I know you aren't a 309 pound offensive lineman. I know you probably won't grow up to be 6' 4" and I know you're not from the other side of Memphis. But yesterday, when I was watching The Blind Side, I couldn't help but think of you. I couldn't wait to get home to listen to your squeal. I couldn't help but wish and hope and pray that one day we could be just a little something like that family.
It's hard for me to believe that you are nine months old. Hard to believe that you've been with me as long as you were with her. That's not to disqualify all that she did, not to minimize her pain--both physical and emotional--in any way, not to forget the immeasurable love she has for you because she carried you and cared for you for nine long months. And because while she carried you, you grew in my heart but now that you are with me, you grow in hers. But to know that you have been being loved and cared for and carried in my arms for nine months gives me a sense of peace and confidence that when you finally spit out what's on the tip of your tongue, when you finally say, Mama, you'll mean it.
I won't forget the way you smile with your whole entire face and that grin--and those eyes--remind me of her in such a good way. I'll never fail to remember the way your two teeth peer over the rim of your bottom lip and your bubble gum tongue suctions to the roof of your mouth before you let out a series of squeals and your body rumbles with an all encompassing giggle. You crawl with your right hand in a fist and no one has any idea why. It's as though you're hiding a prize inside but when we pry your fingers up from your palm, we find nothing. Still, you crawl along with your left hand wide open and your right hand balled into a tight fist. Maybe it's indicative of your personality. Perhaps you'll be open and honest but always ready to sucker punch someone who crosses you. Or maybe, maybe it's nothing at all...
You're letting go of things and standing now for several seconds at a time. And you do it with this ridiculously nonchalant look like, Yeah. I'm standing. Jealous? And we're all, "Not really. Go ahead, walk. You know you want to." And you respond with this sudden fall to your
Oh are you ever a mama's boy. This month, suddenly, your sun started to rise and set because I tell it to. Your world spins because I think it should. You are glued to my hip, my legs, my lap, you'll take whatever you can get. It's incredibly annoying. And I wouldn't have it any other way. I adore you. I'm glad the feeling is mutual. You really like to kiss me. You're idea of kissing is opening your mouth as wide as you can, slamming it onto my lips, and drooling like a St. Bernard. Your kisses are the sweetest, sloppiest, heart melting smooches ever.
Just a couple of days ago you celebrated your very first Thanksgiving. You slept through our meal because we ate around 2:30 and you sleep from 1:30-5:00. You love your crib and even if you aren't sleeping for that amount of time, you're perfectly content to play with blankets and toys and hoot and holler and babble. But Thanksgiving. When you got up you ate mashed potatoes and yams and I didn't even care that all you had was starch. I wasn't even worried about how it was all going to go straight to your hips. Happy Thanksgiving--live a little.
You can't wait until you're big enough to play with your brother. Literally. You can't wait. So you don't. You climb him, yank him, slobber on him, grab him, mush him, mash him, spit up on him and hassle him. Sometimes it drives him crazy. Sometimes he wishes you were two months old or two years old but nothing in between. But always, always, he kisses you on the head before your nap and says, "Good night, Brother Man, see you next time." Or, "See you soon, Little Buddy." And always, always, he wants to be reassured that you'll be here forever.
And always, always, I want to be reassured that you'll be here forever. Your brother wants bunk beds. He wants to have to climb a ladder to get to his bed. I told him that if you get to be with us forever, if you get to stay in the very place that you belong, the two of you could have bunk beds when you get a little bigger. Matthew, I know that you can't choose. I know that you don't get to tell the judge that you want to stay with your brother and your daddy and your mommy and your doggie and the cat you want so desperately to touch but who eludes you. I know it isn't up to you. But I want those bunk beds, too. I want to come in late at night, climb the ladder and kiss your brother. Then I want to kiss your beautiful face, the one that smiles all the way from your mouth up to your eyes and back again. Always. Always. I want to be reassured that you'll be here forever...