I am in love with this baby.
I haven’t written much about him here and that is a sad fact. Unfortunately, now that we’re two kids in, I think it’s safe to acknowledge that I really struggle with infancy. Really really. Monkey’s early months were even more of a struggle because of the juggling act that more than one kid requires. If it’s possible to have postpartum depression without actually giving birth, then I’ve had it. Twice. But somewhere around 9-10 months, the sky always brightens and by the 1 year mark I just seem to come back to myself again. A most welcome blessing.
The good news is that I’ve (mostly) forgiven myself for these long seasons of darkness and if we decide to do all of this again I’ll be even more gentle with myself the third time around. There is so much comfort in knowing what to expect.
For now I’m just taking deep breaths and reveling in the wonder of these little creatures. Grateful that now I can see them more clearly. I never imagined that I would spend my days with a Yogi and a Monk, but I couldn’t be happier that I do.
For now though, the Monk.
Even during the slog of those first few months I was able to recognize that the little dude was simply luminous. Whenever someone would ask about him I almost always described him as a ray of light. I’m not sure I even knew what I meant at first, but it couldn’t be more true. Sure he howls like a banshee, has been a difficult sleeper and elevated spitting up to a level I never even knew to fear, but the guy is pure and clear and wide open.
His default expression is one of wide-eyed interest. He’s curious, yes, but well before he’s entirely sure what he’s getting himself into, he’s ready for it. He’s all in. My wife is always calling him “game” and I think that’s just right. Whatever you’ve got, he’s up for it and he’s not holding anything back. Want to cram him in the back of a tiny dump truck and push him around the house at top speed? Let’s do it! How about having brother dump yet another cup of water on his head in the tub? Sign that boy up! The little dude knows nothing of hesitation or skepticism. His favorite place is right in the middle of things. If something is happening, the Monk wants to be there.
And then, there’s the snuggling. Mommies, big brother, stuffed animals, pillows, people he’s never met; the Monk would like nothing more than to get as close as possible. He is a professional snuggler. His combination of huge eyes, bright smile and happy chub means that he’s almost never rebuffed. At 23 lbs it’s getting increasingly hard to maintain, but Monkey loves to be held. Always has. When he gets put down, it’s almost never his idea.
This year with the Monk has been such a gift. He has brought a wonderful kind of lightness into our family. The rest of us tend towards weighty seriousness, but not our little guy. He has a direct line to the simple, uncomplicated wonder of each moment.
Lucky, that’s what we are.