I know he likes balloons and baths. I know he's calm most of the time, except for when he's tired, or when I return from somewhere else and he suddenly realizes I was gone. Then his upper lip starts to quiver over a straight bottom one, and his eyes wrinkle a bit as tears wait for just one more crease to push them over the edge.
But in this one whole year, I don't yet know him.
His time is his alone. My time is for feeding and changing him; for meeting every ramped up demand of his big sister; for housework and homework. He plays by my side, or crawls fast around the first floor in time with the rhythms of our life. His moves don't elicit the attention that The Boss's every one earned the first time around. I don't force myself into his head the way I did with his sister. There are too many heads now. There is too much going on to figure it all out. He's happy to avoid analysis. He's content with a tickle and a big laugh.
When The Boss was one, I did not understand the shortness of twelve months. So I had to know her right away. I made it my business. Now I know a year is a blink--the kind of blink, like Number Two's, that finally makes the tears spill over--and that it doesn't have to hold all the answers.
I will know him soon enough. I'll know him well enough. Then, and for a short time, I'll know him better than anybody.