William turned nine months this past Monday. He is certainly at a point where he is keeping us on our toes. He is always on the move and interested in what piece of furniture he can try to climb up next. While he is extremely vocal, he is still not interested in my daily attempts to have him say “Mama.” Mostly he is interested in vocalizing his discontent if I do not feed him fast enough or if I move outside his line of vision. His temper and lack of patience perfectly mirrors his mother. I know Brandon is pleased.
As I write this you are napping peacefully in your swing. Don’t be fooled. It took a solid ten minutes of coercion to convince you that I was indeed making you take a nap. You can’t be bothered with sleep. You are forever on the move exploring every toy, book, and ball you can find. You are boundless energy and I love watching you as you discover what sounds each toy will make, and how you can transfer objects from one hand to the other. It is the opportunity to see how magical every little thing in life is all over again. Except this time I cognitively understand how fascinating movement and exploration really are. What a gift that truly is.
I write to you today because I have noticed your affinity for music. In the morning when we eat breakfast you stare at the record player until I put on a tune. You love for me to swing you in the air and dance. In your playroom I watch you crawl to one of your baskets of toys and take out the drum. You turn it over and start pounding on it. You will hold the ukulele and strum a tune. One day last week you even crawled along the couch, turned over your father’s Strat and starting strumming. It was as if you had always known what to do.
Even if you never take up an instrument or pursue music as a hobby, I hope and pray that you will find as much peace and satisfaction out of a love for music as I have. Your father loves music in a different way than I do. He is a musician (I can play the piano but I’m no musician) and he enjoys the performance and the practice. I enjoy listening, memorizing songs and belting them out when I’m alone. I enjoy getting really fired up while listening to an album. My heart feels like it is beyond full because of how much I just LOVE a song or an album. Music is something that has carried me through my life through difficult and beautiful times. I wish that for you – that you may know music as something that can build you up, heal you and sometimes save you from yourself.
The romance between your father and I started because of music. We worked together in a small, cramped office and it was our shared interest in music that started our friendship. We would alternate playing songs and albums for one another. Your father introduced me to a love for Bob Dylan and I introduced him to a love for Ani Difranco. That pretty much sealed the deal. ;) We fell in love over concerts, late-night album listening sessions and conversation over the merits of artists and songs. Music has defined so much of how we came to fall in love and understand one another.
I see in you an early interest in music and a responsiveness to the different sounds you hear. It is my promise to you that I will expose you to a wide range of music, and I will take you to many concerts. I pray that you may always have the love of music to keep you company when you are lonely, and to drive you when you are moving through the chapters of life.
I love you my sweet boy.
I realized while taking William’s eight month photographs that we really hadn’t spent any time on the front porch or in the yard since he was a tiny baby. Those times he was usually asleep. That seems a distant memory now.
We started on the porch swing which led to fast disaster when he spit up everywhere. Brandon graciously offered to photoshop out the evidence on William’s outfit…I thought for the sake of these pictures we would “keep it real.”
Post disaster, we moved to the top of the stairs which quickly led to William wanting to eat the plants, lean over the stairs and otherwise make me a nervous wreck. So, we landed in the front yard. All I had to do was keep him from eating the mulch. It was quite a testament to how different things are once the baby becomes mobile. We shall never rest again.
William’s Aunt Dillon (my younger sister) came over and we went in search of a bucket swing so William could try it out. We had no luck but we did have a good time putting him in and on all the other playground toys.
There is something really special about an Aunt or Uncle. Brandon has no siblings so William’s only relationships of that nature will be my two sisters. Aunt Dillon lives in town, and William has a ball laughing and playing with her. He gets really excited whenever he sees her. I’m pretty sure he knows she will pull out a goofy face or two for him.
Aunt Whitney lives in California so he hasn’t had the chance to meet her yet but fingers crossed it will happen before he turns one. For now we send her lot’s of pictures and videos so she can watch his progress.
I fear that I spend more time writing letters to you in my head than actually putting the thoughts down.
Life has certainly changed for us in the last month. The company I worked for shut down and I lost my job January 2nd. I let you finish the week out in daycare while I got my bearings and figured out what it would mean. The following Monday you started to stay at home with me all day. At first, we struggled to find our routine. I had grown accustomed to my daily rituals at the office and the anticipation of picking you up each evening. You were used to a room full of babies, two to three ladies taking turns with you and solid meal and nap times. You have also been in the throes of some serious teething which I feel certain hasn’t helped either one of us find a daily pattern.
This past week, however, has been different for us. I’m learning to “let go” of the idea that doing more than taking care of you is a necessity. I have to teach myself that the dishes can wait, the laundry will still be there and our house doesn’t have to look “perfect” every day. I’m learning how to live “in the moment” with you and to relish each new discovery you make.
