June 17, 2012

3:27am on Father's Day

I'm laying in bed after having fed my scrappy little boy, who grunts and moans and flexes his way through feedings, enough to make my already fierce Stella seem just about docile in comparison.

If there could be one thing to say about Leo's brief tenure on earth, it's that he knows how to make some noise. Whether its the feeding frenzy already described, or belly time or gazing at his adoring housemates, the boy is loud. His battles with the inevitable gas can only be described as epic, as he contorts his body and contracts his belly and snorts his way through the pain, rarely crying but always making his rumbling known. Even his sleep is laced with quiet murmuring.

He is starting to emerge from his life in the womb and it's simply magical to watch unfold. His facial skin is flaking off bit by fuzzy bit and his gray eyes are rounding third and headed for blue. He is engaging with light and objects, his eyes locking in for those brief but beautiful moments, his head moving curiously towards interesting sounds, like his big sister yelling in his face every time he does something remotely noteworthy. (Daddy, daddy, daddy! He just moved his hand!! Daddy! I just saw his tongue! Isn't that funny!!) And perhaps the most magical part of all is seeing him begin to show signs of personality, signals for what is to come. Like the fact that he is a determined little fellow, strong willed and willing to persevere on the breast for upwards of eight hours a day, all while barely scratching the surface of the milk at hand. And, much to our delight, he is a cuddler, at ease in the comfort of our arms, something his oldest sister was never fond of and rarely indulged.  I wouldn't think much of these signals but then I remember my Stella, who at three years old is simply a more fleshed out version of the little six week old that we watched emerge some three years ago.


It's Father's Day now, as the clock turns to 4:55am, as I poke away on my phone, wide awake to the thoughts streaming through my mind like a slideshow. Stella is coughing across the hall, Leo is swaddled up tightly in his co-sleeper and Margot is hovering in the place where she has taken up permanent residence, in the space between each one of my thoughts and feelings, simultaneously present and missing for each moment of my day.

We will go to Margot's River later this afternoon, the first time since Leo's birth, and spend some time together as a whole family. I'm going to splash my face with water and throw rocks with Stella and take my son down to the water's edge, where I'll dip his toes in the water, where I will whisper Margot's name in his ear.


Caroline said...

Happy Father's Day to you. Wishing you a happy day, reflecting on your three beautiful children.

Jeanette said...

Hope you have a wonderful day with your family at Margot's river. x

Mama Bear said...

I am moved by your wonderful description of Margot's constant presence and absence. May you enjoy a beautiful father's day all together!

Tash said...

I've read and re-read this and tears every time Josh. We're thinking about you today, and about that beautiful family of yours. Remembering your darling Margot always. xx

Gwen Jackson said...

Leo the lionhearted - brave, courageous, valiant, gallant, fearless, bold, daring. Sounds like he is living up to his name.

Loving Stella, remembering our Margot, and imagining Leo's developing personality. You're a great Dad, Josh! Love you!

Sara said...

You always write so elloquently. Hope Father's Day wasn't too difficult for you.

Hope's Mama said...

Sounds like another little baby boy I know (or once knew! He's more like the vibrant Stella you describe now).
I hope you had a wonderful Father's Day, Josh. Your post really moved me today. But then, your posts always do.
Love to you guys and hugs to mama Kari as well.

Em said...

Margot is hovering in the place where she has taken up permanent residence, in the space between each one of my thoughts and feelings, simultaneously present and missing for each moment of my day.

This perfect sentence sums up my feelings for Eva precisely. May I use it on my blog sometime?

I hope you have a lovely father's day at Margot's river with your three children. I was thinking how when you splash water on your face it's almost like a caress from Margot.

Laura Beck said...

You just popped into my head this afternoon so i signed on specifically to wish you a nice father's day. You are such an amazing father to all 3 of your babes. I hope you feel the love today, i hope you feel important and thought of. But most of all I hope you feel Margot close today.

loribeth said...

Happy belated Father's Day, Josh. : )

Hanen said...

Josh, your line about Margot being simultaneously missing and present sums it up perfectly. I love your photos of your father's day at Margot's river - what a perfect spot for all of you to connect with her. I love that Leo is unfolding himself, and that Stella is such an observant and doting big sister. My heart catches that she didn't get to report on Margot's movements in the same way.

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