A year or so after Papa and I adopted Iris, I learned that tail-wagging for dogs is often instinctual, like frowning for humans, and happens when they are excited about something. I remember being so profoundly touched when I noticed that Iris wagged her tail automatically when we called her name or she saw us or we rubbed her belly. It didn’t matter whether we woke her from deep sleep or we were picking her up from an extended stay at doggy daycare while we went on exciting travels or we were telling her, again, to get off of the counter. Her tail would wag.
I remember feeling so in awe each and every time she interacted with me. I absolutely could not comprehend how she reacted in that way without really thinking about it. How often in life is it impossible to control our positive reactions and “wag our tails,” even around the people we most love, especially when they are the same people that we see most often?
And then, you were born.
You were, and are, breathtaking. After nights that turned into days with what felt like mere moments of sleep, through sicknesses and growing pains, and all the new normals that we’ve had to adopt at lightning speed, you are pure magic. So far, it has not been possible for me to be around you without wagging my tail. I hope you always experience the absolute delight and wonder that I have had the honor of feeling when with you this past year.
After you were born, I joked about how, as someone with a lot of creative pursuits, you are the best thing I’ve ever made. How could I have known then that you would make ME? In the days of this year that were filled with loving you and growing with you and learning beside you, we were created together. There are so many people who wander through life hoping that they can have a positive impact on “just one person.” My sweet baby, you never have to wonder if you have accomplished that worthy pursuit.
I hope for you a world where every person is as loved and believed in and cared for and free and valued, body and spirit, as you are, and I hope that you will be a part of creating that world and reaping the benefits of it. I hope for you a life of goodness over greatness, magic over material, of hard work and harder play. Life with you is filled with more joy than I could have imagined and surely more than I could deserve — I hope to always provide the same for you. Here’s to another year of learning, loving, and growing together.