Sweet Cheeks

November 8, 2014

November 8, 2014

He was born at 6:25 a.m., the morning after Christmas.

The whole world lay quiet under a snowy blanket, glowing in the lavender light before sunrise.

Eight pounds, five ounces.

Twenty inches long.

His first word was Da-da.

I’ve seen him eat three bananas in a row.

I have video of his laugh, how he laughs until he has to gasp for breath.

I have his first curls from his first haircut.

There’s a picture of him pulling up for the first time, on the corner of his great-grandparents’ traveling trunk.

He’s finally getting the hang of talking. He’s even learned how to complain “Aw, MAN.” I write down the funny things that he says in his journal.

I try to remember, to hold on.

But how will I ever remember the feel of his cheek?

One day, if he is lucky enough to live a long and ordinary life, his cheek will grow rough and prickly. How will I remember the silky curve of his cheek beneath my fingertips?

Touch is a sense we can’t hold on to. What our fingers have known, we have to let go.


12 thoughts on “Sweet Cheeks

  1. Chris Antenen

    My mother wore Coty powder and had very soft and beautiful skin. I was born when she was 42. If I close my eyes and concentrate, I can ALMOST remember her smell and the feel of her cheeks . . . .almost. I used to buy the powder, but can’t any longer.

    I do the same for my children and grandchildren – close my eyes. I can describe the feel of each, but only the memory and not the touch remains.

    I’ve been told that April Fresh Downy reminds them of me.

    1. WordPress.com Support

      My Grandmother Eunice wore Coty powder! I can still summon the scent. I hear that you can buy it on ebay.

      Closing our eyes helps with so much.

    2. Lisa in Athens

      My grandmother wore Coty powder – while the container isn’t paperboard as before (it’s plastic) the smell is the same. I wear it myself mostly for the memory of her.

      1. Lisa in Athens

        I believe I found it at Walmart. (Had I realized the container would be plastic now, I wouldn’t have tossed the paperboard one in recycling.)
        Since Coty doesn’t have the full line of cosmetics like others, it’s not that easy to spot. I hope you can find it there – or try Target or a chain pharmacy store. Luck to you!

  2. Donna

    I think I might cry right now. I remember savoring those moments, knowing they would go, and surely they did. But underneath their teenage pimples, braces and aura of The Police song: “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” live the beautiful, wide-eyed with wonder baby/child that made my life the gift it has become. I know they’re in there, I try to excavate a little deeper every day.

  3. anne nahm

    That picture is everything!

    And while you lucky ducks in comments above have memories of Coty powder, my grandfather used to make Brussels sprouts every time I’d come over (he was a lifelong vegetarian) so when I’m trying to summon memories of him, I have to eat tiny little cabbages and my family complains wildly.

    … that was no a fart joke. They just hate Brussels sprouts.
    … Who doesn’t? I mean, except us eating them out of fond memories.

    1. WordPress.com Support

      That may be the most California story I have ever heard. My grandfather ate fatback and biscuits and lived to 103!

  4. Amanda Harris

    My about-to-be-12-year-old boy still has smooth cheeks but I know it’s VERY soon to just be a memory. Sometimes he’ll still let me rub a finger along his still-smooth cheek, although usually he says something like “uh, Mom? I’m not three years old anymore.” Sigh.


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