Eight months ago, we met you. They put you on my chest and you looked at me with the most priceless “What the F***?!” look I think I have ever seen. It was so appropriate, too. You had quite a journey to land there and then what do you see? A very sweaty, teary lady with the exact same expression on her face.
We have been through quite a lot since then, you and I and your daddy. A learning curve so steep it sometimes felt like we would fall off into the abyss. Numerous comparisons to raising animals, including the unfortunate habit of saying that we were taking you to the vet instead of the pediatrician. Sleepless nights. Sleepless days. Hard work, which was play for you and work for us. Lots of crying – mostly you, but some me.
And now, finally, joy. You, simply, are a joy. Your laugh is easily one of the most wonderful sounds I’ve ever heard and you smile with your entire face. You are babbling now, saying “mamamama” and “dadada”. I could really care less which becomes your official first word because I’m holding out for “dog”. It is amazing watching and hearing you acquire language.
You are beginning to crawl – that stomach scoot that is perfected in boot camp by army recruits. You are inextricably drawn to the most dangerous objects on the floor and make a regular beeline for the animals. The dog, for one, is becoming more wary of your little grabbing hands since they typically grab for his tail. On the bed, you immediately head for the edge or the nightstands with their sharp, wood edges. I can’t tell if its because you are a boy or that they are sending out some high frequency siren call that only you can hear. You are moving us into keeping-us-on-our-toes territory.
You love to play cowboy on Grandpa’s lap and continue bouncing even when he stops. You watch what we eat very intently and frequently make a grab for something that appears appetizing. You love paper. You love to crinkle it, to wave it in the air and to eat it, especially the light paper they put on the exam table at the doctor’s office. Daylight savings time has wreaked a little havoc on your wake up time, but otherwise, you are a good sleeper. You now sing when you wake up and can do it for up to an hour before you get cranky (we know, we’ve timed you). When we do go in to get you up for the day, you do the worm out of sheer joy at seeing us and shoot us megawatt smiles.
These first eight months of your life have not been easy for you or for us. But, thank you for being patient with us as we learned how to be your parents. We’re still learning (and will be doing so for the next 18 years) but you are a joy to learn on. And, while there are still days when I miss my old freedoms (Teen Mom marathon? Sign me up!), you make us laugh or display a new skill and I can let go of that former life without as much difficulty.
I am so excited to watch you grow, my little man.