Thursday, May 13, 2010

Asher, sleeping

Asher recently started flipping over onto his tummy to sleep. I was worried about this at first--I keep hearing that babies should sleep on their backs to reduce the threat of SIDS, plus the second night of tummy-flipping, we were staying in a hotel with a big marshmallow of a foam bed and I was worried his face would get swallowed up--but my sister assured me that once babies start turning over on their own to sleep, they're ready for it.

I love watching Asher sleep (I love watching him awake, too. I just love watching him, in general.) Since he was born, his arm has been a barometer of the depth of his sleep. He will often fall asleep with his arm sticking straight up, perpendicular to the bed, as if he is hailing a cab. As he descends into slumber, the arm lowers to the mattress, sometimes with such incremental, controlled slowness, it looks like he is doing yoga, or maybe even a Noh dance. It is amazing to me that a baby's arm can have such controlled and graceful movement, especially while it's fighting gravity. Sometimes, though, his arm will drop to the bed with a sudden thud, and the thwack of it will wake him back up.

Now that he is sleeping on his tummy more, the arm-as-barometer isn't happening as often. I'm going to miss it when it's no longer part of his sleep repertoire. It's funny how I'm already nostalgic about Asher's babyhood; I was at a store today and sighed when I saw the three month clothes. It all happens so quickly; I can't believe he'll be six months old soon (and he's already wearing 9 month outfits). My sweet slumbering boy.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My two sons

Mother's Day

What a bittersweet Mother's Day this was, so soon after Michael and I both lost our moms. We wanted it to be a meaningful day, so we had our soul sisters Nancy and Jenn and their older daughter Britt, and Michael's sister Mette and her two boys over for breakfast and a tree planting. Michael had dug a 4 1/2 foot hole the day before, and we dropped the placenta from Asher's birth at the bottom (Nancy and Jenn had been storing it in their freezer for us. We originally had it in our own freezer, but Hannah refused to eat anything in the fridge while it was there.) I said a few words about how the placenta had nourished Asher and now it will nourish the pear tree we were about to plant, and thus nourish and mother our new home (and all of us) in the process. Jenn had bought the pear tree for us shortly after Asher was born, and it had been sitting forlornly in a pot in our old front yard for months; it looks much happier now in the soil (which we enriched with the worms and compost from our vermiculture bin.) I hope we'll be able to take good care of it--I haven't had much luck with plants in the past, but this one is very important to me.

Later in the day, Arin came over (so good to be with both my sons--the big one rocking copious facial hair, the little one rocking his first two teeth! My girl was off gallivanting with my sister and her family in Toronto; her flight gets in later tonight--I am excited to see her and learn more about her adventures.) Arin helped me unpack some of my mom's paintings in the basement and we brought the one above up into the living room. My mom had titled it "Death and Transfiguration"; each letter represents a loved one who died (her parents, six of her brothers and one of her sisters, all connected with bloodlines on the canvas, and a young love). I had never noticed before that the letter G, for her mother Gertrude, is covered with gold, metallic paint, while the other letters are all more of a matte mustard color. It felt meaningful to discover this detail on Mother's Day--my mom was very close to her mom and considered her her guardian angel. It makes a lot of sense that she would make her mom's initial shimmer. That glitter takes on extra meaning for me because the book I'm working on about my mom (more in my head at this point than on the page, alas) is tentatively titled Golden--the title has nothing to do with the painting, but now the painting makes it feel even more apt.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I miss you.