four months

It was four months ago yesterday that our boy (finally) slipped out of my wife’s body and into my arms. It was a year and four months yesterday that Emmett left. It’s hard to remember the people we were before Bram; it’s impossible to remember the people we were before E. I’ve wanted to parent since I was still a child myself, but even with all of that anticipation, this lived reality is so much better than I could ever have imagined. Our son gets sweeter by the day. He’s a joyful, curious creature, and watching him discover the world is like seeing it anew myself. We definitely want more kids, but right now we’re in love with the dynamic of our little family of three.

I’m thinking through a few big posts (politics this election season, attachment parenting and all this new press it’s getting), but I don’t have time to write one of them today. I thought I’d celebrate this lovely third.of.a.year, though, with a few glimpses into our lives right now, both narrative and photographic.

First the narrative:

  • We’ve learned that Bram loves yogic ohms, and if he’s crying and we ohm to him – or sing his name that way – he’ll calm down almost every time. Sometimes his crying will even become controlled first, so that though he looks bewildered as to why it’s happening, he’ll stop crying and start ohming with us. It is magnificent to watch his out-of-control cry become a strong, controlled sound. Lovely to think that we might be teaching him to harness his own emotions instead of letting them take over.
  • We’ve had a whirlwind weekend to round out his first four months. Dinner with our wonderful midwife/now friend, her wife, and their little girl (in the country, which it turns out is delightful!), lunch in a neighboring city with dear friends, and a wedding shower for Bram’s Aunt Laura. We kept the boy out past his bedtime both nights, but that seems to have caused me more anxiety than it has him. In fact, he slept through! the! night! last night (from 10pm to 6:30am), so maybe we’ll plan more outings soon. Having woken so well rested, we all spent the morning laying about in bed, probably the most relaxed morning we’ve had as a family of three. Then we took a family walk to visit other friends (who were nice about my whining re: the heat). We deviated from our no gluten, soy, or dairy a little this weekend, though, which seems to be catching up with Bram now in the form of an upset stomach and a little bit of rash. This afternoon has been rough, but otherwise: a triumph of a weekend. I’ve thought “this is the best weekend of my life” so many times since B was born that I think I need a new scale. Weekends used to be nice. Now they’re often things of glory.
  • Finally – though I’m sure that lots of you already know this – we’ve been THRILLED to learn this week of the birth of a beautiful new baby. Congratulations and strong-baby-making to the moms over at Love Invents Us! Happy new world, sweet Monkey; happy new big-brotherhood (in the literal not the Orwellian way), Yogi! It’s such a joy to imagine the four of you together. J and I await each new photo with childlike pleasure.

Now the photographic:

A photo my mama took before our Mother’s Day brunch together. How different this Mother’s Day was from last year’s. Still, I’m thinking of all the women out there who are struggling with infertility or child loss, for whom this holiday is a crushing affair (many of whom, I know, are readers). May you find every bit of the joy we found this year in a Mother’s Day to come. And may you find peace in the meantime.

I had to send the AAUW a “work-action” shot. This was tricky for me because unlike some of their fellows, I’m neither an astronaut nor an acrobat. This photo is pretty much what my work looks like these days, so this is what I sent. I don’t expect to see it showing up in their advertisements, but it brings me pleasure to think that this is what my work looks like right now.

Oh my gosh, this little girl. I’m not sure how much her mamas would want us writing on here, and I want to respect their privacy, but I had to include this photo because we L.O.V.E. this child, and it seems that we love her about as much as she loves Baby Bug Bram. [Why didn’t anyone ever tell me how much little kids adore each other?!?] Anyway, this child is bold and fearless and just full of bounding sweetness (and the perfect amount of mischief for a twenty-first-century girl). She is a total life force. B is lucky to count her among his first friends.

Our serious boy. His high, curious eyebrows. His widow’s peak. His elephant Shmuel.

Possibly my favorite new photo of my two favorite people.

Aunt Kippie is a bringer of lightness and laughter.

Bram adores his Uncle Buddy.

Snugging with Aunt Laura during her wedding shower.

Baby loves to stand. Mama loves the way baby’s naked toes stretch and squish out when he does so.

Our lazy morning.

Postscript: I recently got a comment from a woman who lost three of her four babies, full term, to Factor V Leiden (the clotting disorder I have that they think kept E from developing feet). I haven’t written her back yet because, honestly, I don’t know what to say. I read an article about Toni Morrison recently wherein she (having lost an adult son) says we shouldn’t tell grieving people we’re sorry; we should just hug them and mop their floor. I think this is just about right. Only I can’t hug this woman, or wash her floor. I can’t do anything besides hold space for this knowledge. For those little beings. For her grief, and for all that love.

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5 thoughts on “four months

  1. The narratives, the photos, and the fact that each weekend is the best weekend – I love these things so much! I love the work action photo that shows you as a brilliant scholar and present mama (and doing it all at once!). And I love the sweet book reading photo with J and all the sweet, sweet family shots. I can’t believe it’s been a third of a year already, and can’t wait to get some more time in with this boy (and all of you) in just about three weeks! Love, MJB

  2. so, so sweet. i adore weekends as well.
    i love how b is learning to self-soothe through “ohm’s”. i’m going to have to try that one.
    gunnar has gotten in the habit of saying “i’m sorry!” when he is uncomfortable/fearful/hurt, etc…(we think it’s because when he’s one of those things, i usually say “i’m sorry”). so i’m trying to redirect the i’m sorry’s and help him identify feelings…or just redirect all together and say “be happy!”. i noticed the other morning he was upset about something (a bad dream?). he started off saying “i’m sorry, i’m sorry” and then he redirected himself and said “happy…happy…” (precursor to “serenity now!”? :).
    also, it is really sweet to see little kids loving each other so much – no filters, just light and love and joy. they inspire me. :)
    hugs,
    danielle

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