Everyone gathered around qya exclaiming excitedly. My mom had discovered a tiny white spot on his gum - a tooth! I know I was supposed to be happy, and I was, I assure you. But I couldn't help feeling a twinge of disappointment as I watched him smile politely at all the attention, and the realization hit me that that would be one of the last few toothless smiles I ever got from him.
Time flew, and soon he was crawling all over the place. The house had to be kept super clean as he took upon himself the task of discovering and tasting every bit of dirt that hadn't been swept away. He learnt to keep his mouth shut when he was offered cerelac but expressed his approval of rice and banana through happy squels. He pointed at a dog on the street and said his first words, "Bow bow". He took his first few steps without help. I captured it on video and clapped like mad as he beamed proudly. Before I knew it, I was waving him good bye at his school gate. Soon, he was talking to me about the friends he had made, sometimes pronouncing their names with difficulty. One fine day, he decided he would need a straw to drink milk, and discovered that blowing into the straw produced huge milk bubbles. He licked the cream off Oreo biscuits, and offered me the soggy remains, an innocent expression on his face.
This wonderful journey of love, learning and discovery that we embarked upon together has reached it's forth year. And as I watched qya in his gaudy sherwani, blowing out his birthday candles, I couldn't help thinking - Don't grow up too fast qya, just don't grow up too fast.
Happy Birthday, Qya and Many Many Happy Returns!