It's in the way he looks at me most seriously even when I am being my most goofiest. It's in the way he puts on his pouty lower lip when I blow on his belly and startle him. It's when he plays alone and doesn't think anyone is watching him study that little red crab rattle toy. For a six month old, Connor is a pretty serious little boy. Sure, he is full of smiles and guffaws, but the majority of his time he is studying his expanding world with contemplative silence.

He is such a different baby than Caroline was. I needed to pull out my passport for my work CORI and when I went to the box in the basement labeled "Very Important Things," I also found the baby's first year calendar that I dutifully filled in for Caroline in 2007. It didn't take me long to note that she was sleeping from 8:30 - 5:00 in her third month. There in my scrawl was her first fever, first cereal, first trip to the beach. You really can't compare your children. You can try and lord knows I wish they were more similar in the sleeping department, but Connor is Connor and Caro is Caro. She was never this serious, he was never as emotional.

This morning with his older sibling happily ensconced in playtime at the gym with Kiki, we spent about thirty minutes playing with a soft cotton blanket. I tried just to watch him, to not interfere and I smiled as he discovered the silk tag before stuffing more that was appropriate into his mouth with his fist. I watched him excitedly suck in his breath when I played parachute over his head with that same blanket. I rolled onto my side next to him and pulled him onto my chest and wondered how his lashes got so long. He grabbed fistfuls of hair and my ear lobes and sucked on my chin.

Later we went to the store, just my boy and I, to pick up rations for grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch. He's not quite ready for the ride in the carriage seat, but it won't be long. He watched the world from my hip, binky free, and he held tightly to the diaper bag strap for safety.

On the ride home I glanced back at him, playing quietly with a toy, bink nowhere to be seen. Tears. There were tears because we have come so far and though there are always backsteps and sidesteps, we are so far from where we started.

And that grilled cheese. It's perfectly toasted and arranged just so on Caroline's Ariel plate. She wants nothing to do with it.


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