Eleventh Monkey

Dear Babel – By Dad


Dear 1-year-old Babel,

Happy 1 year birthday, Babel! We just can’t believe it has been 1 year already since you were born. We can still clearly remember the day you were born, and how happy you made us feel. Not only Mommy and Daddy, but also Oma Lia, Japanese Oma & Opa, and other family members. You met them in person in their countries (i.e., your countries). You went to the Netherlands for Christmas and New Year’s, and Japan in March. Everyone held and kissed you with a big smile, and just loved you so much. Mommy and Daddy were just happy to be able to show a new member of our families to them.

Although it was so rewarding to take you to your home countries, it wasn’t always easy to fly with you. One time, from Eindhoven to Manchester, the flight was delayed, and you started to cry because you were hungry. They announced that we could board soon, so we gave up our seats in the waiting space, and started to line up. Mommy tried to calm you down, but it didn’t work. So Mommy put the baby-carry-bag on, and started to breastfeed you, while standing. This stopped you from crying for a short while, but you were fussy during the flight. Fortunately it was just an hour flight, Mommy and Daddy managed it.

When we flew to Japan, we were worried because of this Eindhoven-Manchester flight. But you behaved so well, and we basically arrived in Japan with no problem. Rather, you were happy on the flight, especially in the beginning, smiling at all the girls and ladies walking to their seats. I heard Japanese girls saying ‘Kawaii!!!’ to you. I smiled at them, and said thank you, but in my mind I was saying ‘Right? I know!’

I was very happy to show you to my family, especially my grandmas. My grandma Shizuko has severe alzheimer so she couldn’t show any big reaction to see you, but the other grandma, Kiyoko was super pleased. She tried to hold you up, but failed and said ‘Oh he’s heavy!’ several times. Great-uncle Akihiro was also very happy and told me that you were reuniting the family strongly. I hadn’t seen him that happy for a long time. Though you won’t remember this trip, I was very glad to show you Japan, one of your home countries that’s far away from where we live.

Speaking of where we live, right after the Japan trip, we moved to Derby. We loved Buxton a lot, that’s why I endured 2.5 hours commute every day, but it was just too much for Daddy. Now I enjoy my 15-minute-walk commute every day. I’m home to see you even before 5pm! Not only the time, but also energy-wise, this was a great move. I have more time and energy to play with you, and we can even meet in town after work, and walk together home. During this whole move, Mommy was super busy, arranging all the details, and Daddy had a great time spending with you. In the living room of our flat in Buxton, we sang and played with toys together. It was a quality time.

Every day you break the record of being cutest. You copy my pachi-pachi-punch, my screaming, my dance, and now you make noise ‘uh-oh’. You also learned to say ‘Ahhhhh’ while moving your finger up and down between your lips.

Again I can’t believe you are already turning 1 year old! You have grown a lot already, but you will do so even more! I love you very much.

1-year-old Daddy