The last time I wrote about my son was a reflection of our first year together. Since then, more than 2.5 years and more milestones than I can possibly count have past. Throughout this time I have been fortunate enough to witness Milo's first time riding his bike down a little hill, his first time drawing a picture, his first hamburger. We have shared his first real tantrum, his first time seeing a monkey, his first time interacting with a ladybug, his first mini-golf game, his first time saying "I'm sorry" or "I love you" without being prompted. The list goes on.
One first that really kicked me in the face was Milo's first haircut. For the past years, my wife and I held out on the haircut. Selfishly, we didn't want Milo to even have a trim. His delicate blonde curls were just too damn cute.
The day finally came when Milo independently asked for a haircut. We knew that this request would eventually come. For months Milo was curious about haircuts, quizzing us about the process every time we passed the salons in nearby Kichijoji. He was naturally curious about the shops hosting draped customers with phones in hand and the scissor-belt stylists working their magic with sheer clippers.
When asked. we agreed to make him an appointment for a haircut without too much hesitation. Who are we to tell him what he can and can't do with his hair?
Soon enough, my son was inside the Anpanman Hair Salon in Yokohama, Japan. At that point, a haircut was just an added bonus for Milo. The real treat was no longer a haircut but an episode or two of Japan's dearly loved animated classic. Milo sat down and sat still. Distracted by the cartoon, the kid didn't acknowledge me making photos of the occasion, his mother sobbing in the corner, or the moment his long hair became short,
Looking at the blond piles on the floor, I felt pride instead of sadness. I felt lucky to have shared yet another first with my son. I realized that I wasn't attached to his hair, but what it symbolized. Each strand was three years of time, each inch a time capsule of milestones, a reminder of how far Milo has come since those first days we shared together as a family.
Sometimes I wonder how many experiences I will get to share with Milo. While I hope that we will have a million "firsts" together, I know that a number with that many zeros is pure fantasy. Ever since Milo was born, time has become a glacial melt that finds the nearest crevasse and disappears. Voices from the dark remind me that I don't have much time left with Milo and I worry, panic, gasp that it is possible that I, perhaps, have more lasts than firsts with my son.
Time is passing, but it isn't gone. I am doing my best to live in the present. To enjoy every second with my son is the best rebuke I can muster to oppose those nagging, brutally truthful whispers.
The notion of firsts and lasts is shortsighted, hyper-focused. I am giving the abstract concept of time too much power over me. In the end, it doesn't matter how much time we have together, how many firsts or lasts we share. What matters is that I treat our time as a precious commodity, each second together as a unique opportunity for potency, for love, for life.
You are my everything.