Your first plane ride, all the way to California. Being those people at security, unable to get the stroller to fold. Carseat knocking knocking against my legs as we hurry to make the connection. Watching your face carefully as the plane takes off and the air pressure changes. Apologetic glances to the other passengers when you cry.
Hearing you cry.
Introducing you to Uncle J, and Aunt A, and your cousin O. Comparing your faces, cheekbones, the coloring around the eyes. Listening to stories of O at your age, wondering how much is genetics and how much is just babies are babies.
Learning which parts of you are you, which parts are me, which parts are him.
Walking through their neighborhood, teaching you the names of west coast plants. Pointing out all the colors in the yards filled with flowers. Stopping to let O collect rocks, having to explain to her that they are too small for you to play with just yet.
Seeing what you’d do with their dog. Pull fistfuls of his fur. Poke his eyes. Lean your open, drooling mouth towards him to give him a kiss.
The way you roll onto your belly, lever your knees under you, push up and rock. The way you look around, deciding what is tantalizing enough to begin to crawl.
Watching you crawl.
Tucking you in to the pack-and-play, your legs kicking in your sleep sack. Singing you a song. Saying a little prayer that you will sleep in a strange place, with new sounds, strange smells, a different slant of light.
Watching your eyes close, your mouth fall open in slumber. Wondering what you are dreaming about as we listen to your breath, look for the rise and fall of your chest.
© Burning Eye