at her antics. I teach her right from wrong. I like to watch her sleep.
Does it sound like I have a two-year-old child? It feels not quite like that, but similar, a parallel track. Certainly she is a dependent, helpless being, like a child, but perhaps more accurately she is eternally present-focused like a child, living in and for this moment only. This mindfulness is the gift I receive from Ace every day. It is the only true obliteration of that gnawing anxiety so many if us carry throughout our modern days. I look at her and all I see is her, all I feel is her, right now, and whatever she is feeling or perceiving now too. She gets me out of my head.
Happy birthday, Ace! I can only hope that my presence brings you a portion if the joy I feel every day caring for and learning from and laughing at you.