Bene, now you are six months old. Not today, because life has gone fast and I missed the exact date, though I noticed. It’s good to have been too busy, too happy, too relaxed to feel I had to write exactly on the day.
You are six months. Half. Year. A while new life. A chunky, vibrant boy who no longer feeds all day and rolls on his side to sleep. A boy who has grumbled through hot days and sat in a paddling pool and pulled at the grass and smeared dinner on his face and down to his toes.
You sit and you splash and you roll back to front and play with toys and shout ‘dadadadadada’. You crumple up when we tickle you and smirk when we play with you. You’ve been to baby group and had all your jabs and started to show glimpses of boy inside all that baby fat. Milk is not the be all and end all now – you like to play. You are the centre of the universe and you like o remind us, flirting at us with smiles and chuckles and hauling us in if we stray for a moment.
You sleep all night but hardly at all through the day. You blow bubbles against my skin and shout for attention and mimic hello and little mews of conversation. We play humming games and gaze into each others eyes.
Sometimes, just sometimes, you look like your brother. But with blonde hair and blue eyes you are his very opposite and I don’t look for him in your face. You are Bene and that is fine. In fact, you barely look even like your sisters. You’re a changeling, a genetic hop out o’kin and your own person. The sunniest, most joyful of babies, as if all the stress and fright and pain of your pregnancy hardened your skin so that only happiness could be consigned within you. I have never known such a baby as you.
You have built a relationship with each of us now, you know us all and treat us according to your opinion of us. Everyone gets their share of you, a unique and individual share, a part you have crafted specially for us. For as long as I have left, you are still my baby but you are stretching away already, an outward bound boy, just yourself. If I had thought I would like a gentle, dark haired, dark eyed soul who needed me for a long time, I learned my lesson. Bene, you are perfect, yourself, who you need to be and I wouldn’t wish for you to be anything other.
I’m getting ready for you to climb down from my arms now because you Bene, are already a daddy’s boy. And you like things with wheels. And that, I sense, means I am going to have time for my knitting agin quite soon enough