February 10, 2009


Dear Owen,

One year ago today you were born. You emerged into the word, pulled from your mother, all covered in goo to the strains of the Phil Collins cover of You Can't Hurry Love echoing through the white-tiled operating room. It was both ironic and fitting. Fitting because it's true - you cannot indeed hurry love. It just has to wait. Nine months, as a matter of fact. Ironic because your mom hates Phil Collins with a fiery passion. You and I know better.

When you were born, your mom was lying down by necessity, missing out on all the action. So I narrated everything that was being done to you - the weighing, the measuring, the cleaning, the drops in your eyes. It probably sounded like a really strange documentary with an emotionally unstable narrator. The first cry spoke for itself. It was evident early on you had a good set of lungs. Then I got to hold you. And show you to your mom.

I'm not afraid to admit it but before you came into the world, I was scared. I was scared what life would be like now that your mom and I were evenly matched. I was scared of what would happen to my relationship with your sister. I was scared that I wouldn't love you as much. But all of those fears melted away once I met you.

A year later, you're a funny kid. You have wild blond hair that sticks straight up and cannot be tamed. You love being told no. You get into absolutely everything and once that everything is acquired it goes straight into your mouth. You love making noise. And you love to eat. Last night alone you ate two cups of yogurt, a bowl of avocados, a half-dozen slices of cheese, a few dozen grapes, a bowl of the baked orzo we had for dinner, an apple and a graham cracker. In certain respects, like food, you're the Anti-Mia. But speaking of your sister, you absolutely love her. You call her Aiya, follow her everywhere and try to do everything she does. This annoys her - and your very existence will continue to torment her for the next decade or so - but you should understand that she loves you right back. The strangling hugs combined with the fact that she tries to pawn her dinner off on you are ample evidence. You love to kiss me with bizarrely cute open-mouthed kisses that gross out everyone watching. You enjoy nothing more than being naked. And when you really truly like someone it shows because your arm goes straight down their shirt. You could stand some work on the whole sleeping thing, but I suppose you'll work that out eventually. Still, this next year, take it easy on your mom, okay? She deserves a break.

It sounds cliche, but it truly seems like yesterday when we brought you home from the hospital and plopped you down in the middle of the living room. The three of us stared at you sitting there in your car seat and I know that we were all asking the same question - now what? I guess we have our answer. We all grew a year older, a year wiser, a year better off for having known you. You are a wonderful little person, Owen. I love you little dude.


Posted by Chris at February 10, 2009 6:38 AM

I cannot believe it's been one year already. Wow. Happy Birthday, Owen!

Posted by: Shelly at February 10, 2009 7:18 AM

Happy B-day Owen!

Posted by: jodifur at February 10, 2009 7:49 AM

Happy birthday Owen!

Posted by: Katherine at February 10, 2009 8:01 AM

How sweet! A year's time flies by, doesn't it? I mean, we're damn near half-way through February already. Congrats on surviving Owen's first year... here's to MANY, MANY more!!!

Posted by: ironic1 at February 10, 2009 8:38 AM

Happy Birthday to Owen and happy Big Sister day to Mia.

Posted by: William at February 10, 2009 8:40 AM

Good God, that's a lot of food. Wish he'd come for a visit and show Thomas that trick! :)

Happy birthday, Owen, you very cool dude.

Posted by: Sam at February 10, 2009 8:45 AM

Lovely. How time flies. Happy Birthday, Owen!

Posted by: Fraulein N at February 10, 2009 9:01 AM

Happy Birthday little man!!

Posted by: Kris at February 10, 2009 9:28 AM

That was lovely.
Happy Birthday, Owen.

Posted by: Wack-a-do at February 10, 2009 9:52 AM

Wow, a whole year. Happy Birthday Owen :)

PS...this was so touching. But I work in an open environment and now have to explain to my boss why I'm crying. Thanks Chris! ;)

Posted by: Jean at February 10, 2009 9:58 AM

Wow, a whole year. Happy Birthday Owen :)

PS...this was so touching. But I work in an open environment and now have to explain to my boss why I'm crying. Thanks Chris! ;)

Posted by: Jean at February 10, 2009 9:58 AM

Happy Birthday, Owen.

That was awesome.

Posted by: Writer Dad at February 10, 2009 10:01 AM

Happy Birthday Owen!

Posted by: bad penguin at February 10, 2009 10:11 AM

Happy Birthday Owen!

Posted by: Chris at February 10, 2009 10:21 AM


Posted by: Dee at February 10, 2009 10:21 AM

Happy Birthday Owen!

Posted by: Denise at February 10, 2009 10:30 AM

Totally awesome! And he is such a great little boy!
Happy Birthday Owen!!

PS:Anneliese is in Heat! We leave on Friday for Germany!!!

Posted by: Maribeth at February 10, 2009 10:34 AM

Happy Birthday Owen!

As an aside, it never ceases to amaze me how much The Boy eats. Even as a baby... good to hear Owen is the same way. (Sounds like he's fixing to grow.)

