Until I became the mother of a son, I hated hearing how "great" boys were from other women and secretly thought that the women who said those kinds of things were closet women haters. I still think it is kind of lame because there is beauty in both sexes, but I also kind of get it now. Because I love me some little boy in a way I did not even realize I could.
Is it some biological truth that my daughter will connect so deeply with her father, curling her little hands around his chin and asking for him above me, while my son prefers his mommy and would spend all day in my lap, content and mellow? Maybe it is and I am just doing exactly what I am expected to, but what I know for sure is that my love for this kid grows exponentially each day.
With the first child, the love is fast and fierce. She popped out and I was done, totally head-over-heels mad about this tiny, squirming bundle of pink. It was the only mother-love I had known up to that point and it was as strong as I thought it could be. Of course, now that she is two, I know that what I felt then--a mixture of abject fear, hormones and exhaustion--was nothing compared to what I feel two years later as it has had time to grow and mature.
When Alan was first born, I adored him, of course. But it was also a sense of obligation that got me through those difficult first months. He was my child and I would care for him and kiss him and cuddle him and nurse him, but my heart was not always in it. Gradually that changed, a fact I became aware of this month.
My Ani-bear is so sweet, so himself. This month he has shown more personality than any month before it. He is mellow, so much like his dad where his sister is so like me. He is thoughtful. Sam jumps into everything feet first, screaming, yelling and thrashing. Ani takes his time. He would be more likely to dip his feet first, checking the water before flinging himself from the edge. He smiles a lot, but it is hard to get a photo of him doing so because, like his father, he thinks first, puzzling over whether something is worth an emotion, brow furrowed, lips pursed. A thinking man's baby.
And wow do I love him. I want to squeeze him all day, to memorize the way his cheeks feel when I kiss them, so puffy and smooth, "suckable," I tell R, who mostly thinks I am crazy, but they are. Like candy I just can't stop eating.
I want to bury my face in his soft belly and listen to the giggles it elicits. But most of all, I want to bathe in his smell, so much clearer than Sam's "baby smell." Ani's is an intoxicating musk I can't even pinpoint. "Fresh human," my uncle calls it and it is. The smell reminds me of the first drops of rain on the pavement on a hot summer day, steamy and enticing.
Of course, all this loving does not leave much time for tummy time and other academic pursuits, so my baby is stagnant. He sits, he rolls, blah blah. Honestly, I don't care about milestones because the one thing I am sure about with the second baby is that this time is so fleeting. There is plenty of time to crawl, but far too little time for me to bury my head in him and memorize all the little things that will be gone in just a matter of months. So to hell with milestones and give me more of my poppin' fresh baby who I love, love, love, love, love. Love.