Letter to Oscar: Month Five

You were once my tiny button-nosed baby, a tidy package swaddled in your receiving blanket, and I could hold the lightness of your being with one competent arm while I went about my day.

Then I closed my eyes and dreamed for one moment that life with a baby was easy and could be managed.  That time would stretch out endlessly like a childhood summer.  When I opened my eyes you had grown into a long-limbed boy, reaching with your arms, grabbing with your hands, kicking with your legs, determined to explore and carefully dismantle the world around you.

You were once content to sit squat on my lap like a baby buddha, sucking on your fists and studying the world around you in quiet contemplation.  Now I can barely hold your squirmy little boy body.  I can no longer eat or drink while I’m holding you, because you are determined to upend my glass and grab my food.  The computer keyboard has become much more exciting than any of your toys, and you will yell out loud if I don’t let you bang on it.  You think the funniest thing in the world is grabbing hold of Mama’s hair and not letting go.  You have officicially become what they call a handful.  Yet how can I regret these changes when it means that you reach for me in recognition, that you beam at me when I come to get you in the morning, and that you laugh out loud when I blow raspberries on your tummy.

You are outgrowing your clothes so quickly I will reach for an outfit that fit you yesterday only to find out that it doesn’t fit you today.  You have already outgrown your baby carrier and are now in a “big boy” car seat.  You are so heavy that Mama’s arms are sore from lifting you out of your crib.  Where rolling over was a once a big deal, something your Mama and Papa cheered and got very excited about, it is now so boring and mundane.  We all yawn everytime you do it. Except that we can’t leave you unattended anymore, and life with a baby is suddenly no longer as easy as I thought it was going to be.

The next few months will bring many changes.  You will begin eating solid food.  You will try to sit up on your own.  You will eventually crawl.  I’m excited and I’m afraid.  I’m afraid that someday you will learn that the world is not always a good place.  I am afraid that someday you will be hurt, either physically or emotionally, and I won’t be able to protect you.  Most of all I’m afraid that I will forget what it was like to hold you for the first time, that I will forget the newness of your baby smell and the softeness of your baby skin.  I wish I could freeze time forever, but then I would never see you stand up and walk with your arms outstretched toward the world.

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