Happy New Year! I seem to remember grabbing on to 2011 as if it were a life raft in rough sea. 2010 had seen me so laden with anxieties - in so many forms - that by the end of the year I was ready to jump ship. This New Year, Dom and I sat for a while in the dark, on our doorstep, to say goodbye to 2011. We listened to the whisper of Abba coming from a party in a fifth floor apartment down the street, and tried to work out what stars we were looking at. It wasn't a raucous welcome to 2012, but it was perfect.
Jack hadn't settled well. He didn't have a fever, didn't have cold. I sat in his room, in the dark, holding him, on the oversized rocking chair that we bought for just this kind of thing a few years ago. His head was on my shoulder, his hair still rabbit soft and fine as silk threads, his face turned slightly towards me. In the grainy grey of a late December night his face looked almost hyper-real, like a Pixar character - a grey blush on his full cheeks, long eyelashes like dark feathers, he closed his eyes ever so slowly only to reopen them abruptly to the sound of his own breath. Wrapped in his fleecy sleeping bag, I took time to notice the weight of his body on me, his legs tucked up to his tummy. I stroked his cheek and he smiled with effort. Knowing my hand was near, he reached out for it and we rocked together in a cozy cocoon of exchanged warmth and breath. In his waking hours Jack does not have this snuggling ease. Getting him dressed is like putting clothes on a cat; he crawls off, scampering away, with one wry glance back, to find his brothers or simply be out of my reach. Although it's never ideal to have a child refusing sleep it gave me a moment to think about the changes in him this year. I wonder now if this little boy was just reminding me that he won't be this small for long.