the brave little boy

last night, he fell asleep simply holding my hand. i didn’t rock his eyes closed, i didn’t nurse sweetness into his dreams; he didn’t need my songs or the rise and fall of my chest as i breathe i love you i love you i love you. he gave me a sleepy smile and took himself to his never neverland.

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this baby has traversed fire and ice in his twelve short weeks. his first two were marked by hunger. his second two, by pain.

In the beginning of his third week, we brought him to the surgeon. He suffered a water laser which severed his severe ties, one under his tongue, and one on each lip. We weren’t with him to hold him, to keep him safe, to stave the terror of that blistering pain. We tiptoed into the procedure room afterward, aghast at our distraught babe. “It hurts less than an ear piercing” hey said. “Do it now” they said. “Go away” they said. And we believed and we did and we went. We watched as they took “after” pictures of his gaping wounds, bright red and bleeding fresh blood. “No blood” they had said. But his ties were strong ones.

Finally I was allowed to hold my sweet boy. I brought his wailing face to my breast and he latched on, sucking a soft suck so gentle, unrecognizable from the one that, only an hour before, drew blood and bruises. And we sighed.

Maybe we did right by him. Maybe we did good.

Doubts returned, seven times a day, for two weeks. We “exercised” his mouth, putting our fingers into those gaping angry holes, preventing the natural healing mechanism of retying. He endured such pain.

It seems a distant memory now. He smiles beautifully, he eats fantastically, he sleeps soundly more often than not; he poops explosively (in our toilet no less!) This sweet boy is incredible.

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As he approaches three months of life, his little personhood is becoming a doozy. We have a morning child, a woodsy little man who laughs in the sunshine and is amazed by blank walls and books alike. He puffs off his big sister boomer, who likes to jump all over him and lick his feet. He protests being wrapped then melts into the folds of the fabric as I tote him about during the day. He screams when I put him on the toilet then begrudgingly shoots out pee and poo so forcefully, more gets on the wall than on the toilet. He dances on his mat. He coos and caws and screams. He takes every opportunity to build up his legs, pushing into standing position.

He reads along to Dr. Seuss.

He likes what he likes, he hates what he hates, and he is who he is.

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I can’t believe I get to be his momma.

He’s growing so quickly. His life speeds up as mine slows down.

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