I made a sock monkey for our baby, who is due today.

For the past months, November 24 has blazed across the sky of my mind, some strange icon, glowing, symbol of a question…who will this baby be?

Months ago, when I penciled a heart around the baby’s due date in my calendar, I noticed that November 24 was also a full moon. Will the full moon increase the likelihood that the baby will be born on November 24? I wondered. How many babies are born on their actual due dates, anyway? (Some quick googling–which, by the way, I recommend you avoid if you’re pregnant–reveals that the answer is around five percent, or fewer.)

Of course I had to make a monkey for our baby. It took me a long time to find the right socks, but I finally found a nice silky blend, thick enough to hold the stuffing in without showing through, but soft enough as well. I love making sock monkeys. But sock monkey faces are the hardest part. For me, the eyes are the feature most difficult to get right. I’ve often embroidered a face, only to tear out whichever feature didn’t look just right, or didn’t harmonize with its friends…too wide a mouth, or too small and stiff, eyes not friendly enough, the features combine to make an impression, and what if it isn’t just right?

In preparation to make the face on this monkey, I perused baby pictures of me, of my husband. But those photos hold faces impossible for me to objectify, to analyze. Even with the experience of redoing monkey faces, the entire unmarred surface of this monkey’s face has me completely still. Our doula suggested that maybe I need to wait to see our baby before I can do the face. Perhaps she’s right.

I saw something in this monkey’s face today. The world. More than the world, all possibilities, all that can hoped for but can’t be known, all dreams and wishes and love and fear and whispers, and night-tremblings, and skinned-knee realities to come, sullied ideals, in all their brazen realness.

7 thoughts on “Our Monkey

  1. Darling,
    I’ve been thinking of you these past few days, yesterday in particular obviously. I had hoped the full moon might help somehow too. I’m not surprised googling is a bad idea when you’re pregnant. That’s got to be one of the best examples of too much information not helping. Hope it didn’t make you too anxious. I’ll be in Indiana sometime next month, which may be too soon for you to have visitors, I realize, but if at all possible I’d love to see you both, and meet the new bambina. Love, love, love,

  2. Hey Beloved monkey faces three

    Stopping by

    from this and that tree.

    I, on my way to sit her on my knee

    Knowing why

    When newest born Merida

    A love sista

    Brings tears to my eye

    Oh Joy…….


    Silly Earl and Leroy

    are here,

    They smile to see she’s occasionally coy

    Innocent love heart and a seer

    She transforms me in Oregon

    Making all so innocent and near

    Big Love from Us’n All

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