You turned six months old while on a vacation with Mama and Daddy in Austin, TX. Your smile, coincidentally, is just about as big as Texas.
After four kids, my incessant blathering about the impossibility of the passage of time has about worn itself out. But still it often feels like a shooting star I am trying desperately to capture. And like the stars, your light is such that it continues on through the seemingly blank stretches of time and space – interminable and vast.
You are snuggled into my Ergo carrier throughout most of your days and this is your place of rest and solace. It is also the place in which you inquisitively watch me apply makeup, blowdry my hair, scramble the eggs, make the beds, mop the floors, bake the cookies, referee your siblings, and shop for groceries. Here you sleep now, shirtless with buttercream skin, as I type. I often catch you staring up at me silently, with an ample grin; waiting like an open-beaked baby bird in a nest. And I laugh and bend my neck to kiss your lips.
On our trip in Austin, you went everywhere with us and never caused one moment of worry or trouble. Daddy and I remarked how we were so lucky to be soaking you up all to ourselves. It was heaven.
You have been my easiest baby to get to nap – just pop you in the Ergo and you are out in a few minutes. I can transfer you to bed without you waking. I can lay in bed, nurse you for a few minutes, and you drift into dreams like a lullaby. This makes up for the first four and half months of your life where you screamed sadly through a majority of car rides. Now you’ve transitioned to watching your siblings as they play and fight and sing in the backseat, often squealing happily or content to discover baby toys (or the occasional random object such as a box of Nerds or a lotion bottle).
You are working on growing hair and have deep earth-toned eyes like your brother.
You are sitting up mostly unsupported and watch every single bit of food we put into our mouths. You’ve had an eensy teesy dab of gelato on an occasion or two because you were grunting for it. You leaned into the spoon, pursed your lips around it, and savored the cool treat. While I plan on holding out on introducing foods for as long as I can, I think you are going to keep pushing the envelope. And I am in love with your gentle will.
You are my ocean breeze, Julien. Everything about you feels just like that. Like the sea is giving birth to her very breath; marking old wounds not just with an “x” on the treasure map but with an “xoxo”. You are the intergalactic hug and kiss, the embrace into the sturdiest of shoulders and the kiss that sinks with the salt into your skin.
I cannot foresee the future so I live in the present; and here and now you make mothering seem easy. You remind me that we are all worthy of ease.
Let me remind you that there is no shortage of love in this family for you and there never will be.
I am yours, ya know.