Leaves in the baby pool, tiger chasing train

The end of summer, the beginning of fall. It was a little chilly when I took Mr. S to the pool yesterday afternoon, a few brown leaves floating on the surface of the water. But we stayed in there for over an hour anyway, S getting out the usual pool toys from the container—car after car, truck after truck, watering cans and buckets to give them showers and baths.

I put him in his little floaty vest. I draped my arms over a tiny raft and frog-legged around the baby pool. It was just the two of us. It was one of those rare times when I felt absolutely at ease. All around us, people were sunbathing, reading, leisurely swimming. I had a distinct sense of being in the easy flow of life.

Over the past week, S has been tipping onto his tummy, sticking his legs out like I do, and floating beside me . “Ahhhh,” we both say in unison. “Ahhhhh, ahhhh.”

And now the daredevil is tipping onto his back, too, giggling and squinting up at the sun as he floats. Much shorter time than he floats on his front, but I can tell he enjoys the thrill.

Yesterday, he made another leap. Blowing bubbles. I put my lips to the water and showed him–close your mouth, blow like you are blowing into a harmonica.

That did it for him. He blew like he does into his instrument. And there he had it—bubbles!

He makes a sound when he blows bubbles. He starts making it even before his lips touch the water.

God, it was beautiful, floating and blowing bubbles with him yesterday. I felt as though we were suspended in time.

“Bubbles!” he exclaimed. He climbed onto my back and we floated some more. Mama whale and baby whale, just like I used to imagine us when I was swimming during pregnancy.

He has a poster now on his wall of a mama dolphin and baby dolphin, right over his crib. He does the sound for fish—kiss, kiss—every time he sees it.

At home, we listened to classical music. His eyes grew round and his lips parted when the music swelled. Every time the music swelled, he looked at me and clapped his little hands so hard. “Yay!” he said. “Yay!” Then he listened some more.

What would it be like to hear that sound for the first time–the swell and drama of classical music?

At home, we dove onto the new bedspread on our king-sized bed, which is golden yellow. “Yellow!” I called out. “Lo-lo!” he replied. We rolled back and forth, tickling and laughing and singing out yellow.

Then out to the wooden train table and countless wooden trains. We lined them up by color. We raced blue trains and red trains. I got plastic tiger and chased the trains down the track. I thought he would pass out from laughing. “Roar!” I said, clop-clop-clopping the tiger after the trains. And if I stopped, he’d do sign language for “more” and say the word more—which, when he says it, sounds like, “Muh-ine, muh-ine.”

I can’t seem to keep in mind the new words he says. It’s like they evaporate from my memory. And then when he says them again, I go, Oh yeah, he can say that now, I forgot!

And he can understand everything. Everything.



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  1. Polly

     /  September 2, 2016

    You have such a way with words. I am always impressed with your ability to capture the beauty in the everyday moments.


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