08 August 2018

six months, and then some.

six months old is pure poetry: sloppy open-mouthed kisses and first rides on a playground swing, belly laughs and parroted sing-song sounds and a world watched from his perch on mama, heartbeat to heartbeat, tum to tum, my blouse gathered and gripped tight in his fist. a once-dark forest of hair is the color of spun gold. francis is ever curious, engagingly chatty, a bird of morning, a burrower of necks. when he wakes from slumber, i pull him from his cradle and he finds a certain spot in the cove of my collar and he stays awhile and i am sure that heaven is here.

he's got a smile for everyone and strangers remark: eyes! cheeks! thighs! what a precocious boy!

francis is interested in, enthusiastic about, everything we bring to our own lips, and so we share any and all tastes (save for honey). he loves: guacamole, pad thai, green smoothies, georgia peaches, papa's mashed potatoes. truth be told, we have yet to find something he doesn't.

we've been all over these last six weeks: to europe and south and west, and francis is the happiest traveler. and it makes sense, it does, for travel is, all at once, everything most beloved to francis brown in life: people-watching and early mornings, a feast for curious hearts and long sleeps in mama's arms.

about sleep: our boy has been sleeping deeply since his earliest hours and sleeping long since eleven weeks earthside, but a regression found us last week and we met tender hours quietly and close to home. the truth is that i will nurse my nursling and sing to my songbird for as long as he needs me to, through nights and days and in and out of weeks, reaching not for a fix but for one more cup of coffee, for mine is a heart swimming in peace in the way only a lifelong-awaited (yearned for, prayed for, closed-eyed wished for) baby can bring.

baby's greatest delights: toes, big splashes in the bath, mama's milk, mama's songs, when papa comes home, observations made in coffeeshops, sitting upright in his bumbo seat as an equal at the supper table, his own reflection in the mirror (how moved i am by this unfettered self-love), strolls around the neighborhood at early, odd hours to welcome with joy each new day.

and my own greatest delights, six months a mother: his smell (of clean cotton and sweet milk), the shadow of his eyelashes, my husband's strong arms curved tenderly around our son, how simple and yet how rich my days have become, how utterly myself i am, how entirely i am needed, how exactly i belong here, how i always have, how our nursing journey persists with gusto. that it's something we still share (that my body can, that i want to, that he wants to) is one of my greatest blessings, one of my purest, most purposeful joys.

six months old is magnificent.

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