what we're about

Attempts to illuminate our brief mortal existence

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Munchkin

Some women, more power to them, can nurse their infants while doing other things.  They nurse and also watch movies, read books, wrangle other small children, cook supper, and play basketball.  Since I am essentially incapable of multi-tasking, I cannot do this.  It doesn't help that Christopher has always had trouble nursing, and probably always will.  So I sit down in the rocking chair to nurse Christopher, and I have absolutely nothing to do in that time but soak him in.

This child has changed so much in his three short months of life that I can't imagine the changes years will bring. I'm trying to memorize him at every stage.  I gaze into his fathomless blue eyes, deep indigo edges fading into sea blue meeting clear steel grey blue flying out from his pupils in a delicate star burst.  We think that he might keep these blue eyes.  I memorize again and again the way that the sunlight picks out the white gold strands in his long, long eyelashes.  His eyebrows and eyelashes were almost invisible when he was born, and his hair was light, too.  We thought for a while that we might end up with a blonde haired, blue eyed child, and then who would believe that he was ours?  But there are dark hairs growing in on his perfect, round head, and in his eyebrows and eyelashes.  Some of those fair hairs stuck around, though, and when the sun hits them it lights up his eyes in a way that a makeup artist would kill to be able to replicate.

I laugh at his eyebrows, still so fair, but growing in that distinct pattern that I know so well; he's going to have his Daddy's eyebrows.

Then his smooth, round cheeks; perfect, classic baby cheeks.  His face is so much longer now than it was when he was born that I can barely discern the shape of the little almond cheeks that I saw when the nurse handed him to me the second time, cleaned up and quiet.  Those little tiny bits of face that were squished between the curving lines of his eyes and his little mouth.  Now, as then, I can't resist touching them, relishing their softness.  I wonder if its possible that this little face is going to grow up into adolescent skin, with pores and oil problems and little marks and scars.

His nose.  His nose makes me laugh, too.  I was convinced when he was born that he had a Shenk-nose, which, for those of you who don't know, is not a proboscis to be taken lightly.  We're very proud of it.  We have to be; it's hard to ignore.  But now Christopher's nose looks like it's flirting with the idea of the Lehman nose: narrower, and turned up at the end.  It's hard to tell.  But I try anyway.

And then he's done nursing, and he looks up at me, and he grins at me with his perfect little wide mouth.  Flirtatious little grins, and wide, delighted smiles, and toothless giggles of wonder.

Sometimes I'm glad that I can't multitask.

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