Summer Babe

comments: 163

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It's in full swing now, this lovely summer. The weather has been glorious, the nights long. The sun shines and the breeze blows. The flowers bloom and fade, and the plums are already starting to fall. The baby is learning to chew, and every day brings new foods to try. My lady loves the water, and taking her to the pool (we went three times last week) is like a dream. She is mellow and trusting and fearless, though quiet at first; she presses herself deeper into my arms as we walk onto the deck, and sits heavily, with her cheek pressed to mine, as I hold her up to see: This is the pool. It's zero-depth, so it's like a beach — you can sit in only a few inches of water if you want. I rub water on her arm, trickle it down her belly. Rub, rub, trickle, trickle: You know this water. And yeah, she does; within minutes she's sitting on my submerged lap, and in a few minutes more she's waving her foot, splashing. Soon, it's all hers: Hands slapping, feet slapping. Her toy boat squirts, her whale-shaped cup drains. Shoulders, arms, belly, legs, back, hair, everything's wet now, and it's good. The sun is white bright and the water shines. Big kids splash and chase and scream with delight, erupting past us. Her face drips; she ducks her head and blinks the water away but then looks right back up, eyelashes dark and glistening. She doesn't cry. She says, "Da da da da da da da da DA." She presses her forehead to mine, still talking, holding her boat. It's the best day of my life. The fountains shoot long arcs of giant droplets or gurgle up small towers of white froth, but all are met with the same quiet observation, and then, eventually, the determined reaching-toward: Give me. Is there anything better than watching someone reach for a column of water with her dimpled baby hands for the first time? Clutch the bars of her crib and try to stand? Open her tiny mouth for even more ricotta cheese? Stretch to touch a bobbing allium blossom, just beyond her fingers? Keep reaching, my dearest darling dear sweet lovey lovey love. Reach, and reach, and reach. I will help you.


Oh the baby chubbyness is much too much to handle! Right when I think that slathering on sunscreen is too tedious, I remember my children's baby pudginess. At six years old, it's all gone, but seeing your pictures makes me remember! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

The green bean picture is too cute. It's all too much for me, I'm welling again :-)

Stefanie says: July 10, 2013 at 02:08 AM

i´m reading your blog for a longer time now - and i love it!!! You always have the right words to express your feelings. Your garden is so beautiful and you seem so relaxed with child and garden and knitting. How do you do that?
I admire you for how you do all that.
My little girl had her first birthday last week and I feel like I have no time for myself or knitting or being creative anymore. But I really love being a mom.

Sorry for my english, i´m writing from germany and don´t use my english very often. (by the way: I have a cousin living in Oregon - but I haven´t seen her for years)

enjoy the summer!

Michelle says: July 10, 2013 at 04:34 AM

Such a beautiful post, your writing brought tears to my eyes. Enjoy this time, Happy Sumer indeed.

Such great pictures :) So inviting and peaceful and GORGEOUS!!! I also love baby's new rainbow sweater-so whimsical and sweet.

So sweet...your summer is looking wonderful.

Lovely, Alicia ~ this time is so precious & it's only the beginning. My daughters continue to bring me joy everyday. My first babies, twin girls, will soon be 23, my next is almost 16 and my youngest is turning 12 in just a few days. Keep drinking in these days of light made golden by your delicious girl. The sweetness of ordinary days becomes each extraordinary moment in our mommy memories ~ thank you for sharing yours with all of us! xo

I nearly broke out in the ugly cry. But 2 of my boys are sitting here with me and I don't want them to worry that I've really lost my mind.

Pati from London says: July 10, 2013 at 09:32 AM

Alicia, you nearly brought a tear to my eye. I think you are embracing motherhood so wonderfully.
You write beautifully and describe life so well. That's what is all about,it is those small steps, the simple yet most wonderful things in life, the little moments with your loved ones that make it all seem very worthy!
Thanks for so much inspiration....As a mum, your words really touched me.
Love from sunny London, Pati x

gah! this made me cry. really beautiful.

I love your words in this post. I teared up reading it too. Thanks for putting into words the way my heart feels when I look at my little girl.

Oh Alicia! As I looked through your beautiful photos, I was thinking, look at this sweet summer babe, look at the wonderful word she is discovering, all the joy and love she is experiencing. Alicia and Andy must be having the best summer ever! And then there were your words saying just that. I love the last line ... reach, reach, reach and I will help you. My girl is 15 and still your words have reminded me to do just that today. Fabulous!

My throat is closing - your post is so evocative of times when my son was that age. Thank you thank you for sharing with all of us!

Jody Johnson says: July 10, 2013 at 03:23 PM

Beautiful . . .

Amelia is so precious (just like big sister CLover Meadow). Favorite pix - the one where Amelia is smiling. So gorgeous.

Another reader with tears in her eyes after seeing your gorgeous photos and rocks-me-to-my-core words. Thank you for sharing your life with us...

what B-eautiful colors & people :)

such a sweet moment. and such adorable pics of your little lady. and - gah! - you finished another sweater! already! it's so, so cute. you are a rockstar.

Thank you for the sweet memory of taking my babies to the pool. They were magical days.

Dear, you have made me cry! lovely words, for a lovely baby.
Greetings from Belgium

In the photo below the 'bean tasting' your sweet girl looks like an Eloise Wilkin illustration! I truly enjoy all your posts. Thanks for sharing.

It is so precious and sweet to see you embrace motherhood and express it so beautifully here. I think sometimes young mothers to whom these babies came so easily don't savor it as well. Many blessings to you and your family.

Oh, Alicia! I know how long you waited for this wonderful experience and part of me is thinking it was all worth the wait! So many times in my life, when I didn't "get" the things I wanted I would be frustrated. But then, a little further along the road, I would take a turn and the sun would shine and I'd think "Oh! I get it. I needed to be ready for THIS!"

I would say to enjoy every single second of this life with your wonderful family but I know you already are. You are such a warm and nurturing woman and I am just so thrilled for you and Andy.

Life is good. And when it's not, something wonderful is just around the corner. And thank you so much for sharing it with all of us. It is the perfect ending to my day.

Your little girl is super sweet. I love that you share so much of her joy with us.

"Life can be so sweet..."
Thanks for sharing yours.


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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at