For most of my adult life, whenever I've met a baby at seven months old, part of me clocks every detail.
I'm pretty sure this is because I was adopted at seven months, and in many respects, that's when life started for me. So when S jr hit the seven month mark a few days ago, I found myself trying to gaze at him from a little distance. My mom met me when I was seven months old – what would that have been like? He's already such a distinct personality, and there's so much I already know about him...what if, like my mom, I had had only a little paperwork to work with?
My mother never knew what I looked like when I was born, or what I was like during those first months of life when, with S jr, Corey and I were stumbling around, blearily calling each others' names. She had documentation from the time when I was relinquished – two months old – through the time I was in foster care. I always loved hearing about this time, and my patient mom told me again and again about how my foster family had a lot of kids, and how I was carried constantly, and how I was a very chubby baby.
Later, when I was able to read and look at the documents for myself, I pored over them, searching for details I might have missed. It felt very much like mythology, however, which is odd when you're examining facts about yourself.
With S jr, however, there is so much concrete evidence and experience, I can build roads with it. And when he asks about his birth, about his first days, weeks, months, Corey and I will be able to give him as many answers as he wants.
There can be beauty in speculation, poetry in not knowing, But there can also be distress, helplessness, a sense of displacement from the unknown. I think about my own adoption and love knowing that my son and I will always have certain facts in common. But where my story is drawn in greys and blurs, his is finely etched.
This is us, at seven months.