There is a line in one of the Matrix sequels where The Oracle explains to Neo that no one can see beyond a choice they don't understand. I don't know about the choice part, but I can certainly relate to not being able to see beyond certain events in my life that I don't understand. When Nancy was pregnant, I couldn't see beyond the birth of the baby. I just didn't have a way to conceptualize what that was going to be like. Once Sophie was born, I knew that the next couple of weeks leading up to Christmas were going to be extremely hectic and out of the ordinary, and that "life" with Sophie wouldn't begin in earnest until after we got back from Christmas (although I'm sure Nancy had a different perspective on that...). So, I couldn't see beyond Christmas. Once we got to January and all was quiet, I began to understand, if only a little, what this whole parent-child thing was all about. Still, I could only picture Sophie, at the time a person-shaped lump, as a new-born baby. I couldn't even begin to imagine her first birthday. I am generally fairly good at envisioning the next month, 3 months, 6 months, or year or so, but this last year I have become extremely near-sighted.
Sophie's first birthday is now only 2 days away, and we will have the extremely appropriate joy of celebrating it on Thanksgiving Day this year. Even with my new-found near-sightedness, I feel like I have a pretty good idea what that's going to be like. Sophie Erickson has developed into a full-fledged person now, with her own personality, desires, preferences, teeth, mobility, and the growing ability to communicate her personality, desires and preferences. I can't even begin to tell you what a difference this makes. I know now that Sophie likes it when I chase her, push her, tackle her, bounce her, spin her, hold her upside-down, tickle her, and otherwise engage her in all manner of rough-housing. I know Sophie does NOT like it when you do anything that prevents her from getting to her food or milk when it is time to eat. I know that Sophie loves her "Tails" book, so much so that she broke off the tails and now she can't love it as much.
All of these things, and much more, make Sophie into a real person, and a real person is something that I can understand. I'm not going to claim to be able to see much farther into the future yet, but at least I'm beginning to understand the events I can't see past.
Happy Birthday Sophie! Your Mom & Dad love you!