Monday, October 12, 2009
Letter to a 6-Month-Old Singer of Songs
Dear Sophia (AKA The Soph, Peanut, Lil’ Bit),
We still can’t decide what color your eyes are. Today they are leaning towards hazel, yesterday, outside, they had a greenish tinge to them. Six months you have been on this earth, little one, half a year already and as much as I feel like I know everything there is to know about you, it’s clear that you still have more to reveal to me. You have been, for the whole of your life thus far, all about your hands. They are for you a source of amazement, comfort, and amusement. You had your thumb in your mouth before we even left the hospital. Even now, sometimes you will get so quiet, and I will peek to see what you are doing, only to find you studying your hands- opening them, closing them, pressing fingertips together and eternally studying any texture within reach. What will those little dimpled hands grow up to do?
Not long ago you started to recognize your own reflection in the mirror. You greet your image with a great gummy grin, and I wonder, as I look at the two of us looking back at ourselves, if you know me too. I think you must, because there are moments, when strangers approach, that you look at them, your lower lip juts out and starts to quiver, and then you look back to me for reassurance and comfort. Of course, my dear, I don’t want you to be fearful, but I have to admit I secretly love that you are aware of our “us-ness” and their “them-ness.”
I love watching you react to music. Ever since you were first born you have been comforted by singing (yes, even MY singing) and not too long ago you started to sing along when I croon “Rubber Duckie” to you in the bathtub or “Eleanor Rigby” when we are cruising around in the van. Maybe you only know one note so far, but your singing is music to my ears. You are a contented little creature, sometimes a little on the sensitive side, but a million miles away from the newborn who screamed endlessly for reasons that were mysterious to your loving folks. I admit, there were moments when I wondered if you would EVER be happy, and after I stopped drinking milk and your screaming ceased, I can not describe to you the relief. You were OK. Now that toothless smile makes my heart sing.
Every night, after I place your sister in her crib, I pause at yours to breathe you in. Your Dad puts you to bed, rocks you and gives you a warm bottle and marvels at your sweetness. This is a routine established when I wasn’t sure that you were gaining weight fast enough, this bottle of pumped milk, and your Dad loved tucking you in so much that it stuck. You lie there serenely, head turned to the left, thumb in your mouth. I silently study your long eyelashes, that little Kem chin, and I watch your chest rise and fall. Even at the end of an exhausting day I pause to remind myself: they won’t be little forever. Soon I will be gazing at a sleeping toddler, then preschooler, and before you know it a young lady. It’s hard to imagine now, that your peach-fuzz will turn into actual hair, your little babbles will turn into actual words, and your eyes will finally settle on a color.
Happy 6 months, Sweet Pea. Looking forward to watching you grow.