Posted by: Nat at February 10, 2009 10:37 AM

Time goes so quickly. A very happy birthday to an adorable boy.

Posted by: Ann Adams at February 10, 2009 10:40 AM

Hahah! The pawning off of food sounds like my oldest brother to my older one! Happy Birthday, the most adorable little garbage disposal with the awesomest hair!

A month from now, the "not my kid" kid Dresden is turning one as well. The parents are struggling with letting him sleeping in his own room. I'm referring them to your blog during the Mia's era. :)

Posted by: oakmonster at February 10, 2009 11:01 AM

Aw happy birthday little dude! :D

Posted by: Heather at February 10, 2009 11:21 AM

what a beautiful heart touching telling of the day of Owen's birthday. Happy Birthday Owen! Have fun.

Posted by: Trish at February 10, 2009 11:41 AM

Happy Birthday Owen!

Chris--I wait to get the tissues out before I read Beth's blog on days like today...you caught me off-guard, but what a great letter for Owen to read years from now. As always, wonderfully written. (now I must grab the tissues as Beth's blog is next).

Posted by: Krush at February 10, 2009 11:49 AM

Aww, what a great letter. Glad you guys are doing well.

Posted by: jess at February 10, 2009 11:50 AM

Oh no, not cliche. It was yesterday, and the day before, it was Mia. I cannot believe he's one, I just can't.

Happy birthday little homie. Auntie Mr Lady will make a great mother in law someday, I promise. :)

Posted by: Mr Lady at February 10, 2009 12:11 PM

Happy Birthday Owen! How are the days SO slow, but the years SO fast?!?

Posted by: Lesley at February 10, 2009 12:44 PM

And he still needs a nickname.


Posted by: k8 at February 10, 2009 12:59 PM

And he still needs a nickname.


Posted by: k8 at February 10, 2009 12:59 PM

So sweet...

But, wow, a year. It goes so fast.

Posted by: ewe_are_here at February 10, 2009 1:33 PM

I've been thinking a lot lately about how this blog has become like a pen pal. You write daily, and I know your kids and family sometimes better than I know my own. The shame that I feel from that sentence makes me want to work harder and be a better dad. For what its worth I think you are doing a great job with your kids. At least from the way you write about it. You two could be locking them in cages at night, smearing peanut butter on them and feeding them to ants, and all this is an elaborate insanity plea. But I don't think so, or at least I like to think not. Anyway, congratulations to Owen for 1 year!

Posted by: metawizard at February 10, 2009 1:45 PM

Awwww...that made me tear up a little. You daddies are so soft and mushy on the insides. :)

Happy Birthday Owen!

Posted by: The Stiletto Mom at February 10, 2009 1:59 PM

Happy Birthday Owen! He truly is a very cute and handsome boy!

Chris... I was expecting a letter on Beth's site not here! Totally threw me off :) A very nicely written note indeed. Hope Owen gets to read these some time.

Posted by: Iris at February 10, 2009 2:00 PM

You are the only blogger whose posts about children I actually read because they are so well-written and accurately convey why people (not me mind you) continue having kids. Happy Birthday Owen!

Posted by: Heather at February 10, 2009 2:42 PM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OWEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: samantha jo campen at February 10, 2009 4:10 PM

Lovely post, Chris. And it made me slightly maudlin as I spent the evening digging out the cool, tiny little babygro with dinosaurs on it that my sons used to wear as babies. Because my hulking 11 year old is borrowing it to use in his presentation to his sex education class on Thursday (you heard me). He is giving a talk on his own birth and babyhood. Sadly I am not allowed to participate.........

Posted by: Loth at February 10, 2009 5:20 PM

From looking at the pictures on yesterday's post, I can see what you mean about that kid's hair. Wow!

Posted by: Gramps at February 10, 2009 7:54 PM

I sure hope he enjoys reading that letter one day. Probably when he's about 20, but maybe not until he's 25. But it's perfect.

Happy Birthday Owen!

Posted by: coolchick at February 10, 2009 8:14 PM

Happy birthday to the boy!
I have to admit I'm having a lot of the same concerns about having our second that you had. It helps a great deal to read a post like this that doesn't start with "I think I made a terrible mistake" :)
Hope you guys have a good one.

Posted by: matt at February 10, 2009 8:19 PM

Awww, Happy Birthday, Owen!

Posted by: carrster at February 10, 2009 9:36 PM

This is so sweet! Happy Birthday Owen!!

Posted by: Jane in Pa at February 10, 2009 10:15 PM

Happy Birthday Owen!... but really - hand down the shirt? That's OK now, but once you're 16, you're going to have to stop that!

Posted by: Kim at February 11, 2009 10:05 AM

Happy Birthday Owen.
Gotta love those little Aquarians.
I'm wondering if mine were born one day later, if he'd be an eater like O.
Maybe it's just a second child thing... they know they have to eat so they can outgrow their older sibling... survival of the fittest.
And yes, let's hope he get's the sleep thing down, because year one with a baby and a toddler is exhausting.
Congratulations to you all on a job well done.

Posted by: Zip n Tizzy at February 12, 2009 12:14 AM