Today’s Writing 101 assignment was to write a character study of someone who has recently entered your life. I, of course, chose Little Boy.
I see him stirring in his sleep. The video monitor was his father’s idea, a shiny and expensive piece of technology that past generations had surely survived without. But I am the one most captivated by it now, watching my son first curl up on his side, then fling both his arms straight out in what looks like an effort to occupy the maximum amount of space.
He is always in motion. Even lying on his back with his arms tightly swaddled at his sides, he rotated like a sundial and inch-wormed his way across the crib. Awake, he is a perpetual ball of energy, stymied in his attempts to run across the room by the fact that his infant body has only just figured out how sit up. But we will be chasing him around the house before long, I am sure.
His approach to the world is that of a dedicated explorer. Offer him an item and watch his eyes light up, his legs kick, and his arms vibrate with excitement. The most mundane things become objects of great interest; one week he was utterly fascinated by the presence and feel of his room’s ordinary blue wall. He runs his fingers through the tags on his toys, over and over, contemplating their texture as though it were a great revelation.
All the while, he is talking. I have seen some babies lie quietly and play; mine does not. Long strings of vowels and “fffff”s and “babababa”s accompany his daily life, along with emphatic raspberries and loud shrieks of joy. He does not yet know what words mean, but he understands communication – he will say something, then look at me and pause, waiting for my response. He is particularly fond of talking with his father, conversing in a back-and-forth of “aah”s and “oh”s.
Many mothers mourn the rapid passing of the newborn days, but not me. My son grows more solid with each new day, changing from a mysterious tiny creature into a real little human. He will be a different person in one year, or five, or ten – a person I greatly look forward to meeting – and yet he will always be my Little Boy.