Six months ago, today, I gave birth to a beautiful, perfect little boy. This feels like an eon ago, and like it just happened yesterday. Time leans on you in funny ways with a baby. It can push you to count every second as you wait and wait and wait for those eyes to close and that breathing to slow; or it can insist that a week has whizzed by when you feel like you've only just got a handle on Monday. More than anything, though, Baby Time reminds you how little there is and how quickly that goes.
We have loved having a baby. We agree that it has been the hardest work either of us have ever done, yet it has also been the most incredible, warm, charming, exhilarating, intimate, intense experience of our lives. At least, that's what I think I see in my OTL's face when Fred leans against his cheek for a snuggle, and it is the least of what I feel at some point in every day. (We also feel exhausted, pushed to our limits and like we're bobbing just above water, but, hey, how easy that is to forget when he laughs his famous Single Laugh Chuckle.) It is truly a wondrous experience.
At six months, Fred is a sweet, adventurous, intense little creature. He is quick to smile, loves our singing - particularly, the Nappy Time Song (a Dad original) and Let's Go Fly a Kite (my surefire way to stop any car seat tears), not to mention any number of jaunty sea shanties - welcomes cuddles, loves being worn by Dad in the carrier (particularly if it involves a visit to the laundry), is entranced by the light coming through his window as he takes his daytime naps, and can push himself backwards around the floor at an alarming rate. He's also particularly partial to pulling his Mum's hair, but we won't dwell on that here.
And that is the least of who he is. We have loved watching him emerge and look forward with anticipation (and a bit of trepidation, let's face it - he's going to walk one day) to the little person he continues to become. Today Fred and I spent long, cheerful moments mimicking each other's sounds and facial expressions and I knew, with a pang, that he would talk one day. And I knew that Time would continue to tempt my little baby onwards into childhood, to cajole him to grow up and out and beyond us. Which is a beautiful and a terrible thought. But something we signed on for, nevertheless, and wouldn't have any other way.
How blessed we are.