I am not a big fan of the baby infant stage. All that purposeless limb flailing and constant need for head support. They need so much milk and usually their mama is the only one to provide that. Not much to interact with either, all that sleeping then fussing then pooping. They are so much more fun when they learn to roll, sit up, walk.
These are the myths I have been telling myself for a few years, since the boys left their baby infant phase. It took just one morning with my newest niece Havana to dash those myths to bits. Because I do love baby infants (much to my own relief).
Christmas morning and breakfast is ready. She settles slowly onto my shoulders, adjusting to my smell and feel. Her mama needs two hands for a few minutes to feed herself as she is running low on fuel after days of newborn + sick baby. Havana fusses and then with a few pats, a burp of relief bubbles up and her body relaxes, she slumps to sleep in my arms, head at the awkward angle that is only comfortable for the very young and boneless. And she stays there as I eat my burrito one handed, dropping bits of egg and bacon on her downy dark head.
My arm begins to ache and then slowly begin to adjust to the warm soft weight, a feeling that was light years away until it just wasn't .. until it was just familiar again.
Later she wakes up and we lay her on the couch, letting her little limbs flex and extend. We coo and coddle her, watch her eyes catch the black line of that picture frame, the bright shine of the Christmas lights. Her arms pump and stretch, hands gripping in that newborn grasp, not purposeless just unskilled, untrained and untested. And I start to remember my fascination with watching my newborns as the world became theirs.
Her Uncles pass her around, their arms huge around her swaddled body. I caught them one by one as they took time to meet the newest little of our tribe.
And then we do our Christmas walk (during which she has the mother of all poop blow outs which requires emergency changing on the park table). And then she goes home, her first family Christmas complete.
What does all this Baby Love mean? Certainly not another for me. Just the secure knowledge that I like them, these new people joining our family. A good thing as there are two more on the way, set to join in the festivities of Christmas 2011. And the knowledge too that this is what family is ... the recognition of souls that belong together, that found each other and that harmonize as well as any Church choir or band of angels.
It was a good Christmas.