It's October now, sweet boy, and I feel obligated to tell you a story, this being your birth month and all. Like a memory gift of sorts. It won't be your birth story, because I haven't had a spare second of brainpower to sit down and write something worthy of the magnificence of that day. Pain can be magnificent, you know? Oh, but don't worry -- I have high hopes that there will be a Landon's birth story shared here soonish. It's the gift every boy wishes from his mother, yeah?
I just need to fill you in on some of your finer baby details, before they become lost in the crevice of grey matter that is about to shrivel from lack of sleep. This particular detail is so charming that it deserves a video to capture its adorablisciousness. But I don't have a video. I have words.
You know that feeling you get when you're equal parts shy and overwhelmed and pleased? It's the feeling that prompts you to tilt your bald head to the left -- always the left -- and rest your squishy cheek against your shoulder. You lie still, folded over on yourself, with a half-smile breaking loose from the sweetest pair of lips. Oh, my baby boy. It's this head tilt that makes me melt into a sticky, mom-scented puddle.
(Which: ew. Surely there's a better metaphor available there...unless you might assume that I smell nice, in which case, assume away.)
Sometimes its in response to a tasty morsel. I lay a piece of torn bread on your waiting tongue, like I'm blessing you with the Host, and you are beside yourself with joy. You press cheek to shoulder in expression of thanks and pleasure. I'm always sure you're about to break into shy song, but then your head raises, and you're in control again. Silly and hungry and waiting patiently for the next bit of goodness.
More often, though, the head tilt is because you've encountered somebody you can't wait to see, hold, and snuggle. A grandma, perhaps. Or maybe a sock monkey. But no matter what, the head tilt is so, so precious, baby boy. If you keep it up, you'll be making girls fall in love with you before you hit five years old.
Which leads me to the actual story I came here to tell so divergently.
Not long ago, we walked into a serene office setting. We stepped to the reception desk and received the paperwork that necessitated our visit. Let's picture the scene with low muzak in the background, because I kind of think there was some. In any case, the office was soothing and inviting.
Due to the nature of the paperwork, I needed both hands to sign on several be-stickered lines. The receptionist stepped forward helpfully. She held her arms out to you, and you leaned forward. When these things happen, I am simultaneously proud and crushed; you are happy and outgoing, but you're supposed to be mine. Therefore I smile and die at the same time. It's a common consequence of motherhood, I fear.
I placed you in her arms; she was probably very smooth and inviting, what with her silken blouse and swinging hair. I bet she doesn't have sticky kids clinging to her often, I thought. She has no purple smudges under her eyes. I was momentarily ashamed of my unkempt jeans and tshirt, but then I remembered that I get to have the sweet baby boy she was so obviously coveting, and I felt better. You have that effect on me, honey-boy.
Then it happened, sweetheart: you head tilted right onto her shoulder. Your shy smile was teetering on the edge between complete, overpowering joy at being held by a smiling lady in silky colors, and complete, overpowering timidity at her strangeness. Your cheek rested just above her heart. Your fist tangled itself in her hair. I signed my name with a few sloppy flourishes, and turned back to you in your state of unutterable cuteness. You unfolded from the now-melted receptionist's heart and leaned towards your shabby mother.
I sniffed a great sniff of your baby-boyness, and held you close, knowing that you'd just aided in determining the fate of that poor, young, stylish receptionist forever. With any luck, she'll have a baby boy of her own someday.
See? You're stringing hearts behind you as you go. One head tilt at a time.
I walked out with you clinging to me, my own heart dangling from your fist.
Never fear, though; you can keep it as long as you like.