I take about 100 pictures of you a week but I decided this one could capture you best, right at this moment, days out from your 9-month birthday.
First because of those eyes. Blue. Beautiful. Always searching out something new to see. Sometimes I have to say your name 15 times to get you to look at me. You remind me of your Uncle Josh that way. Your eyes dart around in such rapid-fire movements when we stroll around town or when we travel. And I know that your brain synapses are firing away at an astonishing speed. I can’t actually fathom how much you are learning in any given millisecond. But I know you are hungry for it. And that is why I am thankful you are a traveling baby. People often say you have more stamps in your passport than they do. They mean it to be cute, but it’s true. And people also often remark at how well you travel. That’s true too. I am grateful because your eyes always have something new to rest on. A feast. Always.
Then of course the absolutely perfectly edible nose, lips, cheeks and ears. Which all sort of goes without saying. But I like to say, because I am your mother. You’ll hear that phrase a lot, FYI: Because I Am Your Mother.
In this picture you also have perma-snot below your nose. A constant reminder to me that I made the difficult and not-yet-settled decision to return to work. We can’t say yet, you and me, if I was right or wrong. It could all be great though, right? The girls at nursery do love you. I believe you are the most popular. Leader of the germy poppets. And it’s so much more fun to dress you now because inevitably one of them will say when I bring you through the doorway, with great dramatic effect, something along the lines of:
Oh. my. goodness. A track suit. Ohhhhh Bless. Bless. (Pause) Bless.
English women say “bless” in a beautifully drawn out, matter-of-fact, serene way when confronted with anything cute having to do with a baby. It is among my favorite things about these people.
Well don’t you look smart today!
I think they mean preppy. But it is always said with a deep and abiding approval. And so, I believe that you are loved there. And stimulated. And that the hours I spend in suits, having conversations about business and law and clients, click clacking my high heels on the way to get a salad, will be good for me too.
And then if you look closely at the photo, you will see something like eight to ten teeny pinpricks of little tiny scabs. All over your face. Near the nose, the eyes, all strewn about. Because
if you must know
your mother did not cut your fingernails for a really long time. And when you are exhausted or upset, you attack your face with your hands. And the remaining war wounds just serve as proof that I have been lazy. Sorry I’m lazy.
You also have some dried food on you. For at least 6-7 months I didn’t know what it was like to have a baby that constantly had dried food on it. Now I know. It’s a little bit awesome. We’re like a living Erma Bombeck routine. Mildly disheveled and stained. I don’t care who you are- old peas on a Ralph Lauren sweater keeps you honest.
And then there is the thing about your hair. For a little while it was only growing out over your eyes. Like you were determined with your very gentile good looks to grow blonde payes. I cut it. Now you are growing extra long hair in the front middle so that you have like a fauxhawk-meets-widow’s peak. Will you be a redhead/ginger? Only time will tell.
You’re nine months old, baby boy. You have now been out of my tummy longer than you were in it. Do you still dream about drinking amniotic fluid and hearing my heartbeat? Probably not. You’re on to bigger dreams. Dogs and splashing and peekaboo. It’s all yours.
your smitten momma