To have all of this one-on-one time with you is a gift. Granted, it’s a gift that came in a way that made life harder for us in certain areas. But, it is indeed a gift. You are crossing milestones and I’m lucky enough to see them as they happen. You are becoming a fast snake crawler. (You wriggle your body across the floor so fast but only using your legs. You haven’t quite put the elbow up on the floor together part yet). You enjoy music in a way that just makes me grin from the inside out. In the morning we listen to the radio or a record while you eat breakfast. You pay close attention to the sounds and often get distracted from eating. When we are playing you are always drawn to this musical turtles that plays different instruments. You love to play with your father’s ukulele and will seek it out from across the room.
This is a time of great stress for our family because of the unknown. But I can say without a doubt, that even in the moments where our future is so unclear – when I feel like I’m carrying a great load of burden – I am so in awe of this love that I have for you. Each day you teach me to be a little more patient with the world – and myself. And I know that when this time has passed I will ache for these days with you.
You are so very loved and treasured, my sweet boy.
I love you.
Here we are at six months. This photograph required some serious wrangling. William is no longer the passive baby who will lie flat on his back while I snap 30 pictures. This go round he was pulling at the sticker, reaching for toys and rolling from front to back to front. After many unsuccessful attempts at the “normal” picture, I realized it made the most sense to just let him be on his stomach. These days, as he is navigating the exciting world of learning to crawl, he is more agreeable when able to make a move. And so my little baby starts to be not such a little baby anymore.
I won’t bore you with the familiar rants of how my baby is growing up and how time is passing so quickly. I will tell you that every day I am more in awe of this little person growing right in front of me. His personality has really come to surface and he is many of the beautiful things of his parents and many of the infuriating. As his godmother and my best friend so eloquently put it, “He is SASSY like his parents.” It’s true. This child lets you know exactly what he wants when he wants it. Lately, he has been letting us know in no uncertain terms that he does not want to go to sleep at the bedtime we have selected. You can walk him from the darkness of his bedroom to the light of the hallway and his crying will turn off and on like a switch. And temper. Oh, my boy has a temper. Sometimes when I’m playing with him or just watching him, I can so clearly see what type of little boy he will be. He is spirited, hilarious, stubborn and smart. He will keep us on our toes at every turn and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There are days where I forget that at one time – only a couple of months ago – William was tiny. We joked before he was born that there was no sense in having any newborn clothes because he would never wear them. The day we brought him home from the hospital he was swimming in his baby blue newborn one-piece.
I love this picture of us. At the time this shirt was entirely too big for him, but I just loved the cute little dog on the front. Now his little belly has it busting at the seams.
I can honestly remember this moment clear as day. It was hot summer and the AC was on full blast. William was napping soundly in my arms and I was perfectly content to be right there in that moment. There aren’t too many moments in my life where I could freeze them and say I was one-hundred percent content to be exactly where I was. William has introduced that feeling to my life.
1. Even though you know your baby will pee all over the couch if you remove his diaper without something underneath his bottom….you will still leave out the blanket and “chance it.”
2. No matter what your baby looks like – you will swear your baby is cuter than all other babies. You just will.
3. There will be clothing with tags still on them that your baby never even wears.
4. Prior to baby you will proclaim, “I’m not going to let my baby watch TV until he’s 2 because the APA says you should wait.” But one day you will find yourself thinking it’s adorable that your 3 month old is captivated by the baseball game on TV.
5. You may have never cried while receiving a shot yourself, but when you see your little baby getting a shot in his little meaty leg you will sob.
6. Babies must have socks on. At all times. It may be 72 in the house and your baby may not have even the slightest hint of a cold but THE BABY MUST WEAR SOCKS.
7. As a lactating mother you will leak milk in your bed during the night…and you will still wait until the weekend to wash the sheets. Sorry folks, but it’s true.
8. On that note…The La Leche League conveniently leaves out of their leaflets on pro-breastfeeding that pumping three times at work, driving a half hour at the end of the day to daycare to rush home to breastfeed, make dinner, do laundry, breastfeed again, bathe baby, breastfeed again and put him to bed….will leave you beyond exhausted and highly emotional.
9. You will routinely find yourself sniffing your baby. His hair, his face, his ears, you name it…There is nothing like the smell of your own baby.
10. In times of desperation when baby is wailing and you are fifteen minutes from home…You may find yourself leaning over the baby’s car seat to feed him some milk while your husband drives with a huge grin on his face.
11. Every sound, movement or flutter in the wind on the baby monitor will instantly make you panic. You may insist your husband get out of the bed to go put his hand on the baby’s back to make sure he’s still breathing.
12. No matter how Type A or prepared of a person you think you are….when you have a baby you will routinely leave diapers, wipes, clothes, toys, etc. at home and not in the diaper bag.
13. You will routinely tell your baby that you want to eat him. I don’t know why but you do.
14. Because your baby is so magical and adorable in your eyes you will find yourself thinking, “I would love to have five more just like him.” Your husband will quickly bring you back to reality.
15. Every moment, every experience, every hour of the day is ten times more important and meaningful since your baby came into the world. It is unexplainable.