Wednesday, November 25, 2009


When my baby is pounding his plastic aquarium in his crib with his feet and I walk into his pale blue nursery and tell him "Nooooooo," in a sweet tone, he looks up at me with a huge gummy smile, forcing me to smile too. It's a moment I wonder if he'll remember when he's older.

My mom always reminds me of the time when I was three years old, coloring angelically in my bedroom and I got so engrossed in my creation that I colored off the page of the coloring book and right up my bedroom wall. My mom walked in, saw the proud look on my face, and simply had to laugh and tell me how beautiful my drawing was.

As my son grows up, I hope he appreciates how encouraging I am of his unorthodox antics too. Last week at music class, I clapped and hooted while he did the Riverdance on top of a large African drum, while all of the other babies, sitting next to the drum, patted it softly with their fingertips. "That's right, you do your thing, buddy boy," I told him, smiling.

I'm sure a few years from now, I'll egg him on to run down the aisle to the front of a crowded movie theater and put on an "opening act," complete with song, dance and jokes, the way my parents used to encourage me and my sister.

I hope that my baby remembers the first time I put him on a swing at the playground, which made him squeal in joy. I will never forget watching his fly-away hairs on top of his head blow in the breeze and the smile on his face stretch wider and wider.

When I speed him around in a shopping cart or challenge him to a screaming contest at the dinner table, I hope he remembers his Mom-mom and Pop-pop started these wild traditions and he is expected to pass them on. And, speaking of tradition, I can't wait until he can run, so that I can teach him the family tradition of racing one another down the halls of fine hotels to our assigned room.

I hope that my son always know how much joy he has brought to my life. When he's older, I will tell him how I danced in the glistening sun down Chestnut Street to my office on the morning that I found out I was pregnant.

I will tell him how his daddy blabbed to restaurateur, Stephen Starr, a perfect stranger, "Hey Stephen, I'm going to be a dad and you're the only person who knows!" simply because he was so thrilled that he had to tell someone right away. I'm sure he will laugh when I tell him that his daddy bragged to toll collectors on the expressway and long lost college professors via email, weeks before we told our family and friends the great news.

I wonder if my son will recall how I drove to work each morning, rubbing my belly, saying aloud what a psychic I met at a wedding suggested, "We don't care if you're a boy or a girl, we already love you so much, and we can't wait to meet you!" I will never forget how his busy tiny feet would poke me in the sides as I played music for him from every era, calling out the song titles and artists' names like Casey Kasem.

I hope that he remembers dancing with me to Jason Mraz, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson and yes, the Wiggles, the way I remember waltzing with my Gram up and down her linoleum kitchen floor.

I hope that my son remembers how his daddy carefully poured warm water over him, as if he was basting a turkey, while he reclined in his baby tub. I hope he knows that his daddy perfected the "Biscardi Burrito," otherwise known as the swaddle, to make sure our baby was always warm. If I buy my boy fuzzy red feet-in pajamas until he is 15, like my dad used to do, I hope he forgives me.

When my baby's tiny fingers trace down my face, reminding me of the way my dad used to trace an imaginary line between three beauty marks on my cheek, I hope he sees the sparkle in my eye.

I hope that he overhears me on my cell phone, while he's snuggled up in his car seat, telling his daddy, numerous times a day, "He's just the sweetest boy in the whole world."

I hope that he remembers me wiping his tears and rocking him in his soft blue glider, the way my mom rocked me on her lap, when I was 29 years old, on the day my grandfather died.

I hope that he never forgets the thousands of times I have kissed his hands, the way my grandfather kissed mine the last night of his life.

I hope that my boy always remembers that he willed his way into the world and truly earned his name. I wonder if he'll remember the very first time I held him and whispered to him, "I'm going to love you every day for the rest of your life."

Will he forget these tiny moments or will they somehow shape the mosaic of his soul?

When he lays his head down, sucks his thumb and snuggles with his blanket, listening to lullabies playing softly in his crib, and me and his daddy laughing in the next room, I hope that he feels the love all around him and thinks to himself one word:


No comments:

Post a Comment