Two years ago,
I met Asher.
I met Asher.
His entire little body could fit, curled up, on my chest.
I marveled over his tiny toes,
his mewling cries,
the impossible softness of his skin.
His utter perfection.
Those first days and weeks,
He dozed almost constantly
as I sang him songs
told him the story of my love for him
whispered prayers of thanksgiving in his downy ears.
I would lay next to him long after nursing
positioning my face in front of his open mouth
yearning to memorize the unanticipated sweetness of milky baby breath.
In those days,
my heart began to beat in a different way;
the way a mother's heart beats -
not harder, not stronger, not more often
just fuller somehow -
fuller with a mother's intuition
that watching children grow is bittersweet.
Two years later,
Asher is my bright boy.
When he smiles, the sun seems to shine on his face.
During snuggle time, he no longer fits on my chest.
But his arms wrap around my neck in a familiar pose.
Comforting (us both.)
Those tiny toes hit the ground running now,
requiring kisses for repair when stubbed.
That mewling voice now haltingly strings together sentences -
demands, exclamations of joy, declarations of love.
(I never imagined "Ima!" could sound so sweet.)
His gorgeous baby skin has many times
been scraped and bruised by little-boy adventures.
Bedtime prayers have not changed -
(Shema, Hashkiveinu, the Angel Song -)
except, now, Asher sings them along with me.
One day he will sing them for himself.
But not just yet.
Here's to another year of growth, change, discovery, and adventure ahead,
however bittersweet it may be.
Happy Birthday, my sweet boy.