17/52

 

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Stella: You got a fever this week, and booooooooy, fevers do a number on you. You slept for about 16 hours straight, which is almost unheard of. But, as quickly as it came on, you were well again and ready to run and play and never ever stop.

Hugo: You had fever too and were too tired to even play. I read you poetry on the couch, hoping for a moment to fill the memory banks, but then you said, Stop reading, now. So.

Lyra: What is even going on? You're too busy grabbing your feet to sleep. You won't nurse. I'm sure you're hungry. Has my milk production fallen? You are crying more than I remember. You can't settle for naps. You wake frequently overnight.  

16/52

 

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2017."

Stella: It's been a honeymoon week with you.

Hugo: You've grown into a real boy since I've been gone. You're taller, your hair is longer, your speech is clearer, and you're play is different. You've been driving your cars around like usual, but now there are stories, and narration, and you're always having your cars engage in conflict, and then work things out peacefully.

Lyra: You little imp. You're much more awake these days. You're grabbing your toes, and playing with toys, and you sure do love to pull my hair. You drink milk, smile bashfully, sleep poorly at night, and delight us all.

15/52

 

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2017."

Stella: I'm not sure who you're more glad to see back home, me or your sister. I'd probably hazzard to guess your sister, since you've been by her side every moment you can. But you've also been extra sweet with me these past few days, even allowing me to cuddle you, which almost never happens. 

Hugo: You're such an affectionate little bear. When I pulled into the driveway, you were positively vibrating with joy. You wouldn't let me put you down. You cuddled and kissed me. You told me, Mama I'm glad you're home. I love you. Never go to London again, except with me. 

Lyra: You spent the week recovering from surgery. I was pretty worried about you, to be honest. For nearly a week, you hardly woke up, except to cry like an injured kitten. I was so worried that I spent the entire day last Sunday in the A+E department where doctors ran all sorts of tests and then finally arrived at the conclusion that you were fine, just slow to recover from anesthesia. When, finally, on Thursday evening, you started to come back to yourself, I started weeping on the train. It was so lonely being without you. I'm so glad you're starting to feel better.

14/52

"a picture for my big kids and one of my little kid once a week, every week in 2017."

And one for me too this week, because it's been a doozy.

Stella: I was up in Yorkshire this week. You would have LOVED it up here. We visited this place called Fountain Abby and the whole time we were there, I kept saying to our friends, I wish Stella were here to see this! You would have loved seeing the abby ruins. I would have told you they were castle ruins, and we would have played all sorts of imagination games about kings and queens and princesses and knights.

Hugo: I sure wish you could have seen this place. You would have been in this stream for sure, exploring and getting soaking wet. And the playground here! You would have loved every second of it. 

Lyra: You had surgery this week. And you were so good. I was incredibly nervous about it, but you took the discomfort of fasting in stride. You hardly cried. You fell right asleep before your surgery time, and hardly were bothered by the anesthesia process. 

Me: Phew. This week. Holy smokes. I tried not to think too much about the upcoming surgery, but as the appointed day came closer and closer, I was anxious and uncertain of what to do with myself, fixating on small problems like how to manage a fasting baby and what to do about dinner. But also, you know? I managed it well. We did okay. And I'm kind of proud of myself for taking such good care of my baby, and taking care of myself through this process. 

13/52

"a picture for my older children, and of my youngest child once a week, every week, in 2017."

Stella: This week I walked your Jakarta best friend to school every morning. We pass treas heavy with cherry blossoms, petals snowing down on blustery days. There is a rose bush, ten houses up. And your friend stoops down to pick a fallen blossom and asks me to carry it home. I flashback to when you were still padded by baby fat on the pool deck in Jakarta, collecting frangipani flowers with this same friend. I asked her if she remembered, the two of you played this game every Friday for a year. But she didn't. I remember, though. I knew then as I know now, watching you play in the late tropical sun, those were golden days.

Hugo: I road the train to Yorkshire. You would have loved it. We took a slow train, the tube, a fast train, and a slow train again. We saw pheasants, and a dear, knock kneed lambs, cows, horses, and rolling hills. I wished I could have shown you this, dear boy.

Lyra: You started playing with toys this week. I can pass you a rubber toy, and you grasp it, bringing it to your mouth. You're quite pleased with yourself and your new skills, and I delight in watching you grow.