March, 2012 archive
The days blur together right now like the reds and yellows of a watercolor left in the rain, Tuesday’s becoming Saturday in a stream of rocking, diaper changes, cooing and nursing. JJ is off work for another two weeks, and some days we are still in pajamas at 11, Basil lying peacefully in bed between us after fussing all morning. Today, he slept for 2 hours on his daddy’s chest, arms hanging down JJ’s sides like the limbs of a stuffed monkey draped around a child’s neck. He’s a good baby, wiggly and full of life when he’s awake, insistent when he needs something but usually quick to soothe once we figure out what it is.
So good that I’m working on my thesis again! Monday we went to apply for Basil’s passport down the hill in the Castro neighborhood post office, and then I stayed to work in a cafe nearby while JJ brought Basil home for a nap. Being out for just a few hours, making thesis progress, then having the walk home to myself: it feels like forbidden fruit, in these demanding first months of caring for a newborn.
The city is bursting with spring, every scrap of dirt not covered by concrete or ornamental rocks crowded with new growth. Walking up the hill to our house, I see a tangle of last year’s alyssum, wild sour grass, fennel and bright orange California Poppies compete for space in pots and patches of garden. A calla lily in full bloom stretched up through the center of a low hedge, reminding me of a giraffe reaching for tender treetop leaves, or the birdlike neck of my son, straining for milk.
After more than 3 days of labor, my little Basil (his nickname during the pregnancy) arrived a little over two weeks ago, long and lean with his daddy’s feet and mama’s round cheeks. “Look at all that hair!” everyone kept exclaiming as I pushed him out; the hair so long in the back it scrunches up against the collar of his onesies. My days are spent now sitting in the rocking chair, learning how to breastfeed with him, alternately getting lost in the sweet curve of his cheeks, the silkiness of his hair, the downy fuzz on his ears. He was too long for many newborn outfits from birth, feet straining against the cotton toes when we tried to put them on him, the long-sleeved newborn onesies becoming 3/4 length sleeves on his long arms.
So far he sleeps a lot, and wakes to eat with little squeaks and grunts that stir me in the night before they burst into full cries. I’m getting used to being up a couple hours out of the night, nursing him in the soft glow of the star-covered night light, staring out into the dark night, or listening to the pounding rain. We combat the tiredness during the day with naps in the soft afternoon sun, slices of golden light draping across us like a warm blanket.
I feel so lucky, so very lucky to be a mama to this little one.