June 07, 2007

6 months of Ben

Ben, 6 months, oneside made by his Auntie Deb Talan, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Dear Ben,

You are 6 months old tomorrow and you are more of a delight every day. As I write this I see the word “light” in delight and I must say that is truly what you are. A big, gorgeous light. Daddy refers to people who are really alive and glowing as people who are “lit.” You are definitely one of those people.

I know I mentioned this before, but you are still really fascinated by those hands of yours. I love watching you marvel at them (and when we’re not joking about the big stoner you are going to be) we imagine all of the things you will do with them. The things you will build, the hands you will hold, the letters you will write (or maybe the email you will type? ) all with those hands. You are wise to know what a gift they are.

I just cleaned out your dresser yesterday and was so happy to finally pack away clothing you have grown out of. You are a bit of a peanut at the moment, but your hands and feet are showing promise for serious growth to come. You look so perfect to me (and to everyone else) that I am shocked when we go to the doctor and they say you have fallen off the weight chart. They can take their percentiles somewhere else, huh Ben? You are a pioneer! and have created your very own curve…

You are becoming quite masterful at rolling over. Where the other kids are practicing sitting up on their own, you can roll any of them under the table. Given a big enough pasture, you will roll over and over and over into the sunset. This just might be your new mode of transport.

Every day we go to the big kid’s park on the corner. I know you love being there but you almost never crack a smile. It is serious business over there. A place of study. I see you watching the kids with laser focus… You know they are a different species, not baby or adult but something entirely different. We just sit there and watch. It is one of the places you are completely calm.

My attempts to fatten you up haven’t worked. You almost never cry except if I’m trying to feed you and you’re not hungry or if someone tries to give you a bottle. You are the most CHILL baby ever, the most easygoing of dudes, but try to give you a bottle and you will bat it away (with remarkable accuracy) and go on hunger strike for as long as it takes. We moved onto solid food a bit early to see if we could entice you, but no dice. I’ve been trying for weeks to tempt you with all of the wonders of rice cereal, oatmeal, carrots, applesauce, bananas…. but you are unimpressed. I think you only open your mouth so you can use the spoon as a teething toy and push the actual food out onto your bib. You are a tough cookie.

But if you’ve taught me anything in these past months it is that suffering comes from wanting things to be another way than they actually are. I think this is a basic tenet of Buddhism in fact, that whole suffering-coming-from-desire business.

When I want you to be some other way than you actually are, I suffer. You suffer. The more I can let the moment, the situation, the nap, the house, be exactly as it is… there is so much more room for joy. These are big lessons for the adult humans of the world. You have this one wired.

What else can I share that would be interesting to you?

I heard one of my favorite quotes on Oprah a while back. It is from Maya Angelou and she says, “All kids really want to know about their parents is this-Do their faces light up when I walk into the room?”

I can’t promise that we will always be perfect parents. I can’t promise that we will always be patient or wise or do exactly the right thing. But I can promise you this, little Ben. Our faces will never stop lighting up when you come into the room.

Posted on June 7, 2007 10:06 AM

very cool site

Posted by: Jim Carner at June 18, 2007 02:28 PM

very cool site

Posted by: Stephen at June 17, 2007 02:18 PM

I love this post. My daughter isn’t on the charts either and refused a bottle but she is just as she should be now at 16 months…beautiful, vibrant and just lean, which is I guess her nature. It is good that you trust your Mama wisdom, as you are obviously full of it.

Posted by: summer at June 14, 2007 02:51 PM

I love this post. My daughter isn’t on the charts either and refused a bottle but she is just as she should be now at 16 months…beautiful, vibrant and just lean, which is I guess her nature. It is good that you trust your Mama wisdom, as you are obviously full of it.

Posted by: summer at June 14, 2007 02:51 PM

Looking at Ben, I can tell what he will look like when he’s grown up. You know how some babies are like that, and some aren’t? Some have well defined features with their personalities stamped on their faces, and some are kind of … blobby? He’s not blobby. EXTREMELY cute.

