Today you turned two months old. In the past week, you have started sleeping in six- and eight-hour stretches at night. While this absolutely fits with your personality, you are terrifying me! Instead of getting some much-needed sleep, I’m in your room every hour to make sure that you’re OK.
Back when we found out that you were a boy, I had a hard time getting excited. I felt owed another daughter because Genevieve wasn’t here. People warned me that you would be a wild animal who would knock my life upside-down. I half expected you to come out of the womb with scabs on your knees and a smudge of dirt across your cheek. But you weren’t born a 5-year-old rapscallion. You were born a gentle, wide-eyed baby. And I feel foolish now for having thought that I would be better off with a different baby. You are your own perfect self.
You are forgiving of your sister’s eager hugs and kisses. I see your face turn red with discomfort, but you never go so far as to cry. When you do get upset, you give warning grunts and chirps for several minutes before launching into a wail. Your dad and I were talking the other night, and we agreed that you are as easy as a baby can be.
You have started to smile. As with everything else about you, your smile is shy and mild, so when I do catch it, I feel as though I’ve received some rare gift. Though I often see you offering that same smile to the ceiling fan, which makes me question its significance.
I remember that in the first few years after I married your dad, I would feel jealous when we met couples who had just started dating or gotten engaged. I had already fallen in love, had already run through those giddy months when staying awake all night talking to your dad seemed rational, even necessary. I would not know that rush again. I thought. But then I had your sisters, and now I have you. I get to fall in love again — to nuzzle your downy head and smell your milky breath as you doze on my shoulder. Henry, these moments are the essence of life. I carry them — and you — with me always.