Sunday, 25 January 2009

Arrivederci, Leo ...

Summer!! Going to bed at night, leaving windows open. Eating all your meals on the deck. Cicadas making a racket. Leaving Sweeney's half-finished glass of milk on the bench overnight and finding yoghurt-y lumps in its place in the morning. Not even bothering to watch the weather report because you just know it's going to be splendid the next day.
And barbecues. Sweeney and I shlepped to a barbecue on Saturday night to say goodbye to Sweeney's pal Leo. Leo's a few months older than Sweeney, and to demonstrate his more worldly status, is moving with his parents to Melbourne. I spent a bit of time with his mum and dad while I was pregnant, and I remember the first time I saw Leo, at just a few days old. At the time, two thoughts were prominent for me:
  • how very, very much I envied Deb for not being pregnant anymore; and

  • how perplexed I was at the comment that it took a while to understand "what his noises meant" when they brought him home.

I'd never considered that there'd be any ambiguity about what your own living, breathing baby would try communicating to you. It seemed to me that my fetus' kicking and slithering and tumbling were quite clear in their meaning. It drove me nuts that I couldn't sleep until 5am each night, but it made me happy to see his feet making waves on my belly in the middle of the afternoon as I sat at my desk. It tickled me to lie on the couch at night, or stand in the shower, and watch him move about. I felt like he was just, and only just, keeping me onside with him. Like he was pushing his luck with japes and a wilful streak and suiting himself, but pulling back at the last minute with a glorious smile.

Which is how I see him now, actually, but I didn't when he was newborn. Right in front of me, he seemed fragile and vulnerable, and that gave me the willies. When I was pregnant, he seemed athletic, impervious, never out of sorts or in need. Once he was born, he cried at being naked, hungry, whatever, unless he was asleep, and he was so pink and delicate-looking. That's all by the way, now. He's his own person, a character that impresses and unhinges me.

And Leo, too. We don't get to see enough of lovely people, we always think we'll have more time. Miss you, lovely people.

Part of being his own person meant that Sweeney came a bit of a cropper out scootering this evening. He's mastered the little slope at the south end of the street, so he tried out the big slope down to the alley at the north end. Ker-splat!! He got back on his scooter before he finished crying, though. So proud.

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