Aug 19, 2009

The Evolution

He eats dirt. And sticks. He slides across the floor on his belly and licks the hardwood like a catfish, hoping to get that dried piece of cracker or that bit of strawberry from 3 days ago. He tries to stick his fingers into electrical sockets and chews on wires. He climbs things he shouldn't, like bookcases and record players. He rips up grass and beheads flowers like it's his sole reason for being. He fights sleep like a pro-wrestler on too much ephedrine and then crashes so hard you'd think he'd been up partying for days on end, putting his father and I to shame with his stamina. He howls and cackles, head thrown back with no self consciousness, flashing his little glowing moon white milk teeth. He is opinionated and loud and lets you know rather dramatically, when he is VERY displeased with something you have or have not done. He loves fruit but needs to beat it to death first making sure to rub a fair bit of it into his hair and ears before he tastes it. He would rather be naked, all the time, than bear the indignity of clothes or heaven forbid, his diaper. He laughs easily and often and strings together silly little sing-songy gibberish that make it difficult for me not to just eat his face. This is the Angry Giant. This is the sweet little starfish, all arms and legs akimbo, kicking me in the ribs, that I carried for nine months and he is almost a year old.

As I was laying in bed with him last night, me bone tired and heavy eyed, him, slaphappy, delirious and giddy with exhaustion, I started remembering things. Watching him grow from this brand new helpless and tiny newborn into this little baby/almost boy has been one of the most surreal and intense experiences I have ever born witness to. He is becoming. Every day in leaps and bounds beyond measure, he is becoming, incrementally, himself. I have watched him in his quiet play trying to figure things out- how a latch works or how to open the top of the trash can so he can make our kitchen look like the floor of a frat house. How he is fascinated by water, especially running water, and will rush head long with no fear into the coldest puddle or pool hysterical with glee. He is me yet he is so other. And in that, lies the most fascinating evolution. His evolution, and mine too.

I am trying to hold on to these small miraculous moments that seem to just slip through the cracks of my life like rain. I want to remember his snuffly sleepy grumbles that make him sound like a discontented pirate. I want to wrap him up in me and keep him small and safe and always close. But, keeping him static and still and little is not my job. He is leading and I am merely here to follow. His small curious forays into the world, watching eyes saucer wide with wonder at the amazingness of all of it. And he reminds me everyday that there is just as much beauty in laying belly deep in the tall summer grass as there is on any museum wall. He has taught me patience and easy delight and how to be quiet and strong, so he can be loud and free.

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