He is a 6 pound, 13 ounce flannel burrito and feels like blessed air in my arms.

His dark brown hair peeks from a tiny yellow beanie, and closed eyelids dance dreams.

I feel his hands and their thin skin, and I stroke his chin, and I tell him he is our special boy, that he is loved, that we are so glad he is here.

Our hearts are balloons now that he is here.

His fingers are magic, they are so tiny and those nails. How can they be so small?

His lips pucker and tongue thrusts, rehearsing in sleep the drinking and swallowing of life that comes from mama. The one who makes his head slowly turn and his charcoal blue eyes work to focus.

He knows her.

I feel his warmth in my arms in this folding hospital room chair, and I am with my babies again. Their fuzzy backs and their breathing and their eyes that seemed always locked on mine.

They know me.

I feel nephew bundle in my arms, and my lids close long, and I hear his noises like small birds and remember, but can hardly believe my girls made the same little noises in the backs of their throats and noses, using parts of their faces they no longer need to communicate.

I imagine my brain is a voice recorder that can hold each bird tweet and small-tongued gurgle so I won’t forget because I remember how quickly they move from these sounds to zhheeee and aba-baba.

I know I am a burrito boy-bird hog, holding this baby as many minutes as I can until someone asks for a turn, but I just don’t want to forget the way he feels and the way he sounds today.

Face shifting hour by hour, and his voice too. Love instrument breaking from the folds into the air filled with balloons.

This piece is a free-writing exercise for a Tuesday feature called “Just Write,” hosted on The Extraordinary Ordinary. I participate on weeks when the mood strikes.

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