My son is 5 1/2 months old now. He’s almost crawling, almost sitting, almost ready to eat solids. He’s growing too fast than I care to admit but like most mothers every time he reaches a milestone, I proclaim my baby to be a genius.
This morning we are relaxing at home, a welcome change from the hectic weekend of camping at a provincial park. Our routine is almost back, but I can see that Little C is tired and perhaps out of sorts. As he gets crankier, I pick up his little body and snuggle him on my chest to try and help him relax.
As I walk to our rocking chair I can feel him sigh. He is going to fall asleep soon. He turns his head under my chin and reaches his hand to explore something. Even on the cusp of sleep he must examine the world. He opens and closes his little fist, grasping the neck of my shirt. He stretches up and picks at my neck, scratching with his tiny, paper thin fingernails. I feel self-conscious about every aspect of my body. My neck is practically a chicken giblet. It’s too loose, too wrinkly. But Little C doesn’t know this, doesn’t think this. I don’t even know if he ‘thinks’ like we do, with our inner voice, but I am absolutely certain he does not know vanity or body image, yet.
He explores my neck. *Scratch, scratch, scratch* He tries to grasp my skin with his too-tiny, clumsy fist. Yesterday he tried to clasp a water bottle that was laying on its side on the picnic table and today he’s trying to feel and pinch my skin. The difference, to him, must be amazing and confusing. So many textures, so much knowledge to soak up.
I rub his back and hold him tightly and will myself to never forget this intangible moment of tenderness and awe.