My boy, with his blue headlight eyes and hair so blonde it’s transparent. Get him wet and he’s bald as the day he was born.
My boy who can barely say other, simpler words like “milk” and “car.”
He fastens himself to me like a baby chimpanzee. Wherever I go, he follows and cries “down! down!” when really he means “up! I want up!” He’s happiest in a soft carrier strapped to my back or perched on my hip.
I’m tired. But I stop myself short of complaining. One day I will miss this. I will miss cooking awkwardly, uncomfortably, almost dangerously with my left hand while the boy’s chubby bottom occupies my right. I will miss the sound of his bare feet slapping the tile floor to the rhythm of mama mama mama.
There’s a theory…not mine, but one I’ll adopt: Boys soak up their mamas when they’re small. They devour every ounce of nurturing. They kiss their daddies on the lips and burrow deep into mama’s chest because society has not yet told them not to. One day they will steel themselves against these tender, vulnerable, needy moments. So, for now, they crave more than their share. Deep in their round bellies, they stow away this raw, pure, naked love to draw upon later.
I scoop him up one more time and he says “sass-satch,” spit flying from his cotton candy lips. And I say, “yes, Sasquatch.” It’s a hint of what is to come, this word that’s hard to pronounce and beyond his comprehension. One day, sooner than I would like, he will know what Sasquatch means and he won’t want to cling to me quite so tightly. Independence and masculinity will drop down like a veil between us.
I sense the fragility. So, with sore biceps, and a mind that craves more sleep, more quiet, I do my best to fill his well. And he fills mine.