As I laid in bed this morning, groggily feeding this little person who has completely changed our lives, I was thinking about my poor boobs as usual. And then I realized he would be eating solid food in a scant few months and felt that sore and engorged boobs were just fine for now. This tiny little fellow has broken my heart, and keeps breaking my heart every day with his new coos, his artful grasping of my finger, his broad beaming grin, fleeting but thrilling, and at five-thirty in the morning I was saddened by the thought of losing these moments when his trust in us is so complete. We're all that he knows, and as of yet we haven't done anything to betray this contract. But as he gets older it's only realistic to think that we'll make some ridiculous mistakes and he'll look at us with a scowl on his face, or maybe just hurt or disappointment. Inevitable too that he will become an independent person determined to make his own mistakes, charging into the breach and stumbling once in a while as we watch helplessly, wishing we could protect him from every hurt but knowing it's as much a part of life as the happiness that we get listening to him sing his little eating song.
My heart tightens every time I put him on his stomach to exercise his neck and arms and he gets frustrated with the efforts of trying to be stronger than he is. I simultaneously beam as he raises his head for longer and longer, and want to stuff him back into the smaller Milo package that he was in when he arrived so that I can relive and retain these moments. Whenever I feed him it seems he's gained another pound, and I anticipate the milestones stretching out into the future on a road where my heart is continually bursting with each new success: chewing on a teether, recognizing and pestering the cats, holding onto Tigger with purpose, crawling through the dust bunnies. This is a future that is going to be sooner rather than later.
Some milestones are already fading away behind us: the downy hair on his face is gone, he's grown out of his first socks, his eyebrows are growing in (he's able to cock one independently of the other, like both of us. He gets these sober and funny expressions that say, "Oh really? Hmm, I find that fairly doubtful"). He's gained four pounds in five and a half weeks and some of his clothes are already getting small. I've weeded out shirts he never even wore. He grins and gazes with more purpose, he burbles with new sounds, the stringiness from birth has been replaced with happy baby chubbiness. He's outstripped one diaper size and is rapidly approaching the next. He raises his head and holds it for longer and longer, and ooches along the floor like a little earthworm if I press against his feet.
This whole thing, so utterly mundane and full of the same milestones that everyone else goes through, is absolutely the best thing I've ever done. Perhaps because it is mundane, since all of us share these events in one way or another, it is rendered special. We were all little critters stumbling through these first steps. We were all perfect once.