Lately we've been making friends with lots of new babies. Some of Kamal's friends are welcoming new brothers or sisterrs,and some of my friends have recently become mothers for the first time. Kamal is so taken with these new little people, and I think in particular he's drawn to the idea of (finally) being bigger than somebody.
But I've also noticed his big, watchful eyes steady on me as I hold someone's newborn, as I stroke cornsilk baby hair or play peek-a-boo with a four-month-old. He likes the babies; he's a little unsure about how much I like them, though.
For reasons we can guess at but not really know, Kamal's been pretending to be a baby a lot lately. He crawls, he asks me to feed him, he speaks in piping, squeaky tones that I guess is his interpretation of a baby voice. And the other night he asked me to hold him like a baby as he was getting ready for bed. I pulled him up against me and he rested his head on my shoulder, just as he used to fall asleep when he was only a few months old. I patted his back, and, just like a baby, he actually burped--and then, moments later, fell fast asleep.
My sweet, strong, long-legged boy; my always-baby; my never-fall-asleep child was breathing deeply and restfully against my heart. I stayed in the chair and didn't move except to rock and breathe, reluctant to break the spell. We traveled back in time together, he and I, for about fifteen blissful minutes before he sighed and shifted and I carefully lay him in his bed, where there is more room for all those limbs than in my lap.
There will come a time, maybe soon, certainly sooner than later, that will be the last time he falls asleep in my arms. Sometimes I feel eager for that day, because I'm sleep-deprived and I miss having grown-up time with Adam at night. But mostly I'm in no rush, because nothing in the world has ever felt as good and as right to me as my child's body close to my own.