I understand now why moms & dads keep having babies. It's because the ones we have grow like little sprouted beans and no matter how we try to slow time, onesies stop snapping, jammies burst at the seams, gums bulge under the pressure of little white teeth. We lean in to get a smell of your sweet cream breath but the pureed peas overtake it. The world spins madly on, and with it little babies grow up. Moms and dads have more babies thinking 'next time around I'll make time slow, I'll savor every single moment' , but that's silly because we savored all the moments anyway, they just whoosh by like a train, leaving only the wind in our hair.
So I suppose all I can do is clack clack clack the keys on this slim silver board and hope that the letters form the words, and the words make the pictures come back to my head. For when I'm old and gray, of when you were small and swaddled. Pictures like when I nurse you before bed time, and I know you're drifting off because you start to swipe your little fingers across my sternum. Like your playing the slots, swiping a credit card, or giving the runner on second the cue to steal. Back and forth. After you've eaten, your stretch both arms out like you're flying. Now we're ready for bed. I rock you side to side and you tuck your face into my ribs, letting the weight of your face fall deep into the bend of my elbow. I lay you down on your tummy, because no matter what else I try, that's how you sleep best, so I stopped arguing with you. I see your little legs pump up and down, a sign that I didn't get that last air bubble out. I rock you one more time - singing this time. I usually can't sing to you when I'm trying to get you to sleep because you like to watch my face and you could watch it for hours when I'm singing a song or reading a book. So our bedtime is quiet and it's all about cradling your heavy head in my arm, and patting your back. Those are the sounds of your nighttime.
Tonight you were fidgeting between half and fully asleep. I quietly sang "Sea of Love" and when I finished I waited a moment or two to see if you had fallen any deeper. In seconds you were filling the silence with your own humming, as you often do. Did you want to sing now? I listened to your soft notes, smiling, and before I knew it you were reaching your little fingers up my neck, searching for my chin. Then you dropped your hand down and swung it back, in a tight baby fist, clocking me in the chin three times. Urging me to keep the songs coming. "Buckets of Rain" was next, sometimes I can't think of any baby lullabies off the top of my head, so I just sing what I know.
Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears
Got all them buckets coming out of my ears
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand
You got all the love, honeybaby I can stand.
The world is yours, Cal.