Posted by: Hashi at June 13, 2007 04:14 PM

One day, he will be 13. He will be unbelievably stinky in that funky teenage boy way. He will forget to take out the garbage, and then be angry when you remind him. He will be as hormonally unpredictable as a menopausal woman. I can almost guarantee your face will not light up all the time during this period. But it won’t mean you don’t love him less.

Posted by: m at June 12, 2007 11:15 AM

Aiii… Andrea! I haven’t even read the other comments, but I’m sure everyone feels the same way… “Gosh! Good thing I didn’t wear any mascara today… Cuz I’m at work and the tears keep rolling. This was such an amazing letter! I’m sure Ben will appreciate reading it when he is older. You’re just an amazing woman. You’ll always be my coach, mentor, teacher, inspiration! xo

Posted by: Alex at June 11, 2007 02:31 PM

Whadda tryin to do, keel me?


Posted by: Shelley Noble at June 11, 2007 02:01 PM

This entry spoke to me in many ways. My son fell off the weight chart too around the 6 month mark and it caused me great stress. But now after a year of trying to fatten him (without success), I’ve just let it go…and feel so much better and so does he. I heard that quote from Oprah too and it’s one of my favorites. You’re little Ben is beautiful!

Posted by: Susan at June 11, 2007 07:25 AM

Thank you for writing that part about suffering and desire. I have read and re-read those sentences several times and they make something go “ping!” in my head. In this first year of my motherhood I have *felt* that many times but have never defined it or explained it.

I just read through much of your archives (I just recently found you here) and I am enjoying your words and photos immensly.

Posted by: Amy at June 10, 2007 06:46 PM

So very very sweet. What a cutie! I don’t know which photo I love more!

Posted by: kristine at June 9, 2007 09:15 PM

I have been a silent lurker on your blog for quite some time now but I just had to write something about this entry.
It is one of the most beautifully written letters I have ever laid my eyes on.
And Ben is absolutely adorable. Your pictures of him always make me smile.

Posted by: Bethany at June 9, 2007 08:03 PM

He’s absolutely beautiful!!!

I promise you made me cry with your last line!

Posted by: raquel at June 9, 2007 05:40 PM

i could stare at that little guy all day long….

he has such a good life, lucky him! (and lucky you) he also has GREAT digs. i am lovin the outfit!

the letter brought happy tears to my eyes.

so beautiful.


Posted by: mccabe at June 9, 2007 05:02 PM

I am so glad you are my sister in this journey of motherhood.
beautiful words, A – your words are inspiring as always.

Posted by: Tiff at June 9, 2007 12:54 PM

You have wowed me with your mom wisdom once again. My son was also off the charts by six months (and still is) and I spent weeks trying to force feed the poor guy against my better judgment. It wasn’t until I realized that when he is hungry he will eat and took a much more relaxed approach to things, everything just fell into place.

Ben looks to be an absolutely delightful baby indeed. I can’t help but laugh at the last photo, he appears to be cracking himself up, I love it!

Posted by: andrea at June 8, 2007 09:36 PM

Percentiles are for the birds…the tiniest babies grow up to be great big teenage boys with smelly size 13 runners – before you know it!

Oh my how that last picture made me laugh…priceless.

Posted by: Leslie at June 8, 2007 04:56 PM

He will so appreciate reading back on these one day! You made me feel so much better about our 4 month old’s doctor appointment today and his weight dropping. There’s just some unique ones that make their own curve!

Posted by: Maya at June 8, 2007 12:56 PM

He’s just glorious, Andrea.

Posted by: Leah at June 8, 2007 12:03 PM

Seeing these pics makes me light up too. What an angel!

Posted by: Becky (yogaglamgirl) at June 8, 2007 10:35 AM

Yes im with boho girl those two lines really made my night.

