This coming week you turn 7 months old. Which means it has taken me a while to sit down and write to you about turning 6 months! I guess life has already started to get in the way. Our sweet, wonderful life together.
To celebrate the fact that you had reached your half birthday, to celebrate you, we went on our first family holiday. A little getaway to the beautiful Kuaotunu beach on the Coromandel peninsula. 5 days of relaxed time together, without clocks and phones, or anywhere else to be. We had lots of leisurely meals, play-time, fun in the sun, in the garden, and twice daily walks along the beach listening to the ocean waves. We read books and rolled balls. We felt the grass under our feet and sand slip softly through our fingertips. We watched birds. We met ducks. And we enjoyed delicious wood-fired pizzas at the local kitchen; you couldn’t get enough of my coconut water. You slept in our bed (well, kind of slept) and we all watched the sunrise together over the distant mountains. At the end of each lovely day we put your bath on the dining room table, so you could splash and bathe and watch the sun set like a golden promise.
We have been a family for 6 sweet months, baby – and on this holiday, we realised how special that is. What a joy it continues to be, watching you grow and learn and discover. There is no ‘before Beau’ now. There is only you.
And what a rambunctious little boy you are! And what a honey. You are opening up to us daily – and you continue to approach life with calm observation, a focused seriousness, and a cheeky sense of humour. You have such personality. You love nothing more than being kissed and tickled all over. You can sit on your own, and can almost crawl, but you just want to be on your feet already. I always notice you looking up to the sky and you love being outdoors, but you also love snuggling on my knee and devouring books (literally – you try to eat everything). You sit proud as punch in your high chair at the centre of our family meals, enjoying food as much as we do – we cannot wait to travel with you and let you enjoy cuisine from wherever we go. Your daddy enjoyed fresh oysters on our holiday… your beady eyes were already checking them out. You are so attentive and inquisitive.
My favourite thing about you, though – is your eyes. The window to your thoughts and feelings. Glassy blue and full of wonder and intrigue. I can see how you love me in them. I can see your anticipation, your excitement, and I can see when you experience something new that delights you. I see them surprised and uncertain and looking to me for reassurance. I see their innocence and trust, their forgiveness and unconditional love. I see them filled with a warm glow when you play with your daddy, and light up inside when I come into the room. They tell me about your day, and your dreams. They tell me about beauty. They tell me everything is ok and good.
Sometimes, I look at your eyes as you look at the world. I am so close to you, and I can see the reflection of the treetops, the outline of buildings, the shape of my own face as you turn towards me. And I wonder…
So often I say to you, “I see you, baby!” But what do you see?
My letters to you so far have been written for my sake. Sharing the journey through my pregnancy and your arrival, how it feels to be your mother, and how you have changed our lives, made us a family. These letters will be wonderful for me to reflect on in the coming years – to be reminded of how much we have grown together. Perhaps someday I get the call, the visit, in which you tell me ‘Mumma, I am going to be a daddy’ – perhaps that is when I will share all of these letters with you. But in many ways, they are still for my sake. For me to know I have captured everything I possibly can about your beginnings, and the love you were born from, so that you will know me. So that you won’t forget about your Mumma and her love for you once you no longer need her.
I heard your daddy saying to you the other day “I hope you appreciate how much your mummy does for you… not that I expect you to thank her, you shouldn’t have to, it’s me who will thank her… I just hope you know it.”
It was so beautiful baby, you smiled a gummy smile showing him your two bottom teeth.
And that’s just it – the irony of motherhood – the better the job I do, the more readily you will leave me someday. In no way am I trying to be maudlin about this – I will rejoice in every stage of my life – but I am simply being honest with myself, that you are only going to be my baby for a short time. Or, more to the point, I will only be at the centre of your Universe, that outline in your glassy eyes, for a brief moment – before you grow up and leave me and a hole in the centre of mine. A huge space in my heart – that will always belong to you. Forever impressioned with your colours.
This last 6 months have flown by in a whirlwind of magic and madness, baby. I am slowing myself down, more so every day, and could burst with love and anticipation for you.
I wonder what the next 6 months will have in store?
I am waiting for you to show me.