Bubba. Buddy. Mister. Love. It is 9pm, which means there are 3 hours left in your 6 month birthday. I like to quantify things, which you probably already know about me. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do I love you? 10 being squishing a mouse in my pocket-love? 417,000 to the power of you. I have also never been good at math. You smell like the color of cream, of warm sheets, wet gums, of things multiplied and growing.
I look at this photo and can't help but think that one day this will be the direct gaze staring at me from a graduation pic, a wedding photo, from the corner of a business card should you become a real estate agent, I don't know. Just this: there you are. My boy. All boy. I don't know how much is me putting gender on your everything, but you are: such a boy. The way you laugh when your sister makes a loud noise, your stance before you even know how to stand.
At night you sleep in our bed. You fuss and grunt, babble, call out until I push my boob into your mouth, and then you breathe deeply, sigh, sleep. There is no other way to put it, this dance, nothing poetic about poking my nipple around in the dark across your face until I feel your wet mouth open. I'm sorry to embarrass you already but it's funny to think of the first time you encounter a "real" girl's boob, how I think you will push yourself into it greedily and then fall instantly asleep once you make contact.
Moving on. You like airplanes and cats, carrots, the window down when we drive. You are big. 91st percentile, and lately you have started to do this backstroke thing across the floor, opting not to crawl quite yet but to push yourself laying down on your back like a fish. Oooo. You sound like an owl, my backward fish-owl boy who smells of cream of wheat and soft.
183 days, give or take, like I said: I suck at math. A lifetime is what it is, these last 6 months, yours. Because I am just that: yours.