My mind keeps being blown as the Little Shoogie grows from a peanut … up up and up. I guess it's true of any living system and it probably just underscores the staggering nature of that realm that we refer to scientifically as biology.
These things are zooming by:
|the original pacifier|
- The Meconium — the sci-fi sort of word for the proto-shit, black and tar-like, that comes out of baby before actual shit. It's almost like the packing material for the inside of the intestines, which have never been used and are now coming online.
- Crying — a simple, singular communication technique of incredible effectiveness. At first: alarming, panic-inducing — the sole expression of lungs and vocal chords for the first time coming online. I'll always have a picture of our vacuum cleaner in my head when I think back to the earliest crying jags, when Lucy and I sat panic-stricken upstairs trying to figure out why she was crying — shrieking, wailing — and hearing a tiny voice in my head say 'turn on the vacuum.' She stopped within seconds. Then we were afraid to turn it off; and I discovered how foolish it feels to run a vacuum that's sitting stationary, so … I decided to vacuum the rug while Lucy held our daughter and we both tried to pretend our hearts weren't trying to explode out of our chests. In more recent times that crying is … more volumnous… as those lungs gain skill.
- The hair — Libby Lee started out as a little baldy, but gradually — as those hair follicles continue to come online — well, we're still wondering if it's blonde or strawberry blonde. But some days, increasingly, she's cultivating some kind of crazy old man hairdo. How will it ever be long enough to brush, let alone cut? And what about that baby-head smell? Last night I realized that it was almost aura-like — and that the sublimely sweet smell coincides with a warmth that I can feel on my nose, on my upper lip, from about one inch away from baby Libby Lee's sleeping scalp.
- The eyes — Consistently and continuously, I see how aware the Little Shoogie wasn't before. Before when? Before now. And now. And now. Those eyes: I thought they were looking at me before, but I know they're looking at me now. And that neck: it cranes around, as I carry her around like some kind of warm gooshy football; because the eyes are looking everywhere (a place which seems to principally be behind my left elbow, for some reason)
- The smile — wow, it's not just a mouth thing. Facial calethenics are magic, especially right after a nap, when all those muscles have to come back online. (like they do for all of us, I guess) But never more so than when all that twitching and stretching turns into … a smile. A glittering eyed wide-mouthed smile.
Why is this deeply touching to me? I guess because we've all got this equipment, and if we're lucky, if it all:
- Works correctly right "out of the box" and
- Still works after years of constant use (and abuse).