You are 6 months old tomorrow and you are more of a delight every day. As I write this I see the word “light” in delight and I must say that is truly what you are. A big, gorgeous light. Daddy refers to people who are really alive and glowing as people who are “lit.” You are definitely one of those people.
I know I mentioned this before, but you are still really fascinated by those hands of yours. I love watching you marvel at them (and when we’re not joking about the big stoner you are going to be) we imagine all of the things you will do with them. The things you will build, the hands you will hold, the letters you will write (or maybe the email you will type? ) all with those hands. You are wise to know what a gift they are.
I just cleaned out your dresser yesterday and was so happy to finally pack away clothing you have grown out of. You are a bit of a peanut at the moment, but your hands and feet are showing promise for serious growth to come. You look so perfect to me (and to everyone else) that I am shocked when we go to the doctor and they say you have fallen off the weight chart. They can take their percentiles somewhere else, huh Ben? You are a pioneer! and have created your very own curve…
You are becoming quite masterful at rolling over. Where the other kids are practicing sitting up on their own, you can roll any of them under the table. Given a big enough pasture, you will roll over and over and over into the sunset. This just might be your new mode of transport.
Every day we go to the big kid’s park on the corner. I know you love being there but you almost never crack a smile. It is serious business over there. A place of study. I see you watching the kids with laser focus… You know they are a different species, not baby or adult but something entirely different. We just sit there and watch. It is one of the places you are completely calm.
My attempts to fatten you up haven’t worked. You almost never cry except if I’m trying to feed you and you’re not hungry or if someone tries to give you a bottle. You are the most CHILL baby ever, the most easygoing of dudes, but try to give you a bottle and you will bat it away (with remarkable accuracy) and go on hunger strike for as long as it takes. We moved onto solid food a bit early to see if we could entice you, but no dice. I’ve been trying for weeks to tempt you with all of the wonders of rice cereal, oatmeal, carrots, applesauce, bananas…. but you are unimpressed. I think you only open your mouth so you can use the spoon as a teething toy and push the actual food out onto your bib. You are a tough cookie.
But if you’ve taught me anything in these past months it is that suffering comes from wanting things to be another way than they actually are. I think this is a basic tenet of Buddhism in fact, that whole suffering-coming-from-desire business.
When I want you to be some other way than you actually are, I suffer. You suffer. The more I can let the moment, the situation, the nap, the house, be exactly as it is… there is so much more room for joy. These are big lessons for the adult humans of the world. You have this one wired.
What else can I share that would be interesting to you?
I heard one of my favorite quotes on Oprah a while back. It is from Maya Angelou and she says, “All kids really want to know about their parents is this-Do their faces light up when I walk into the room?”
I can’t promise that we will always be perfect parents. I can’t promise that we will always be patient or wise or do exactly the right thing. But I can promise you this, little Ben. Our faces will never stop lighting up when you come into the room.