painting: march 31, 2013

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Paint it today.
You can’t paint tomorrow as you did today,
said Hilda Dolittle.

It’s somewhat maddening to watch so carefully such incremental change.
Today his breath is a bit less sweet than it was yesterday,
because he had a few more bites of non-mother-milk – yogurt and hummus.
Today he is a touch more solid, more steady, stronger, more balanced.
Today he weighs a fraction of an ounce more. Today he is a fraction of a centimeter longer.
And every day I say these things.

In his face I see the face I saw one, two, four months ago
until I look at the photos
(“take lots of photos” I do)
And see the creamy baby cheeks slowly sanded away to reveal
The Boy Face.
(And then I see what I’ll paint the day after the day after tomorrow-
the eight year old playing catch with his father,
the fifteen year old sprawled out on the couch)

Paint it today.
Paint it today, a love of nine months and then
six more.
But earlier than that, the love leaked and lost when no baby came
for months and months.
And before that, the boys I loved and wondered
‘A baby? Yes. With him? No. Then… what?’
And paint tomorrow the next baby (a second?) and the next (a third?)
A palimpsest of love,
toddler love scribbled over infant love,
child love brushed over baby love,
layer upon layer of newfound love.

Today. Paint it today.
Sitting in the grass watching mama and dad thrust hands into mulch and soil.
Riding on dad’s back, strapped to mama’s front, as we walk by the sea.
Fussing, teething, still, always.
Sleeping on mama’s chest because
it is home.

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