Saturday, December 31, 2011

Meditations on a pacifier

"Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, "grow, grow."

I am watching him through some newfangled, hi-tech monitor thing that my husband set up and tested on the dogs a good six months before he joined us. Twenty three minutes after putting him down for his nap, he is awake. I don't love that he regards naps with a casual disdain typically reserved for things like aspic. I do love that with each thought and impression, his entire body moves in response.

Everything really is that mind-blowing at six months old.

Yesterday, at his six month wellness visit, he wriggled happily on the examination table, bunching the paper on the table beneath him with his eager chubby baby hands, listening to the crinkle, the tear, the shhhhhhh sound it made. His need to touch everything is astounding. His feet (two of his very favorite things), my cup of tea, the Buddha bell that hangs on our doorknob, the stream of water at bath time, the ears of the dogs, my lips, my cheeks, sunglasses, hair, necklaces...all of these little tactile moments recording and transcribing some sense of order in his little world.

Today, he takes his pacifier out of his mouth. With his left hand. He does most things with his left hand, a source of pride for his southpaw mama. He studies it, turning it over and upside down, his eyes widening at each turn. He marvels that he does this. He marvels at his command of his hands in their ability to master the pacifier. He lets out several long "eeeeeeeahhhhhhhhhh" exclamations that remind me of Tibetan monk chants. He kicks his legs, and exclaims with a grunting staccato "Eh Meh Eh" that has the precision and force of Genghis Khan behind it. He makes raspberries, resumes his monk chants and then remembers the pacifier he holds in his hand. He smiles fondly at it, cooing love at a familiar piece of plastic with a joy I wish we didn't ever lose.

Several attempts, and the pacifier is back in his mouth, and his cherub lips purse and suck, smacking gladly at this accomplishment. Triumph.

Such moments of sweet victory pass quickly in the busy life of a baby. And for his sleepless, awestruck parents, there is always some moment of rediscovery and the accompanying wonder at how it was ever lost. How to pull back the curtains and let in the light. He does this now from his changing table, gleefully flapping the fabric and watching it fall again. "Embrace this moment, mama" he seems to say. "Look at the way the curtain moves, and the hippos on it dance." With his own little hands, he does this. He creates his happiness. He lets in his own light.

Sometimes he stops whatever it is that he is doing and with an awareness that belies his relatively few days, he looks at me, silently. With dark liquid eyes that reflect so much light, he stares at me intently. Such moments are profoundly moving. "I know you. I see you." "I see you!" I often respond, with want for something more fitting to say.

As parents and as people, we look backward and forward in a seesaw motion that can give one whiplash. I don't want to do this. This moment right now is pretty perfect. And as we turn a corner and greet 2012, I am thankful that 2011 has reminded me of this one truth.

Ezra. Thank you for being here, you imperfectly perfect you.