I write so that I may always remember. I write so that you will know that in between the moments and minutes and hours of caring for you, I still think of you. A mother is never untethered from her children.
Just over four weeks ago you came to be known in my arms. You looked just like your brother when you were born. So much so that it honestly took me days to even see you as your own person. You had his “little old man” hairline and the same juicy lips. In fact, when I slowly lifted you from the water on the eve you were born, Daddy said he instantly knew you were a boy because you resembled Lyric (and the Steele lineage) so strongly.
It was your biggest sister, Kaia, who in fact announced your gender. As I laid you on my chest, she squealed “I think it’s a boy!” and the entire room let out a gentle hush. Everyone present knew that it was my wish to be the one to reveal gender, to take my time in getting to know you and recover from the thunderous work of birth. I don’t blame your sister; she was so present at the birth, watching you emerge and excitedly remarking “Oh, there’s the baby’s head! It has lots of hair!” After a few minutes of recentering myself and connecting to you – heart to heart – I peered down between your legs and said “It’s a brother!”. This was met with joyful shrieks from each of your siblings. Oh how welcomed you were and are, Julien.
- At one month you are more awake and alert now and we love staring into your peepers. The kids are obsessed about what color they are going to be.
- You track the voices and faces of your siblings, and fall asleep on their chests, and stare at the juxtaposition of shadow and light.
- You like to nap in Daddy’s armpit.
- You sleep in long increments still during the day and seem to be experiencing a growth spurt recently (i.e. awake every hour or so at night).
- You sleep best on your tummy and nestle sweetly between me and Daddy at night. You awaken me with little grunts and growls and, even in my exhaustion, I am always thrilled to cuddle your warm body to mine and nurse by the glow of my salt lamp.
- You are fussy only when your tummy hurts, when your diaper is dirty, and when your diaper is being changed.
- And so far you haven’t minded the car seat too much…please let it stay that way! Your brother screamed on every car trip – short or long – until he was over a year old. May you not repeat his legacy.
- You love riding in my Moby wrap carrier and instantly settle there.
- You have one ear that has a small flat part at the top and we call it your Elfin ear. And we’ve determined you have a rather prominent and beautifully wide nose, which we happen to adore and kiss often.
- You are a “get down to business” nurser and rarely nurse for comfort. You are quick and efficient and this is exactly how your sisters were.
- You don’t mind the chaos and noise of the family you chose and are able to sleep through it. Often, you nap on the bed while your siblings play and read (and yes, sometimes fight) next to you.
- You and Indigo have a strong and tender bond. She can calm you quickly with her innate mothering skills, her gentle kisses atop your fuzzy head, and you seek out her voice. I’ve caught you both staring into each other eye’s as if you’ve been reunited. She says she knew you from before and she said this about Lyric as well. I believe her.
- All of your siblings made your belly button.
- You came down with an awful cold last week and it’s been the saddest thing to have a sick newborn. We hold you close all day and night and whisper to you that you will get better; that your body is strong and wise.
I have loved these last four weeks with you. There are many moments where I choose to recline on my bed with you asleep on my chest and ignore the unkempt house (and my unkempt body and hair). Because you will only fit on me for a short time; your legs still curled under your bum. Because they way your limbs twitch in your sleep still reminds me of the movements you made in my womb. Because your head smells like love’s incense and your cheeks are so plump.
These are the sweetest days, my son. May they linger.
I love you, my bundle of joy.