Posted by: Kate at June 8, 2007 10:04 AM

Yes, I’ll chime in with everyone else: this is beautiful, and Ben is also beautiful. I love his laugh. He looks like he’s cracking himself up–an essential skill.

Posted by: Dr. S at June 8, 2007 08:32 AM

I remember marveling at my son’s hands when he was a wee infant like Ben. My god, that seems like yesterday and a million years ago at the same time. How is it possible that he’s 6 1/2 now? I, too, imagined what he would do with them. Would they look like his dad’s? Would he wear a wedding ring? I remember being overwhelmed with the thought that someday someone I didn’t even know existed might love him (almost) as much as I did.

Thanks for the Maya Angelou quote. I’m going to try to keep it in the front of my mind.

Posted by: Alesia at June 8, 2007 07:50 AM

Oh my gosh, I can’t belive he’s 6 months old already. It’s so strange how adult time moves so differently from kid time. I haven’t done THAT much in the last 6 months, but that’s little Ben’s whole life! It’s really wonderful to get to ‘see’ you having this now, after the years of waiting. I hope you are printing out, or writing down these letters to Ben. I don’t know how long it will take for him to really be ready for them, but one day, when he’s grown, they will be treasures. Even those of us with the very best of parents still sometimes forget how much we were wanted, or what joy, mixed with hopes and dreams we inspired when we were first born.

Posted by: Meg at June 8, 2007 06:55 AM

That last photo is the bizz – happy happy happy 🙂

Posted by: Katharine at June 8, 2007 06:41 AM

My parents’ faces light up when I walk in the room, even now (40 years later). Thank you for bringing it to my attention, Andrea.

Posted by: Laura at June 8, 2007 05:49 AM

You always manage to hit the nail right on the head… whenever I’m feeling a bit despondent, I take a peek at your blog & you write something that completely refers to what I’m feeling. Now, I’m not a mother (yet…) but somehow I can relate what you’ve written to my world.

Thank you so much,

Posted by: Olivia at June 8, 2007 04:24 AM

wow, what a beautiful passage to your truly de-LIGHTful son. it gave me the chills and filled me with excitement as my love and i try to make a baby of our own soon. thank you for sharing this intimate gift.

Posted by: gypsy girl at June 7, 2007 10:52 PM

Oh my goodness. When I got to the last photo, I swear, I could smell that sweet baby smell. Mmmm. What lovely stories and thoughts. You three and lucky, very lucky. Sweet dreams!

Posted by: Wendee at June 7, 2007 10:21 PM

i feel like a broken record because the only time i comment is when you post pictures of ben. but i still can not get over how stunningly beautiful he is. thanks for the new pictures.

Posted by: annab at June 7, 2007 08:16 PM

OH my GOD, that last one is the BEST! His giggle must be adorable!

I am enjoying being along for this ride. Thanks so much for sharing it.

Posted by: W. Lotus at June 7, 2007 08:15 PM

oooh , I LOVE that last one, what an energetic photo, I love it!

Posted by: kate at June 7, 2007 08:12 PM

Lord, that face. That FACE.

Posted by: Chookooloonks at June 7, 2007 07:34 PM

I’m not a mommy yet and can’t wait to be…this post makes me want to be one right now!! Ben is so adorable……his smile reminds me of the girl in the movie Curly Sue. Blesses to all of you and a big Happy 6 months Ben!!! Thank you for sharing your life and love of photography and jewelry!!

Posted by: Adrienne at June 7, 2007 06:53 PM

Your photos of your son are just wonderful. He looks (and sounds) like quite a charmer.

Posted by: Ali at June 7, 2007 06:30 PM

gorgeous and wise!

thank you for sharing.

Posted by: amy at June 7, 2007 06:28 PM

oh, that is breathtakingly beautiful.

Posted by: Goddess of Leonie at June 7, 2007 05:55 PM

Goodness, I find myself tearing up at the end of your post. What a truly perfect quote for a truly beautiful family!

