Wednesday, July 28, 2010


one month.

miles, you are one month old--as of a couple of days ago. you spent part of the day at the pediatrician's, where we learned that you are still in the 75th percentile for both height and weight, now that you're over ten pounds and twenty-two inches long.

also we have learned: the incredible charm of your crooked smile, which i didn't realize was your dad's until i started seeing it on his face. i mean, i've seen it on his face for years, but realized recently that i had also seen it on your face at some point, that they were the same, and that felled me. (he actually informed me about the crooked smile connection a while ago, but i kind of didn't buy it until i noticed for myself. i'm a cynic.)

also: your eyes. they're still dark blue, grey-blue, the blue the j crew catalogue calls "caspian." i know, barf. i only know that because it was the color of the best one's bridesmaid dresses, for her wedding in scotland we are not attending right now. i realize now that it would have been possible, but very likely not enjoyable. or, rather, you can't not enjoy your best friend's wedding in scotland, and once you're there you can't really embark on an opportunity cost evaluation, but from the conservative safety of los angeles: i think we made the right call.

(you're strapped to me in the Moby wrap right now. i think you're steaming like a dumpling in there, especially since you're still wearing the velour footie suit--previously worn by the gallivanting monkey's offspring--i put on you this morning, when it was chillier. one mom on the internet said the Moby was like wearing a sweatsuit built for two. i concur.)

i've made some mistakes. we took you somewhere on the brink of your needing to eat, and you understandably freaked in the car, and i realized i had been thinking, though not in these words, that you could just . . . you know, wait. wait a few minutes to eat. like you would be cool with it, like i could explain to you that we'd be there in ten minutes and food would be forthcoming. with babies, there is no explain. i know this now, but i feel sure i will forget again.

i read too many books, after knowing that i shouldn't over research. i must put you in bed with me; i must avoid putting you to bed with me. i should put you down awake so you learn to go to sleep in your bed; i should nurse you into unconsciousness before attempting to lay you down. i should not allow you to fall asleep on the boob, or you will need to take my boob to college with you. i should be wearing you around the house. this last one brings up a lot of guilt; it is a lot easier, sometimes, to put you in your vibrating chair and enjoy the relative freedom of a body unattached to your body. later i will yearn for your tiny body to be so firmly connected to mine, but right now, sometimes all i want is the body i had before you--not the weight and firmness of it (although that, too) so much as its unencumbered lightness.

and the lightness of soul, too. while i am generally happy and tired, i have more anxiety than usual. there is a constant low grade hum, an awareness of you, of the many things i need to do, of your total dependence on me and the responsibility i bear for every single particle of your comfort and wellness. it's sounding like i resent it, but that's not quite it. it's just . . . the constant awareness. i think about you even when you're sleeping and i should be. i think about whether you've eaten enough, whether i wore you enough, whether i am Appreciating Your Infancy adequately.

(when i think about how these days will be lost to me, how inexorably you're growing, i worry that all of them are slipping away in a cloud of fatigue, the relentless minutiae of the day rendering my mental picture not detailed but blurry. the first two words, there, are key: i worry. it's my response to everything, and i shouldn't have expected this to be different. i worry about the worry. i worry that it is a bliss antidote. maybe i'm Doing It Wrong. doubtless, but not the charming Wrong that's inevitable, a more disappointing Wrong. the anxious, self-spoiling Wrong.)

woah. this got dark. more about how you're starting to coo, and it floors me. more about how startlingly beautiful you are (for real. other people see it, too. you are a truly good looking baby). more about the feeling of you on my chest, and the sight of you on your father's chest, which . . . if anyone has words for that, i'd like to hear them. it's like my universe landed on a single sofa cushion.

when you were about ten days old, we marveled at how necessary and timeless you seemed; we couldn't imagine a reality without you in it, and it didn't seem possible that our basil plant had a longer history than you did. now, at a month, it's a little of each: i can't believe our last rent check was written when we didn't know you, but also this month has been full of seasons, seems like a full revolution of some planetary body. someone said it'll be the longest and shortest year of our life, your babyhood. i get it.

i love you, small baby. never forget it.

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