Sunday, August 05, 2007

Four Months

Dear Sweet Boy of Mine,

On July 28, 2007 you turned 4-months-old and I continue to marvel at the wonder that is you.

Your "aaahs" and "ooohs" have turned into "mmmsss" and "bbbbssss" and "ddddssss." Your mouth continues to fascinate you endlessly and the fact that you can stuff objects into it (your hands, my hand, your spit-up rags, your blanket edges, your duck toy) causes you to pause in astonishment as if you had recently invented waffle irons or some such kitchen marvel.

While you're still not rolling over, you are a champ of what the pediatric experts refer to as a "stabilized neck." Your father and I think you're simply so serene, such a Buddha baby that you have no need to roll over for pleasure. Why contort your body, really, when there is so much amazing stuff that just comes naturally whilst you like on your back in your play gym? Monkeys dangle. Elephants jiggle. Birds perch over you. Giraffes stare at you with big googly eyes. What need is there to change the natural order of Grayson at the center of it all by twisting over? I mean really?

Of course, as your mother, I did lament this slight delay on your part; after all the rules-bound baby manuals say that you should and if you should than who I am, a lowly chaplain, to judge? But, your pediatrician reminded me this week that you're doing great, he said that rolling over was no big deal yet, and that I should, well, I should perhaps relax a little bit.

Grayson, we need to have a heart-to-heart here and now. Of the two parents you have, I am perhaps the, um, less relaxed. You might want to make a mental note of that. Your dad is pretty laid back. He takes things at face value, accepts things for what they are, watches things with a detached (and I mean that in the most mentally healthy way) perspective before jumping to scary conclusions. He's probably the first person to talk to after you have that first sip of beer when you're at a high school party, or the one who you run to when you crash your bicycle and think that there may be a chance you've fractured a wrist. He's your go-to man when it comes to creepy-crawly insects in your room, and the one who will be the most help if we ever had an alien abduction situation in our home (and not just because he's the calm one, but because he's watched so many damn documentaries about UFOs and the like before falling asleep at night). 'Cause your mom, well, she's sort of an obsessive sort, and she may, well, panic.

I'll give you an early example...when your dad and I play with your play gym with you we like to jiggle it with our foot or hand and make the dangling characters move, which makes you laugh. When your dad does this he laughs along with you and says, "Grayson, look, they're dancing!" Such a happy idea. But, um, when I do it, I realize that I shake them and say, "Uh-Oh! Earthquake!" or "Look! An Avalanche!" And I realize my face is already set in a grimace. Shit. I'm already hitting the panic button for you. Your poor jungle animals have already endured endless natural disasters thanks to your worry-wart of a mother. Again, just remember to go to Daddy with that first fender bender, and I'll work on that fear issue in my next therapy session.

This month you have mastered the art of rice cereal. Now, I never knew that there was such an incredible "art" to rice cereal until, in hindsight, I compared your first encounter with it on July 3rd to your present gifted skills. While you used to mouth it, pout, spit it out and cry (all the while inhaling the cereal only to exhale it out your nose in a post-cereal fit), you now open your mouth expectantly and snarf down the whole damn bowl as soon as it is offered. A Peter Rabbit bowl has never been scraped as cleanly as your dishes are. Your dad and I have big plans with you soon...big plans which involve oatmeal cereal and strained green beans. It doesn't take much to excite us.

You spent your first complete night away from us two nights ago. It was a sudden decision, as I was sick, sick with a nasty flu virus and Daddy was busy with hauling your sisters all over for ballet rehersals and had been caring for you nonstop for days. Grammy and Papaw agreed to host you for an overnight and you were a wonderful guest...sleeping through the night and snuggling with Grammy before bed and giving her one of your stellar Dick Cheney/Munchkin smiles right before drifting off.

You also got to meet the aunties this month. The aunties are the women who sustain your mommy, who have been part of your mommy's life for over 13 years and who remind her that she has a network of women who will always love her and nurture her, and you. You have two godmothers, both part of the women's group, and you have taken to them like white on rice (the picture is of you with your godmommy/auntie Cheri). I hope some day you'll understand the power of the village which raised you.

I love you, my sweet. I love you more than you know, and I keep watching and wondering as you unfold and unfurl who you will become.


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