My little baby turned one yesterday. And it was surreal. And wonderful. And beautiful. And filled with light. It feels crazy that I have a one year old son…but at the same time…it feels entirely right. Everyone says “time flies” and “how did that happen so fast”…but I lived every moment and I walked every step and I picked him up every time he cried and I lay next to him during every tough night’s sleep. I sat in every hazy, timeless afternoon…sun streaming through the window while we both sat in silence for small eternities…him learning how to grasp the world and me watching him do it. He slept right on my chest or in my arms for every sleep until he was about 6 months old. He still sleeps best in my arms. I just didn’t want to put him down. And so I finished my Waldorf Teacher Training online with Jamie asleep across my body. Always typing with my little baby asleep across my body. And it was the most incredible thing. I will never trade it for anything.
I tried to hold on to every moment yesterday. The way his eyes glow when he looks up at you. His grunts of frustrations and his squeals of delight. The way his little hands curl around your neck when you pick him up. His little blonde tufts of hair that always stick up in the back. All of his force and all of his grace. The way he is full of ferocity and subtlety all at the same time. He smiles wide open and mischievous all day long. I sing all day long and he taps his hands to the beat. The best is when I can get him to laugh. Full bodied and harmonious. He loves to share whatever he has. It’s the strangest quality. Whatever he has he just offers to whoever is around….and if it is food he tries to feed them. He loves to force feed me carrots.
The best is when he is nursing…and he actually strokes my hair gently. He always takes my hair in his hands, that’s a given. But sometimes he pulls and sometimes he actually strokes. And I stroke his hair. And we lay there together stroking each other’s heads. And I know of nothing more beautiful. Nursing. In general. Has been the most beautiful experience of my life. And he has loved it wildly. It is absurdly beautiful to see his passion for it. He literally pulls down my shirt these days and starts giggling when I start undressing. When he sees my boob he stands up on his legs, bounces with huge eyes and takes a full bodied lunge onto my chest. Then of course there is the classic baby eyes rolling back in his head…it’s so overwhelming. He just stares into my eyes these days and you can see him get hazy and full of pleasure and love. Breast milk is the most incredible thing ever.
He makes me feel like I am not at all off base with my pleasure and enjoyment of the world. This is our natural, first reaction to the world. And then we are taught to sit down and be polite and cover our mouths and lose all the passion for all the amazing things we get to do in the world. But babies eyes roll back in their head when they’re nursing out of sheer pleasure. We are born this way. With lust for life. And we let life settle down and settle in and get routine and stale. And that is a great travesty I think. That we ever forget. We must remember, we must keep ourselves remembering. That this is a fantastic gift of a life. Babies certainly know that. They know the heights and depths of fear and love and joy and pain. They are truly alive. And we watch them in awe that are so filled with life. And we deny the fact that we, too, can attribute such meaning to life. That they are not strange specimens, that they are us. In our most natural form. Before being taught the strange list of things our society has agreed upon being normal. And socialization is totally subjective. Whereas the nature of humans as they are born is totally universal. So. There’s that.
I am always repeating myself.
What a year, what a year, what an incredible, thick and wild year. All of the nights with no sleep. All of the joy, all of the singing, all of the laughing, all at the wide eyed wonder. He still has not slept a full night’s sleep in a whole year. All of the quiet moments just looking at each other…all of the big moments when learned or connected or said something for the first time. This is a strange and impeccable journey and I am treasuring it. This moment means both an end and a beginning. An end to his infancy, and a beginning to some place walking towards toddlerdom. And that is a unique place to be. And a definite moment in time. But I just have to honor it. Everything I’ve experienced…it doesn’t disappear. It is laced into both of our skins and brains and bodies. It has formed the foundation of his mental connections. Love is burrowed deep into his brain. And that is more important than anything else. Everything always exists. Nothing is lost or can be lost. It’s just the law of conservation of energy. Things transform – nothing disappears. He grows, he changes. His tiny infant self that I held inside of my hand is still the root of the root of the root of him and always will be. And I hope I can keep that small, infant, smiling face in my head in the midst of toddler tantrums and one-year-old fits of force. Everything is here. We grow. We become more – never less. He is all he is, all of the time. And my job is not to demand some selfish need to have something simple and easy. My job is to facilitate the growth of a boy full of fire and light. Let him be…whatever beautiful spark he already is. At every transformative moment.