Posted by: Equipoise at June 7, 2007 05:30 PM

These letters to your son are amazing!! Thank you for sharing them, they insirpe me to write some of my own. He is adorable, I love that last picture, so cute!!

Posted by: Heather at June 7, 2007 04:38 PM

okay…two things made me laugh out loud. first was how Matt describes people that are alive and glowing as “lit”…love that.

the second was how you two joke about Ben being a big stoner.

i adore you guys!

this was such a gorgeous letter to him in celebration of his 6 months being in your arms.

he is such a gift.

ps. how did you and deb do those onesies? did you paint on the fabric? very cool…

Posted by: boho girl at June 7, 2007 04:33 PM

Ahh… you’re killing me here! That was so sweet. He is a little light and I think you will be the perfect parents, ’cause that quote is so right on.

Posted by: B. at June 7, 2007 03:43 PM

He is a little cutie pants and I love it how babies learn about their hands for the first time, because they obviously didn’t realise before that these things belonged to them.

Posted by: jen at June 7, 2007 03:25 PM

he is wise because he comes from a wise mama 🙂 beautiful letter my dear one. i too love that quote from Maya; it is so true and I truly need to remember it and know that it is true. you are really paying attention andrea…i love that and you remind me to do the same.

now, where did you make those onsies??? love them!!!

Posted by: stef at June 7, 2007 02:49 PM

Wow. Made me teary. I can’t believe that only 6 months into parenthood you have such wisdom already. Ben is a lucky, lucky boy and based on that last picture, he certainly knows it.

Thank you for sharing yourself with us. It is a lovely thing to read about.

Posted by: Rebecca F. at June 7, 2007 02:18 PM

you are a gift unto this world, sister.

Posted by: francie pants at June 7, 2007 02:18 PM

I can hear the laughter in that last photo…

Thank you so much for touching on that “suffering-coming-from-desire” thought. It’s just what’s on my mind lately, and it’s something I need to accept…

Posted by: becky at June 7, 2007 01:46 PM

Re: the pear onesie and the tree onesie pictured

my friend Deb Talan and I made them! she made the tree and I made the pear.


Posted by: andrea scher at June 7, 2007 01:43 PM

Thank you for the beautiful post. It is liked you reached into my heart, pulled out all of the mumbled-jumbled words and made sense out of them.
I wish Ben were two months ahead instead of two months behind our little guy; perhaps I could have avoided some of the stress worrying about our “underweight” and “under-fed” baby who would not eat.

Do you mind if I create a link to this post on my blog?

Posted by: jamie at June 7, 2007 01:31 PM

you did it again Andrea…tears are falling into my keyboard.

Posted by: Jessica at June 7, 2007 01:27 PM

This is a beautiful entry.

Posted by: Marti at June 7, 2007 01:25 PM

oh, ben, you are amazing. i can see his person shining in those pictures. small but mighty. i like the part about just being…it ain’t easy but it is a release. i am so glad you told us a little about your guy, it rounds out the pictures so much.

Posted by: mamie at June 7, 2007 01:16 PM

(almost) unbelievably cute.
if i didn’t see it here, i never would’ve known that such cuteness exists.

Posted by: redsun at June 7, 2007 12:56 PM

This was a beautiful post. I really enjoy your pictures and posts about your son. Thank you for sharing your memories!

Posted by: nova at June 7, 2007 12:54 PM

p.s. Where on eart do you find all his cute clothes??? The tree shirt, the pear onsie, etc??? MUST KNOW.

Posted by: victoria winters at June 7, 2007 12:51 PM

And how couldn’t they light up with that adorable little boy!? The last picture is precious and priceless! 🙂

Posted by: victoria winters at June 7, 2007 12:41 PM

what wonderful words. and six months in this world and he is still the cutest!

Posted by: Sophie at June 7, 2007 12:29 PM

fabulous andrea…just beautiful…

Posted by: la vie en rose at June 7, 2007 11:53 AM