Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saudades for Ethan's infancy

Just wanted to note down some of the little memories of Ethan's first 8 weeks...

-- We called him "Turtle" for awhile, because of the way his stomach would flatten out all the time. His chest, so narrow, would expand out into this wide, flat, hard belly that had a strange concave dip/line going down the middle of it, before narrowing again at his hips. Our little turtle...

--When Ethan would be done with his bottle, he would let us know not by pulling his head away or pushing the bottle, but by slowly pursing his lips until they pushed the bottle-nipple out. Whenever he did that, we would say he was making a "Kissy-Mouth." Okay, *I* called it that, Joel called it Fish Lips. Either way, it was adorable!

-- This is the most calm, easy-going, laid back, sweet baby around. I love spending time with him... he is hardly ever fussy, and just likes to have a good time looking around, soaking in the atmosphere, listening... what a lucky pair of parents we are.

-- I love it when he falls asleep on my chest. I know, I know, it isn't a good habit, but I LOVE it. I love holding his tiny little body as it curls up against me, and knowing that he was just a part of my body only a few weeks ago. I love kissing his head and knowing that in just a little while, he'll be crawling, and walking, and talking, and then poof! Graduating, and falling in love, and all of the other miracles and milestones of a person's life. I miss him already, if that's possible; the little person he is right now, the boy he's going to become, the man he's going to grow into... I truly don't know how other parents can deal with it-- all the love that is bursting inside their hearts. Maybe that's why they complain so much about the petty, minor things; to distract themselves from the overwhelming love for their own children.

It reminds me of one of my favorite stories, "Saudade" by Katherine Vaz. The story is basically about love and longing and that particular feeling you get when you miss something so much that the memory of it is stronger than reality... During one passage, a character looks around the picnic table at friends and family and realizes to herself that, for the first time, she is already missing people who are still with her, who haven't even left yet... During another part, a character lights candles where she first kissed her husband-to-be, because she believed that "we must honor with fire the places where love almost kills us." It reminds me of "Like Water For Chocolate," in which a couple of characters are actually set aflame by their love for each other. I really enjoy books with magical realism, in case you haven't noticed. That's one thing I hope I can pass on to my son-- a love for words, for literature, for poetry and language and expression... if there is one gift I can give him, it will be to see the wonder and joy and power inherent in words.

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