I do not take selfies often. And I rarely post them on the internet. Especially if I'm not wearing makeup. But I love the stories this photo tells.
Nathaniel's fat little chin and cheeks tell of his recent weight gain. He is not on the growth chart yet, but is gaining steadily. With every pound, I see him getting stronger. Stronger means he can cough up his lung secretions and battle illnesses. Stronger means new gross motor skills. Stronger means longer periods of play time. Stronger means walks after dinner as a family rather than going straight to bed. Stronger is a criteria for reconstruction surgery. I see all those things in this photo.
I feel dried mango in Nathaniel's hair pressed against my cheek, and it indicates our daily food exploration is slowly broadening his oral skills. I fear far more food ends up smeared on the tray, thrown to the floor, or left on his face than actually gets swallowed. But he ate bits of strawberry, mango, avocado, pasta, shredded cheese, egg, banana, rice, and yogurt this week. Slowly he is transitioning from baby to finger food and learning to control his gag reflex. I catch a glimpse of that in this photo.
Nathaniel's little sunburned nose is evidence that he is getting outside. It is a lot of work to take Nathaniel outside. We take the suction machine, a box of gloves, the emergency airway bag, and a cell phone everywhere he goes. Add the normal outside things - toys, water, sunscreen - it takes a lot of effort. There were days this week that I let all his therapy homework go and stayed outside for hours. I suppose I could have done therapy outside, but we watched the trees sway and the ants crawl instead. Being outside is therapy enough. I realize that with this photo.
I love this photo too. Nathaniel watched me blow bubbles. And then he watched me blow on a pinwheel. And he had no idea how to do the same because he has never felt air through his mouth. But when he raised the pinwheel up high, the breeze caught it. Round and round it went. Surprise. Delight. He closed his eyes and laughed. Again and again. I see discovery in this photo.
On days when it makes no sense that Rich and I have a baby again, I see it in these photos.