I love having a baby in the house.
There’s something about a baby that’s utterly mystifying, magical, full of wonder and awe. All the newness, all the firsts. Those soft angles, that flawless skin, the adorable chub, the effortless gummy smiles, the fumbling little movements as they navigate everything for the very first time.
I could watch him for days on end and do nothing else. I soak it all in, yet it still eludes me. Soon each milestone is but a memory, the newborn cry gone, along with the pacifiers. The wobbly neck almost forgotten, along with the tiny diapers that seem more fitting for a doll. Each stage goes so quickly, as they say, even while I slowly bathe in it. One phase morphs into the next and before you know it, you have a walking, talking toddler and the baby is no more.
As I spend many mornings staring in amazement at him, all nearly six months of him, I bury my head into his soft tuft of hair and breathe in, the baby scent we’d all bottle if we could, already starting to fade. I try my hardest to sear it into my memory, knowing I’ll forget, just like I did with his brothers. I’ll forget the exact date he transitioned from the tiny newborn cry to the heartier infant wail, from dragging his legs around in an army crawl on the hardwood floors to a full-fledged crawl, the day he officially outgrew the bouncy seat. That’s the funny thing about memory, it gets blurry when remembering life’s intricate details, probably as a survival skill, so we equally forget the intensity and highs of joy along with the lows of pain. The pain of childbirth, of trauma, of broken bones and broken hearts.
We get back up and do it all over again.
I’m not the best at writing down milestones. I tend to want to be in the moment instead of leaving the moment to document it. My firstborn’s baby book is tucked away in his closet with a series of blank pages after nine months, cut off prematurely like an abrupt ending to a movie. My second son’s baby book is sitting in his closet completely blank.
I have yet to buy a baby book for the baby. This blog might be as close as I ever get.
In the meantime, I’m trying to hold onto his babyhood as it slips through my fingers, one day at a time, his body becoming more agile, as he learns to crawl away from me faster than my swollen heart can catch up with him.