Yesterday I picked you up from daycare and you were cherishing a corn on the cob in your little fist. On the walk home, you would take a few steps and then stop to take a bite, fitting your lips around that big corn cob. You would point to it and say your version of corn. You are saying so many words these days. Last week you began repeating after me, almost everything I said, trying out the words on your tongue, wrapping your tiny lips around them, pushing the sound through your itty bitty teeth. I want to tell you that your voice makes my heart soar. When you say my name, you speak me into being over and over. I come alive when you call me.
Last night on the playground, for some reason you needed a hug. And I scooped your so-small body up into my arms and you kissed me right on the lips. Then you held my face in your hands and leaned back to look right at me and smiled and gave me a few more deliberate kisses. When you hug me, you always pat my shoulder so softly. I want to tell you that your sweetness makes my head light and my knees wobbly. I feel like those kisses go right to the center of me and touch the place where I keep my realest self.
The other day your dad and I were cleaning underneath the playmat we have for you in the living room. We took apart the mat and wiped down each piece of it before puzzling it back together. And when I set those pieces down, I noticed how many had pen marks scrawled on them. I started to say something to your dad about how I wished you hadn’t written on them. But I stopped myself short because it’s just a playmat and I love that you love to hold pens. I treasure up those moments of you bent over paper, intently scrawling away with a seriousness around your eyes and your mouth. I want to tell you that your pen marks reminded me to write these words, to capture these things that are so soon to change. I hope your obsession with pens and pencils continues. Some people get to see themselves in their children, but you are a perfect combination of your parents, Jude. I can’t find my face in yours. But I find myself in that pen in your hand, sweet scribbler.
I’m breathing deep because you are well into your 18th month and I am enchanted with you. I have so many things to say, but they don’t come out in sentences and paragraphs. They well up inside me and burst into innumerable bits of joy that fill my eyes so often these days when you run toward me, when you offer me some of your snack, or when you plop yourself down in my lap after handing me yet another book for us to read. So many things to tell you, baby, but as the George wrote and the Beatles sang,
I want to tell you
My head is filled with things to say
When you're here
All those words, they seem to slip away
Words can’t capture you. But I will continue to try, because I too, find myself so often with pen in hand, hunched over a piece of paper, scribbling away.
All my lovin,
|My little lefty!|