Six months ago I was screaming in a hospital while my husband kept from fainting and my mother and my eldest sister looked on encouragingly, holding my hand, and taking over for my dear Birch when it became absolutely necessary (read: he looked you know where just when Keats was making his appearance and had to sit down to keep from falling down).
Things have calmed down quite a bit since then.
Other parents always tell you not to say a thing when your baby is in any way "easy" but I have found that what that means is don't publicly delight in your child and that seems a very silly thing. So, here it is: Keats is a remarkably mellow and easygoing baby. He never had problems with breastfeeding and according to my mother's great wealth of baby knowledge, he slept more than any baby she'd ever seen (if you know my mother, you know what a statement that is... if you do not possess the pleasure of knowing her, then I feel sorry for you and think you should know that she is a baby-calming magician who is known by hundreds for her abilities in that arena). Keats has always been very healthy (knock on wood), strong, and just ridiculously cute. When he's not teething (something he's been doing more of recently), he is easy-going, accomodating, congenial. It seems that nearly every new thing we try on him, he accepts with little fuss and with most things, great enthusiasm. Food is just about his favorite thing in the whole wide world and he seems to enjoy each new thing I feed him. This is a miracle that isn't lost on me. Luckily for us, Keats seems to have traveled the world before being brought to us, because no matter how strange the food looks, he dives right in. Hopefully this will last as Birch will most definitely be crushed if he can't cook whatever he pleases for "Young Master Keats" as his uncle Alex calls him. (This is, of course, made a much better nickname when you consider that Alex is English and has a wonderfully thick accent that lends that undeniable power over us Americans of knowledge, accountability, and wit. What can I say? We can't help ourselves there.) The most recent development was the moving of Keats from our bed to his crib at night. We started this process on Friday night and Keats is doing quite well. It had gotten to the point where he was up all night long eating just because it was there and neither of us were getting any sleep at all. Even with that incentive, Birch and I are having a bit of trouble adjusting to the new space in bed. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE the actual space, but it's not just space, it's a void, too. Sunday night I had a full-blown tearfest when it came time for Birch and I to actually fall asleep. Keats is sleeping through the night, though, and I am sure that as Birch and I become more used to our new freedom we will enjoy it more thoroughly, though I'm also sure that I will always miss Keats' little sleeping face by mine when I both fall asleep and wake up.
All this wonderfulness aside, Keats is still, of course, a baby. With that comes stress, exhaustion, and an uncanny ability to deplete our monthly funds. So in looking for a way to celebrate this great achievement of ours, I wanted something simple and relaxing, something that we could do after a hard day without overexerting ourselves too much/at all. I knew I would make a small cake, but what else? I asked around and to my great delight, my dear friend Sam suggested the planting of a tree or herb in Keats' honor. How perfect! So that's what we did. We celebrated with cake and gardening! We love you, Keats. You smile at everyone. Indeed, you smile practically always. You love life. You are happy. You are ours and we love you.
Pictures to follow in a day or two...