Dear Solo at five and three-quarter monthiest of months,


Logically I know that we don't usually remember our lives at three and four and five months.

But I still wonder, little one, whether you will remember.  When I am walking with you under the deep black of the night, singing softly along with the sea and your eyes close and then open, close and then open, I wonder whether this will stay humming inside you.  When you are a man and you journey to the water, will you feel as though it catches you up and rocks you to sleep?

You have never felt grass on the bottoms of your feet.  But you stand in the shallow surf, and I hold your hands so you can lurch around on the sand.

I love you.  This goes without saying, but I'm sure I love you now more than I did before, and not only because you cry less now, or because sometimes you co-operate now, and when it is time for bed you are reasonable and understand that screaming doesn't help you get to sleepy land.   We are not as often trapped in a sweaty circle of insomnia, staring each other to tears.

This is good progress, my boy, but I love you because I see more of you every day.  Like the the way you were hitting yourself on the forehead with your hand today because it had just occurred to you.  My hand!  My head!  My hand!  My head!  A circular motion and they connect!  My hand! And so on and so forth with the mildest expression of surprise and experimentation on your face. This is you!

Or when you are tired, and you forget that you are far too old and dignified now to root; to mistake a cheek for a breast, and you turn your mouth to my face patiently.  It is not the grunty frantic rooting of a newborn, but more of a step of faith.  You are confident that if you form your lips into that perfect little kissable oval, the numnums will somehow be there to meet you.

Sometimes these days there are real kisses, though, not only the search for milk.  Real open mouthed baby kisses.  You kiss me and then look at me saying, I got that right?  This is the way we do it? with the most heartbreaking question in your eyes.

I kiss you back to say you got it perfectly right, and what I say out loud is a little sing song, "Oh, thank you," which is reserved for kisses.  I said it to your brother, and your sister before him, and your oldest brother before her.

What so often occurs to me, King Solo, is how "same" this all is- all my babies of the past and present melding together in one plump heap.

But then you are different, too.  You are you.  It is enough reason to love you more, every day.


All my love,


(Photos are by Chinua)