When it comes to the birthdays of those that I love, I am not subtle. I go big and shout my love and ask of the person many times, ARE YOU HAVING A GOOD BIRTHDAY? and DO YOU FEEL SPECIAL ENOUGH? And DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE BORN TODAY? and DID YOU KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU AND THAT YOU’RE THE BEST? For Joe, I wanted to set a tone for the rest of his life. We celebrated just the three of us with a few presents, a trip to a kid’s science museum, obviously a cake that he picked at meticulously, facetime with grandparents, and an absurdly nice bottle of wine for Mom and Dad, for surviving. Maybe it was because I kept shouting it at him, but I think he knew it was his Day. Maybe he doesn’t know the word yet, but I think he felt Special. Maybe it was because I kept telling him, but I think he felt One. He pulled himself up next to my face and looked deep into my eyes and smiled. Mama, he said. Yes, I swelled. He turned and looked at the TV, curious about its wires, and crawled over to strangle himself with them. Mamamamamamamamamamamamama, he continued. YES, I’M HERE. MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMA, he shouted at the lint on the floor, also called Mama. Happy first birthday, I sobbed.