You are five months old, which seems perfect in every way. You are so very here now, with both feet planted in the life we all share, both of your brown, globular feet with the exquisite toes. You landed in the cold season, trekked with us through the heat, and now are growing in the rains that make everything green all around.
You are five months old and you are the fifth. What this means is that your life is an endless delight to you. There is always someone new to wander up and talk to you, there is always someone to pick you up, to hand you a toy, to let you take an experimental grab of their hair.
You are five months old in Thailand, which means that the world is an endless source of delight to you, with someone around every corner who will speak to you in the high pitched squeaky voice that you love, causing you to smile so big it seems that your face is three times its normal size. Then you turn and rub it on my shoulder, and I put my hand on the back of your head and snuggle you in, and this is also perfect.
You are five months old and you are learning so quickly to use your hands. You began by swatting at things, and kept on trying until those things stuck in your palms, and now you can hold things, wave them around, hit them repeatedly, and scratch at them with your teeny tiny fingers. I like to kiss your hands. You try to imitate sounds that you hear around you. If we sing, you try to sing, if motorcycles drive by, you growl at them in your best motorcycle voice. If no one is paying attention to you and you are getting tired, you alert us by making your very best dolphin sounds. I’m not sure where you picked up dolphinese, but it’s effective.
I love you like rain-soaked countries love the sun, I love you like ice water on the hottest day, I love you like the sweetest cool breeze when my clothes are sticking to me.
When I walk into the room you light up. It’s this time, this baby time. There’s nothing like it. All around, there are legs stretching to infinity, older kids moving their way through life awkwardly and beautifully, trying my patience, making my days fuller than they have ever been in the history of me, the mama. As I walk through the tangle of thoughts, emotions and decisions, I open a different door and there you are, so radiant, simple, and full of love for me. The cleanest, oldest kind of love, the kind that kicks its legs in anticipation of being picked up and held. That’s all. Just held.
I love you dearest boy. You are firmly planted here, but my heart still welcomes you every day.
Photos by Chinua except for the top one, which is by me.