Six months. Half a year. There is something overwhelming about the fact that you’re now closer to the one-year mark than the newborn one. At the same time, it feels like you’ve been with us for a lifetime.
You are joy. Simple. We cannot and will not get over how extraordinary you are. Your smile, your squishy, roll-y body, your squeals, your laughs, your jokes, your intensity, your concentration, your sweetness, your love. Everything.
Let it be known, in case I ever doubt it, I soak you in every chance I get. When you are sleeping on me and breathing deep or nuzzling against my face or grabbing my arm to help you go to sleep at night, I breathe slowly and deeply. Or when I catch your eye and your whole face lights up, I hold on to that, too. I hold on to everything. It’s hard letting your babyhood go. But that is life, indeed.
You are a beautiful human being, inside and out.
You are sensitive, empathetic, and intensely aware. All I know is you are not like most babies. I don’t know what this means for the type of child or adult you will be, but as a baby it means when you’re happy you are so incredibly happy. You smile at strangers who engage with you, but the biggest smiles, those are reserved for us. But when you’re upset… well, when you’re upset, I’m really upset, let’s just put it that way. It is fierce, and there is no coming back from it. We’re bonded in a way I never knew possible.
You marvel at everything. Anywhere I take you, as long as you’re attached to me, you’re so engaged and eager to learn about the world. Today we went to a tour of an experimental apple orchard and you just took it all in, gazing at the trees and studying the pieces of apple as I brought them to my mouth. I should have chewed some up and given it to you, mother bird style, as your first food. You got tired toward the end and I lifted you out of your carrier and you rubbed your face against mine and we all just melted. Seriously.
You are made up of approximately one thousand rolls. I am one proud mama. Neck rolls, arm rolls, belly rolls, leg rolls… too many to count. Cheeks for days. Dark, piercing eyes and dark hair filling in so much that I can comb it over now. No teeth(ies) yet. Gosh, you’re cute.
You’re starting to sit up for a little bit at a time and it’s so fun to watch. You still topple, but you’re getting there. You try and sit up Still not a fan of time on your belly, so I’m not sure crawling is going to be a thing for you. To be determined.
You love love love eating books, chewing on your crocheted veggies and most recently a real cucumber, your ladybug, pretending to drink water out of a glass after I do, tupperware, hanging out in your high chair while I cook and narrate what I’m doing, dancing and singing together, snoozing in the carrier.
I kiss your belly repeatedly and you laugh and laugh and laugh. It’s the best.
This month we hiked a few trails in Glacier, the Danny On in Whitefish, and the Mt. Aeneas trail. The last one was so beautiful and a feat for us all. But it felt good. We arrived and it was well under 50 degrees, so I put every piece of clothing I had on you, including two jackets. We put you in the big backpack and Papa carried you almost to the summit, we nursed, then I put you in the Ergo for the rest of the ride. I love watching you take in the world, mouth agape, as if to say Wow. This is what the outside world is about.
I am in heaven the vast majority of the time. But this is hard for me, too. I don’t want to ever misrepresent these early days to you. I struggle a lot, mostly due to sleep deprivation. Sleep has been a continuous source of stress for all of us. After a brief (heartbreaking) period apart as we tried to help you learn to sleep on your own, we’re bed mates again. We learned a lot from that ordeal, even if I need to show myself a lot of grace to look at it that way. You belong in bed with me, simple. Even if it’s not perfect. Though I love hearing you babble to yourself before bed and when you wake up and are not quite sure that it’s morning. If my back is turned to you you paw it like you’re a baby lion cub playing with her mama and coo. When I turn on a low light and you lock eyes with me and realize it’s morning…there’s that grin again. We cuddle and nurse and honestly it’s pretty blissful, even if the night before leaves me desperate for rest. I know the day will come when you’re ready to sleep alone. I know the day will come when I look back at this time with all-consuming nostalgia.
It’s bizarre to see small children running around and realize you’ll be one of them sooner than I think. Won’t you be my baby forever? Rubbing your face against mine and holding my head in your hands? I hope you always do that, no matter how old you are.