i remember the first time that mac & i noticed bitsy “waking up” — mac calls it “clicks” — that way that infants suddenly seem more themselves, more alert and personlike, less limpet-y. i loved it with bitsy, but i am swept away by it with boo.

there is some way that his “clicks” — his coming into his self — are cementing for me his boyness. i fought and fought the gender wars with bitsy when she was really young — NO PINK! NO FRILLS! — and the truth is that those things did not become her then and they do not become her now. and while i am perfectly willing to fight those same wars, in substantial ways, with boo, he is really, somehow, more boy than she was girl, and i find myself enjoying it. oh sure, he looks like a cute little baby in the gender-neutral clothes he inherited from his big sister. but he looks like a kid — a little, smiling, boy child — in the clothes he inherited from his older male cousin. i walk around holding him thinking about how much he is a boy. how different it is to have a son. how different, i mean, i am with a son.

in the delivery room i held him next to my face whispering “don’t cry, mama’s here.” i knew i loved him, but he was just a baby. that same feeling continued for most of his first two months: he’s my child and i can’t help but think he’s the bee’s knees, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s just a mewling, suckling baby who can barely see me. but now that those clicks have kicked in, now that i can catch glimpses of who he is and will be — what a grin! what eyes! — i pick him up and breathe him in and hold his cheek against mine and i love him for being the boy that he is.

i never doubted i would love him. i just never knew i had it in me to love a boy like this.

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