An hour or more on a rumpled couch, laptop open, eating the only chocolate in the house (dark, and not my favorite), not not thinking about all the things I should be doing and I take another bite and slouch a little deeper, sigh and let the dog in because she’s barking but I will not walk her yet no dog, go lay down, and smile, smirk, because I’m sneaking out on life, stealing a moment of useless, just, yes.
Dearest one (year old),
I remember when I was a kid and I read a book where the main character leaves Earth to live amongst aliens. I don’t remember the name of the book, but I loved the idea. If offered the chance, I told myself, I would leave. I mean, sure, I would miss my pets and my mom and everything– but– aliens! Space travel!! New!! This idea stuck with me as I grew, and is probably why I studied anthropology for so long. I told your daddy that as much as I loved him (and oh, I love him) I would have to go if aliens asked me to. He would always look at me a little sadly and then shake his head OK, comfortable with the odds of me getting to live on alien spacecraft.
But you know what, little one? When you were born I no longer wanted to leave Earth. Even if you and your dad got to come with, I don’t want us to go. I want you to know Earth and what it is to be human, what it means to love someone and to eat strawberry shortcake. All of the good things and even some of the bad and the boring and even, even broccoli.
So that’s my lesson from this year– you are so wonderful, so beautiful, so unique that I’ve had my philosophies and hidden dreams and heart completely changed by it. I don’t want to know other worlds so badly that I’d leave this one– now I want to know what the world is with you in it.
You grow so fast, so fast. I’ve loved every stage the best. I thought I knew joy, knew love, knew all the best things that the universe had to offer, but I didn’t, because I didn’t know you.
Happy first birthday, baby.
I have more to tell you, but no time to tell it. Later, perhaps.
Yesterday I lit the candle shaped like a “1″, gathered the cake and grinned, preparing to take it out to my baby. In moments like these, too fleeting and personal to freeze with a camera, the image in front of my eyes resonates through time, meaning flowing past and present, and I think ‘This is it, right here, this feeling, I don’t ever want to forget this’.
While everyone else in the pacific northwest is cursing the heat and hiding in movie theaters I am blissfully drinking iced coffee and breaking out in sandals and tank tops.
Oh how I love to be warm. And even though I don’t have the fruit I’m used to (watermelon and peaches and tomatos how I miss you) I do have the baby’s (formidable) weight in berries cluttering my countertop. Bliss is bare feet and fruit. And perhaps a sleeping, sweaty baby.
I’ve been having a hard time writing lately= my world is filled up with the day to day of my baby, filled with more joy and laughter and laundry (and less time to ruminate, to think and to create) than I’ve ever known. It’s hard to find my voice- anything I want to say has assuredly been said before, and better. But there are things I want to remember, little pieces of truth I wonder if maybe I might be able to say uniquely… then it’s time for bed before I can open the laptop, find the paper, or even really form a cogent sentence.
So I’m just going to write, now, in the few minutes I can find before I collapse into bed, and screw it- it probably has been said before, and better. But I’m not going to find my voice again without trying.
I love breast-feeding. I waited too long to give him a bottle, I guess, because he wont take it. The right time must have been somewhere, but I missed it (or more likely I ignored it because why change what works?). And my little nursling does not want solid food. He makes the most delectable little ‘yuck’ face when he tastes anything. Well, minus the ritz cracker I let him try once when I was eating one… naturally. He would like the only nutritionally void thing I’ve handed him. I really want to avoid that whole picky eater crap almost everyone else has to deal with, but… if he wants milk, by god I’ll let him drink milk. I like it, that he likes it. I read somewhere ‘making milk is my super power’ and, hell, that phrase is funny, and empowering. But it doesn’t quite ring true. It makes it seem more magical than natural. More mystic than mundane. And maybe it’s both- maybe there is a kind of magic at midnight when he rolls over and finds my boob in the darkness, cooing softly and saying ‘yum’ in the language of babies. Or maybe it’s something that can’t be mystic because it’s too important, too frequent. It’s just how it is, a moment in time repeated over and over until it isn’t.