The Surprisingness of Babyland
photo: Jane Eaton Hamilton 2015
A grand-babe joined the family in 2015 (6 months as I write). I especially love my regained joy of being up close to someone developing capabilities, interests and language–especially language. I delighted in this with my own children and getting another chance to observe it is luck past measure. Watching the baby scrutinize my mouth to see how shapes are formed makes me wish I was more fluent in foreign languages; watching her mimic them is intriguing. I have a friend whose family used German, English and French interchangeably when she was young; she soaked it up; it was years before she realized they were separate languages. G-baby could be the same with a multi-lingual mom. She’s 6 months and she’s said intelligible things for quite a while now–she’s conquered “Mommy” and “Amma” for the long term, and remains rivetted by sound (and, incidentally, texture). I adore observing her setting goals–language goals and movement goals the most visible–and seeing her work concertedly to realize them.
The other almost accidental by-product of the g-baby’s birth is that I have gotten to spend winsome, celebratory time with my daughter. Getting to see her expand into her new role and love is a dream I didn’t know I had. I have been proud at her for many things in our 37 years together, but never moreso than watching her ace this hardest job going.
This time around, I barely saw my step g-baby, but we got some time where she pretty much pulverized me with tickles and swimming play before she flew off to the east. Razor-sharp, strong, talented girl who owns a big chunk of my heart.
Just by way of throwing something literary in here:
I had a book-baby in 2014 (Love Will Burst into a Thousand Shapes), now my daughter has brought forth this astonishing human book in 2015 (g-baby will slowly fill its blank pages), and, upcoming in 2016, my novel Weekend.