Our baby is a year old. And what a strange 12 months it’s been

This pandemic has been bookended by my baby’s first year – and it’s been so hard to keep track of the milestones and time passing

This week, we will celebrate our baby’s first birthday. One year. One odd old fallen tree of a year. Instead of having gone by like normal months they toppled, slowly, and now lie in pieces by our feet.

The baby was helpful as we had markers of time having passed: the baby laughed, time has passed; the baby crawled, time has passed; the baby is eating an egg, time has passed. Because without him it would have been so very possible for me to have stared at this same framed photograph on my wall, this same scrolling little screen, and be tricked into believing it was still September, or Tuesday or midnight. Without the baby, growing first inside and then beside me as physical proof of time, I could not have seen this year as anything but metaphor – it was not a year, it was that fallen tree, this melting candle, an elastic band stretched very tight, it was Weetabix, decaying in its unspooned milk.

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