Saturday, October 1st, 2011 • No Comments on A Letter to Lucas, One Month Old
You are one month old, sweet baby boy! You came into this world weighing almost eleven pounds and with a full head of dark hair. Your hair looked for all the world like a faux hawk we had styled for you, but it was all you, sweetpea. You already have your own style—and such a sweet smile. They say babies don’t smile until they are a few months old, but you do! Your baby smiles come when you are sleepy and full and drifting off to sleep. And you make me smile, too.
I think the universe was sending a message with your birth, dear Lucas. In the week or so before you were born, we had an earthquake and a hurricane! The earthquake was a first for this part of Virginia and Hurricane Irene blew through a few days later. Plus, we’d been dealing with the ongoing smoke from wild fires in the Great Dismal Swamp. I think the universe was reminding me that Mother Nature is fierce and powerful and capable of anything—and here you are!
I’ll let you in on a secret, Lucas—your mama is rather old to be having babies. In fact, I honestly didn’t think I would ever have babies. And then your brother Patrick came along and I thought he was the only baby I would have. But the universe had other plans for our family and you arrived, big and healthy and another miracle in my life that I wasn’t expecting.
You can thank Patrick for being born first—he was my practice baby and everything I learned about taking care of babies was through the trial and error of taking care of him alone while your father was deployed. I am much more relaxed and at peace this time around, baby boy, and I think that’s a good thing for all of us! You make it easy, though. You’re only a few weeks old but you are already sleeping in fairly long stretches of three to five hours and you’re a very good eater, too!
You were born at the end of summer and I pushed for your birthday to be September 1 because I wanted you to usher in my favorite season. I love autumn and the promise of cooler weather and the brilliance of fall leaves and the warmth of comfort food. I look forward to the shorter days and longer nights because there is so much to look forward to in the fall, from starting school to Halloween to Thanksgiving. You are my autumn baby, warm and comforting and familiar and full of promise and magic.
My hope for you, dear Lucas, is the same hope that I have for your brother: that you will grow up to be fiercely independent and full of love and hope and imagination. You are still so new in the world that it’s hard to tell what your personality will be, but I have faith that between your father and me (and Patrick, too), we will help you discover who you are and what you love.
You look at me while I’m feeding you and I feel like you’re studying me. “Hello, baby!” I say, over and over, and you just stare at me with your serious expression. I wonder what you see when you look up at me, if you know how much you’re loved and how amazing it is that you’re my child. You’re probably just wondering why this woman looks so tired and sounds so silly. That’s what two babies does to your mama, sweetheart.
Two babies. I still can’t wrap my mind around that reality. Two babies under two! Two baby boys—though Patrick is nearly two years old and truly a toddler to your newborn status. But the days and weeks and months are already slipping by and you will both grow up before I know it. My hope is you will be the best of friends and always have each other’s back—brothers should be like that, I think. Friends and confidants, looking out for each other in all ways.
Patrick has the distinction of being my first baby, the one who changed my life the most profoundly, but you sweet Lucas have the distinction of being my last baby and the one who showed me that I am capable of more love than I ever thought possible. I knew the odds of having you were unlikely and now that you’re here and I see how beautiful and perfect you are, I am convinced I could not want anything more than what I have right now. Two babies, my first and my last. You are the two little miracles in my midlife—filling my world and my heart with so much joy and laughter and possibility.
It’s a great big world out there and I hope one day to show it to you. I don’t want to wish you older—being my last baby, I am determined to savor these early months despite the interrupted sleep and occasional crying jags (yours and mine)—yet I still look forward to all the adventures we are going to enjoy as a family, exploring what the world has to offer each of us. But for now, dear Lucas, your father, Patrick and you are all I need to make my world complete.
Thank you for coming into my world, Lucas. It was a pretty terrific place already, but you have made it bigger and brighter and wilder. Happy one month birthday, baby boy.
Mama loves you.