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For My Son on His First New Year

December 31, 2009

My vague understanding of the Japanese literary concept “mono no aware” is that knowing something is temporary makes it more beautiful, more poignant. A flower’s beauty is more powerful knowing that it will wither away and vanish, and that knowledge tinges its beauty with a bit of sadness.

I think that no one may understand mono no aware better than a parent. I cherish every moment with my beautiful baby boy, but I cherish them even more knowing that those moments are fleeting and that I am watching your “babyhood” slip away and disappear. While you will always be my son, you will not always be my little baby boy. I will have new joys and new adventures with you throughout our lives, but this time will never come again. Knowing that is what makes it so beautiful and precious.

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