Someday I hope you can forgive your Uncle Nick and I for forgetting your first birthday, which was yesterday, May 14th. Given how nuts I am about birthdays, it is with great shame that I admit, as your Tita/Auntie, to have forgotten to call you and listen to you babble into the phone.
When you are older, I hope you can understand that the human brain’s capacity to remember dates, even significant ones, does not accurately reflect the priorities in our lives and we are so sorry to have moved on throughout May 14th as if it were just another day.
You are a joy to watch. You have an older sister and two older brothers and I, being the youngest of four with the same ratio as you, can empathize with all the impending torture you will endure from your siblings. Already, you are being wrestled and jumped on, stepped on and stepped over by your brothers who sometimes treat you like a pillow or a bouncy mattress to cushion their falls. You always just smile and giggle like you are being tickled. Never mind that I start wailing like your neck is broken, you just smile at me and gurgle in delight that you are being used as a punching bag.
Your nickname by your siblings is Doe-Doe, I’m assuming because Jesse can’t say JOEY and Doe-Doe sounds better. Your other names are POOG and POOGIE…where those come from, I have no idea. I just call you Joe-Joe and carry you around when I can, whispering little messages into your ear, hoping the firing neurons in your brain will record in your memory how much you are loved and how you are adored by your family.
And with that, little angel, I sign off and wish you the best first belated birthday ever. One down, 99 to go, my dear nephew.
With all our love,
Tita Lisa and Uncle Nick