The Boy with the Blueberry Eyes
by Michelle Valliere
“The boy with the blueberry eyes,” said Gramma, “that’s what he is.” I had never thought of it before, but blueberry perfectly describes the color of Benjamin’s blue eyes. Imagine those deep blue-colored berries sold in the grocer’s market isle, and that is exactly the shade of blue. He was born with muddy-water hair and blue-water eyes, and many said his eyes would change over time and likely become brown. Six months later, they have only become more striking in color. While his dark brown hair has given way to a new crop of soft blonde, his eyes remain constant … a deep beautiful blue.
This blueberry eyed boy is my six-month-old son, Benjamin, the child I never imagined I would actually have. I couldn’t be more delighted or feel more blessed that this little man is in my life. I’m thirty-nine years old and I’m finally a mom. Each week spent with him only gets better. I remember telling Benjamin’s dad, my husband of three and a half years, Bob, “four months old is the best,” and then “five months old is even better,” but now I see clearly that six months old is the most fun yet. Benjamin smiles and laughs constantly, while shrieking and squealing with joy at everything from the ceiling fans, to the dog (who still ignores him), to daddy’s peek-a-boo games, and to mommy’s songs and dances. He is, and always has been, a sweet child, good natured and pleasant, with a happy disposition. I think this time at home with him is the best season of my life.
As I cherish our days together, I see that Benjamin is already changing and growing and leaving his early baby days behind us. I find myself looking back with longing, missing those precious moments after a bottle. With his tiny face nestled into my neck, his rhythmic sleepy breathing, and his soft baby smell, he brought me a peace and tranquility I have never known. I didn’t know the last time he settled in for a little rest would be the last time. How I wish I had known to savor the moment. Now when he finishes a bottle and gazes sleepily at me and I press him towards me and ask, “go sleep on mommy’s shoulder?” He arches his back in protest, preferring the solitude of his crib, with his Lovie, his Binky, and the sounds of his rainforest toy. How can I compete? He is such a big boy now.
Being a big boy is not all bad; as I said, six months old is the most fun yet. Benjamin is easily entertained and finds fun in everything, from a napkin, to a newspaper, to all of his new toys. His favorite pastime right now is the Exersaucer. If we imagined he would sit and play quietly, we clearly had no clue about Benjamin! He loves to jump up in it and slam himself down, while smiling and looking at us to see if we are watching him. If his gaze is met with ours, and it always is, he laughs and squeals in delight at our attention, blows a few drooly razzberries, and does it again and again. So far, we have counted a series of seven jumps in a row for the record, a move we call “Rock the House!” He can do this for a surprising length of time, during which his dad and I laugh and laugh and exchange knowing glances to acknowledge that this baby is all boy.
Now, I know all mothers think their babies are beautiful, but Benjamin really is a fine-looking baby—I mean Gerber baby cute. People stop and tell us this all of the time. They comment on his striking blue eyes, his rosebud lips, his clear complexion, his alert gaze, his sunny smile, and his soft blonde hair, which looks as if it has been cut and styled to match his dad’s. I smile and nod in agreement, validated in my belief that he is the most adorable baby in town. Usually after they comment on his sweet and beautiful face, they acknowledge his size because Benjamin is a healthy baby boy whose height and weight measurements are off the growth charts. Dad imagines a healthy athlete in the future, maybe a football or a baseball player, while I imagine a musician, an artist, or a scholar of books.
“The boy with the blueberry eyes,” said Gramma, and I think Benjamin’s grandmother, my mother, has selected the perfect metaphor for our baby boy’s more distinguishing feature. Why, just today both at the gym and the photographer’s studio, strangers commented on the beauty and striking color of our baby boy’s eyes. As I write this, Benjamin is jumping in his Exersaucer, blue eyes flashing at me, giggling and enjoying his young life and newfound independence in this genius toy invention. I smile and blow him kisses and think to myself, that this blueberry eyed boy, with his daddy’s features and his soft blonde hair, is the greatest blessing of my life.