Monday, February 15, 2010

Delicious Sam

My nephew Sam is four-months old. He is delicious. How is it possible that I use the exact words my grandmother used on me? I used to think "delicious" was the most ridiculous, slightly creepy descriptor for a human being ever uttered. When my own daughter was four-months old, I was too tired to see her like I do my delicious nephew Sam. While we had our own intense, symbiotic relationship, I was just surviving, processing my own hormonal earthquakes through a fog of massive sleep deprivation. I don't think I ever called her delicious.

The thing about Sam, and I don't say this lightly, is that I can see his soul. His gigantic eyes invite me to come closer and in the same moment let me know exactly how close (not very). He is at once profoundly accessible and completely ethereal. He needs nor wants anything from me, yet here I am. "I can see your soul little guy", I want to whisper in his tiny sea-shell shaped ear, "can't you feel that?"

Sam nurses ALL THE TIME. When I watch my sister sitting, lying, standing, nursing in every possible position, I remember that feeling of being simultaneously thrilled by that role of being "the one" and wanting to hurl the 8-pound leech from my body. When I was a human utter, I felt taxed, beyond exhaustion, unable to do much more than finish one feeding and take a quick pee before the next.

Now I watch Sam, this little creature who I truly feel I have soul-access to and, while he is really just a seventeen-pound blob of developing cells, I can see that this baby is intensely connected. Sometimes Sam nurses with his big eyes open, sucking fast, his body a little bit tense, one hand gripping his mother's blouse, toes curled under, clearly letting her know that the nursing game is on, no exceptions. Other times, when he is relaxed, Sam nurses with his lips slightly loose, his big eyes closed. One hand laying limply over his mother's arm, the other tucked in close to her belly. He is okay, he might even sleep and let his mouth fall off the nipple, give his mom a break. He is in complete control and only 120 days into this world. That's delicious.

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