Dear Boy. My boy.
I think you are almost 18 months. Or is it 17?
And that by child number three, the months pass as quickly as mile markers on a road trip?
And that, mostly, I’ve learned to soak up every morsel of your babyness and toddlerness and ultimate personhood by simply enjoying it. Not analyzing. Not worrying. Not waiting or anticipating. But slowing down long enough to notice and pick apart the different “words” in your jumbled sentences.
I’ve realized that it’s perfectly acceptable to admit that there is no earthly langauge to describe the depth of love between a mother and child. It is spoken with each pump through the valves of the heart.
(I was OK at Anatomy/Physiology)
Now, a laundry list of things so that I can remember them in my older and more wrinkled years. The ones in which me and your Papa will sit on the porch, rocking in the creaky rockers and sipping spiked pink lemonade.
Your words are exploding like little stars from the inside out. You are a master copycat (sisters are fantastic teachers), but always add your own personal brilliant flair and smile. You are an abysmal napper (30-45 mins a day) but reward me by practically begging for sleep by 7 each night (“Erse??”, you say. Your word for “nurse” as you point to our bed).
You still only have 6 teeth and don’t eat solid or pureed food yet. Only Mama milk for you. Oh, and the daily chocolate chip (“Chock!”).
You still sleep smack dab in the middle of me and Daddy every night; kicking off our covers and talking in your sleep and rolling over for a snack at the 24-hour diner.
And you’ve inherited your sisters’ enthusiasm for singing. “Moon Moon Moon” is your favorite, although you try to go along with “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and a few others.
Your other favorite words: car, truck, clock, stuck, cookie, bird, Gogo, cat, dog, shoe, socks, diaper, pee pee, poo poo, bath, elmo, purple, more, eat, water, baby, Brenna, Asia, Hope, Kaia, choo-choo, scooter, bikes, jetta, ice, hot, no, uh-oh.
You fake cry, know how to scream for what you want, dole out hugs and kisses, and climb like it’s nobody’s business.
Oh yes, you challenge me too; with your “I want up, I want down” charades and the champion early morning nursing sessions and the way you won’t let me unlatch you until you’ve been asleep for about 20 or more minutes.
Lyric, a few mornings ago we shared a warm bath. The light of the early sun streamed onto the water, shining like tiny diamonds. I nursed you there in the tub (a ritual of ours) as you sat straight up in my lap. Your head rested into the hollow of my neck and I took the opportunity to kiss the top of it over and over and over again. My lips meeting your golden hair, nuzzling every coarse strand. With deep and slow inhalations that stretched my belly, I tried to search for any sign of that “baby smell” still lingering on your crown. And while my brain decided it probably wasn’t there, I closed my eyes tightly and tried to imagine it was filling my nose again. That sweet smell of the first days of life; milk and birth and blood and womb and vernix and amniotic fluid and pure freshness. The aroma of prayer; of dreams made real; of Mystery that lives and breathes.
There in the water, we were born together again. Unfurling, floating, sliding into awareness, being welcOMed.
Son, I don’t just love you. I enJOY you. I enjoy being guided by your ways; the ways that don’t hold back and offer no judgements.
When I worry about how to “raise” a son, I suddenly take note of the way your brown sugar eyes sparkle and reassure me that all we are doing is holding each other along this journey. Embraced, we are safe. I need not worry.
Stay little a little longer please. You are that scrumptious.
And, as I always say to you and your sisters: “I love everything about you”.
GrateFUL, JoyFUL, (and gratefully joyfully tired),