8 Months

You saw snow falling for the first time, against the backdrop of the leaves that turned yellow and orange over the course of days, and I was there. I don’t take it for granted that I am there for all of your firsts, for your wide eyes and agape mouth as your mind expands.
It’s a season of firsts. That’s always the case for a little person, I suppose
your first overnight trip–to a little cabin on the prairie in Livingston with trips to Yellowstone and Bozeman
the emergence your first teeth
your first bad cold
your first halloween! You were a ladybug. Your friend Alice and her sweet family came over and you and I watched from the window as Papa handed out andy to almost 1,000 kids.
your first time rocking on hands and knees then crawling backwards, then standing on your hands and feet as you try and figure out this crawling thing, whether your parents are ready or not
the first time Mama came escaped your lips, after  you “Ba-ba-ba-ba’ -ed yourself to sleep one night. From then on, you’ve been talking, talking talking.

You are the greatest joy imaginable. Your smiles and laughs have grown in intensity and we all just laugh and laugh together for much of the day. I love this age so very much. I love that I get to spend all my days with you.

Your whole body jolts with excitement when we get up for the day. A big squeal and accompanying jolt and we’re off!

You want to experience everything. You don’t like being stuck somewhere when the action is elsewhere.

You love to watch as I prepare dinner. I put you in your high chair and drag it over to my prep are and you watch on with delight. This allowed us to make two special cakes for Papa’s birthday last month.

When you’re playing with your books in the other room, slightly of sight of us, you peer around the corner to make sure we’re still there, smiling broadly when you see us. This kills us.

You are back to napping in my arms. I see it as a privilege now. Maybe I’m becoming a little wiser in the 20 years I’ve aged over the past 3/4 of one.

Speaking of aging me… you got a virus of some kind, you vomiting all over us both at the store, me standing there stunned. Now that’s gone and a cold (probably from urgent care) has crept in. Poor Buggy.

You love eating! You get annoyed when we put you in your high chair and don’t feed you.

You’re mesmerized by the fireplace.

Life at this time is hard but simple. Your needs are all encompassing but straight forward. I know some day soon I will look back on this time with such fondness and nostalgia. A time where most of the time I could give you all it is you desire. Me.
To be in my arms, nursing or wrapped in them. To be playing but see my face looking back at you when you peer around the corner. All of us, together, cuddling on the couch.

Sometimes, when I’m feeling daunted especially, I think about a mantra I adopted when you were even smaller… it won’t be forever. And it’s true. It won’t be forever that all you need is me. That I will have the superhuman power to cure you of all woes. It won’t be forever that it’s me and you, all day and night, yet you still smile when you see me after just moments apart.

But maybe it will be forever that our foreheads meet as we laugh uncontrollably over something silly. Or that you find peace laying your head on my shoulder when you’re sick.

I tell you all the time you are everything good. And it’s true. We are in awe of you, our sweet Bea girl.

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