A year ago, when the house was still slumbering,
you started your way out into the world,
in gentle lamp light,
the rushes of labour came slowly,
it was just you and I,
alone (together) in the warm water...

I remember stopping in those spaces
between contractions to savour the inutero you;
the taut roundness of my belly,
the kicks and wriggles from within.
How well I knew you, and yet
never yet peered face to face.

And now you have gone
one whole year around the sun -
our surprise baby boy, Archer Brenin,
a blessing to our family.

You, with long lashes and eyes
not quite blue or green or brown -
those chubby wrists and delicious ankles,
star fish hands that slowly wave hello and goodbye,
nose pawing, arms flapping with excitement,
nuzzles into the neck, chin chomping, bottom shuffling,
giggling at brothers, chickens, cat,
a lamb with wobbly legs -

Your pastimes; opening and closing doors,
eating (anything), breastfeeding,
putting things in dada's boots,
pegs by the clothesline, kitchen cupboards,
dustpan and brush-ing...

Now you can move (on your bottom) with ease,
roll and reach and balance on hands and knees -
you beeline for the things you want; eggs,
little scraps of fallen food, feathers, specs of dust,
but usually it's us you want  -
to a lay your silky head against our laps.

All your days stretch before you;
what promise, what unknowns to traverse,
but for now I am content to gather up
the mere twelve months of you, 
to kiss your soft cheeks and enjoy
you just as you are right now.

Happy birthday Archie babe,
we love you so, we love you so...