Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rhapsodical {A Bigger Picture Moment}

It's the shoulders that make me fall apart. 
I never would have pegged myself for a baby-shoulder-aficionado, but it's true.  It was true with my baby girls, and it's true with my baby boy.  He's going to be one year old next month, you know -- a toddler, really.  But his shoulders, so small under his smiling face, both defy and define time.

Somehow I see past and present and future, all bunched up across his shoulder blades.  That sounds ridiculous, but I haven't ever been able to think of a more sensible way to say it. 

Yesterday, this boy with his perfect smile fell out of his crib, probably in an attempt to flee naptime.  I heard the thump, double-stepped up the stairs to reach him, and found him crawling across the floor, sobbing.  He hiccuped and gasped in his fright, and I shushed and rocked in mine.  The only place he wanted to be was in my arms, and he burrowed into my neck, apparently willing to become one with my skin.  I rubbed his shoulders, my hand spanning their entire width.  I seek them out even when I don't mean to.
Once he was calmed down, I kept rubbing and rocking, swaying with the rhythm of a soothed crisis.  I laid him across my chest to cradle him better, stealing a glancing kiss on his forehead.  One shoulder was lodged into the flesh above my elbow.  Such a tiny thing. 
And that's when it came to me, a tiny truth to match a tiny shoulder: they are the strongest, sturdiest part of him.  A baby with fragile everything, with tiny everything is hiding strength in plain sight.  This is why I see past and present and future in something as silly and inevitable as a narrow set of shoulders.  He'll grow into them, broadening and stretching every year -- every day -- but even so, they're strong right now
I almost can't believe I just devoted so much white space to a rhapsodical discussion of baby shoulders.  Except I can, because I fall into gushing introspection each time I lay eyes upon them, and I can't keep these things to myself and it wouldn't be fair to you all if I did.
Because look: 
I mean...right? 
Every Thursday, we come together to share the harvest of intentional living by capturing a glimpse of the Bigger Picture through a simple moment. Join the Bigger Picture Community at Alita's place today! Reflect upon something simple — or simply magical — that’s resonated with you this week, then share it with us!


  1. Right.

    And little men and little women carry the weight on their little (resilient) shoulders. This was such a beautiful piece, Sarah. I found myself rocking a little when I read the soothing part. I think all mothers rock even when they don't have newborns anymore.

    And the bloggy writer crush continues. You have such mega-talent.


  2. First of all...The cuteness - the beautiful, edible cuteness - of this melts my heart! Brings me right back to baths in the sink, and sudsy babies and water enhanced eyelashes! I love that you shared this piece of your heart! We lived in a funky apartment for part of the time we were in Paris...and downstairs was a sort of "science" shop - a hole in the wall place where students bought lab equipment etc. There was a skeleton in the window that we called "mr. bones" and my daughter thought it was so cool that he was "hanging by his shoulders"...I don't even know if that was totally true, but it appeared to her that his shoulders were holding him up and holding him all together!!

  3. I can hardly get myself to read your words because the pictures!!! HE IS SO STINKING CUTE!!! :)
    But of course I did read, and you are on to something with the baby shoulders. Babies bodies in general are so amazing. It's so easy (and necessary!) to marvel over them.

  4. The memories you just conjured up for me! Thank you, thank you! The slippery smooth skin, the smell of the liquid bash wash, long baby eyelashes with drops of water caught up in them. I am going to have to go look now for a very specific photo of Daughter #2 in the tub. It brings me sheer joy every single time I look at it.

  5. Oh my! I love this. My thing is baby feet. I'm obsessed with my daughter's feet. Sometimes I cradle her little foot in the palm of my hand, pressing slightly on each individual toe, and I think "I'm so weird. Whats wrong with me?" The answer came when I read this. Nothing. Nothing at all. I love her feet the way you love his shoulders. I get it. I so totally get it.

  6. This is why I love you, Sarah. Because you see what is sometimes so hard to see. Beautifully expressed. A baby's shoulders. {HOW IS HE GOING TO BE ONE?>!@}

  7. lol - I love this - he is so precious - and his shoulders. . . . fabulous!


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?