Monday, September 13, 2010

Little Kennedy (O'Brien)

Your great-grandmother has only one grandson, your daddy, and she beams when she speaks of him. You might think all blue eyes are twinkly and maybe it's a little bit true but she has two of the twinkliest blue eyes, and though I've only known her in her docile years of senior citizenry, I suspect they're made so from years of straight-faced mischief-making. They shine like jewelry-store sapphires when she remembers your daddy as a kid. There's no mischief there, just love. You got the love and the eyes. (Your sisters got the mischief. You may have gotten it, too. Let's just say we wouldn't be surprised.)

She has told me again and again how she liked to call your daddy JFK when he was little. Your daddy had a strong jaw and an upward wave in his thick hair. She claims she still sees the likeness in him. Your older sister calls you Chubby Cheeks for pretty clear reasons so we don't really know your jaw line yet, but you have enough hair to make clear its central upward wave. For me, it recalls not so much a dead president as a late night comedian. Bright eyes and funny: you could do worse.

You don't like peas but you love squash and carrots and mango and the large knuckle of my right index finger. Also the fingers of your sisters, which they love to dangle in front of you to play with you, even though they can't reign in their indignation when you try to chomp. I'm not food! they'll admonish. You'll giggle-growl at them, and try to find another way to get their juicy stems against your sore gums.

Your daddy or I can make you giggle but your sisters can make you laugh until you squeeze tears from your eyes and shriek in wordless delight. I've tried; I can't make you laugh like they do. Their favorite way is to play No Strawberries! with you, a game of their invention where they use their deepest-man-husky voices from the backs of their pipsqueak voiceboxes and yell no [contextless noun of choice here]!! again and again, alternating the lacks in your left ear and in your right, an aural waterboarding that you embrace every time. It always starts with the elusive strawberries.

You crawl well, if a little unconventionally, jumping both knees forwards at once before heaving your forearms into the air. You're a grunty King Kong inchworm of remarkable speed. All day you do push-ups, tipping up like a peaked roof on just toes and fingers before weebil-wobbling to one direction or another. We don't know if it's your attempt to sit or just a gyroscopic game of your own devising.

You use two fists to grab the face of the adult holding you. You grind your face against mine. You have two teeth, and you're pushing out at least two or four more. A dentist friend says that if adults had to teethe they'd knock their skulls against the wall, the neurological sensitivity is so great in the gum tissue, and so I always wonder if you're just using my face as a battering ram against your teething pain.

But you know I prefer to think you're kissing me.

You're seven months old today, and you're not generic cuddle-lump anymore. You're turning into a whole little person.
And a wavy-haired, twinkly-eyed, carrot-nose-encrusted beloved one at that. Pin It