may was a stretch of fog and rain punctuated by pops of color in a world of green. we wore rain boots with the express purpose of splashing in puddles, and afterwards spoke of how that's just the sort of parents we want to be. there was the morning that i went to the bookshop all on my own and returned with a dusty stack: degas, renoir, monet's years in giverny. i like to scatter them across the floor of the nursery and point to lilies and dancers and nuances of dress. fantastically oversized, they are perfect for francis to splay across, tum-down, and he does. they spread under his tiny body like they are the map and he is the magnifying glass, like they are the ocean and he is the bird. and isn't that just how it is?
the verzellos visited from palo alto and we lived one glorious week together in new york: central park picnics and rowdy dinner parties and playgrounds, and the resulting magnificent sleeps for small boys. serendipity is tangling our paths all summer long, and i feel fed by that. there is the omnipresent comfort of deep friendship that is but a text message away, and then there is reaching over and squeezing her shoulder.
may was the marvelous poetry of a boy who motions to wear his papa's belt twice-wrapped and his mama's hair ribbon 'round his wrist. of a boy who reaches up from his pram for his mother's hand on strolls and sits, rapt, to prose read aloud while he whisks bubbles in the tub. of golden curls peeking out from beneath a yellow bonnet. of blush peonies "because they follow lilacs" -- of a lamp "like the paris metro" -- of an airplane ride across the sea.
someone (well meaning, highly curious) asked me when we will sleep train (we won't) and when i will no longer go to him in the night (when he no longer calls for me in the night) and when we will wean (when coming together in that way no longer serves us). i write this all down to celebrate that which is ours and profoundly original, as all birth and growth stories are: sixteen months, plus the growing season before that, of this, of us, of purpose divine, of my hardworking body, of my husband who shares my wishes and nourishes my courage, of my soul's impossible swell, of my homecoming, of his becoming. growing, nourishing, comforting, tending, loving in a way guided not by ticks of a clock or turns of a calendar, but by intuition. the first compass.
(mother: the first home.)
(her lullaby: the first poem.)
motherhood brings me to my knees. i look for no ends, no new beginnings, i only stand just exactly where i am and let the feel of him -- in my arms, atop the hill of my hip, at my breast, singing "maaaama, maaaama," his petals-of-hands blooming up at me -- wash over my senses and etch into the marrow of my soul. for it is all unfolding, he is growing, in a way that sinks language. and, anyway, wherever we stand, we are already on our way to someplace new. like this: i am pretty sure the last time he will wear his little vintage blue overalls has already happened. and this: i am pretty sure he chirped, "bless you!" when chris sneezed yesterday. oh, baby boy, bless you. you absolute angel of delight.