Big Fat Baby


Lately, I’ve been longing for a big, fat baby. My arms ache to hold and swaddle and feed. I stare at babies, dream of babies. I can feel a phantom baby in my arms, I can feel the letdown of breastfeeding, milk dripping down my chest.

Sitting in orange plastic booths at Huang’s Chinese Kitchen the other night I told Stan and Henry I was going to steal the baby at the booth across from us. They looked at me with alarm. You’re not really going to steal that baby, are you? they asked.

Of course not, I said. Would you steal him for me?

My son starts high school next Tuesday. He’s a lot taller than me now and more often seems like a man than a child. Below the surface of everything I have of a constant awareness of how short a time we have left with him in our home. I keep telling myself I'll be more prepared when the time comes but I only fractionally believe this is true. 

I have a recurring fantasy of getting to spend time with the little fat cheeked blond headed boy that he was, the one crawling around in my lap, throwing his arms around my neck, ready, eager, hungry to play. Of course I adored my child but did I sometimes long for time alone, time away, time by myself to feel like a single, unattached woman again? Yes, I did. I wish I could trade all of those moments for the ones I have now, but of course life doesn’t work that way.

As my son continues to grow wildly and beautifully and profoundly out of my grasp into the stunning young man that he is, I’m trying to funnel my intense need to nurture into my projects, my work, my animals, and my own healing. In other words, I’m trying to let it be OK to long for, but not to be a big, fat baby myself.

Valley HaggardComment