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Archive for April, 2013

Four months.

Dear Hank,

When I wrote to you last month (admittedly, we are a couple of weeks past your four-month mark already), I felt you weren’t so different from the month before. This time around, you have catapulted yourself forward in various wonderful, adorable ways. My love for you, too, has surged, to a degree that I never could have imagined was possible. I think all moms say that, but it’s true. This love is something else!

Indeed, since I last wrote to you, we have both been doing a lot of growing up. Your growth is easier to measure, perhaps, but mine is just as marvelous, as I adjust to this new identity as your mom. It is quickly becoming my primary identity. More and more, nothing else seems to matter very much.

Here are several ways in which we can measure your growth:

You roll now — not every day, but more and more frequently. You mostly roll from back to front, and I admit we probably don’t give you enough time on your tummy for you to practice rolling front to back. We’re working on that.

You are totally in love with your fingers. They are always in your mouth — often two at once, taking after your Uncle Mikey. When I sing to you and rock you before bed, you make such a ruckus sucking on your fingers. Your pacifier is a sorry substitute.

You can grab your feet now. You find this much easier to do when you are naked, unencumbered by all these annoyingly adorable outfits I insist on dressing you in. I anticipate your feet will follow the path of your fingers and you’ll get one into your mouth any day now — goodness knows, you are trying!

You have laughed, just a few times, and only briefly, but it is the most amazing sound your dad and I have ever heard. When you aren’t laughing, you are smiling, hugely and gleefully. I observe other babies, and it seems none of them are nearly as happy as you are (though their moms would likely disagree). I take no credit; your good nature is all your own, and if anything I am grateful to you for it: I smile much more now, too.

You are too young for sitting up or standing or walking, but if I prop you up on something, you stay there on your feet, as if standing all by yourself. It is terribly cute, this too-tiny baby seemingly mimicking a baby a few months his senior.

Something huge: You sleep in your crib now. I wasn’t eager to move you out of our room, but I wasn’t sleeping well. Every noise or movement you made woke me up. I was so nervous the first night we put you down in your crib, but you were a champ and slept for a stretch of several hours as usual. You were ready, even if I wasn’t! It’s been a few weeks now, and you’ve shifted your bedtime earlier and earlier. We used to let you convince us to keep you up with us till 9 or 10 at night, but the past several nights you have been asleep by 7. You tend to wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning to eat, which hopefully you’ll grow out of on your own at some point. For now, I don’t mind. After all, despite all your growing up lately, you are still my tiny little baby. Those quiet moments together at night are ours and ours alone, and even when I have to drag myself out of bed to get to you, I always end up cherishing them.

Plus, now, when you wake up at 6 or 7 “for the day” (a funny designation, since you are back to sleep again an hour later), I get to bring you into our bed and play with you while Daddy goes downstairs to work. When you eventually get cranky, I nurse you and then we fall back asleep together, snuggled tight. This is by far the biggest perk of working from home: that I get to take a quick nap with my baby every morning instead of dressing myself for the office. It is so sublime, to feel you relax into slumber as I shush against your forehead. For now, that is how you can express your love to me, by showing me how safe you feel in my arms.

The weather is warming up, and we are spending more time outside. The other day, we took Granny’s quilt out onto the lawn and read books together while Daddy ran errands. I’m glad you’re finally getting some fresh air.  Over the weekend, we tried to take you to the park to test the baby swings, but you wanted to nap in your carrier instead. Again, you are my tiny baby, and I don’t mind waiting a bit longer to shove you into new experiences.

This week, we have been visiting daycares, with plans of enrolling you part-time this summer. I have such complicated feelings about putting you in daycare. I know that it needs to happen. Especially once your dad starts working outside the home, I simply won’t be able to watch you and do my job. You deserve someone’s full attention, and so does my job. Daycare will be good for you, but as much as I know I will do well to have my own time back during the week, I will miss you so much.

Another important milestone: You and I had our first weekend alone recently. Daddy was away from Friday till Monday. I missed him, so much so that I cried a little as I saw him pull out of the drive on the way to the airport, but you and I had so much fun! We kept very busy, and the weekend flew by. On Friday, your grandparents came over for dinner, and Nana helped give you a bath (you love your baths so much). On Saturday, we hosted brunch for the moms and babies from our first mommy-and-me class. It had been a couple of months since we’d seen the babies — like you, they had all grown up so much. On Sunday, we had class and then brunch at your friend William’s house. Of course, we were thrilled when Daddy finally came home on Monday morning. You gave him such big smiles — it was clear you had missed him too.

And therein I was forced to realize my growth. Hank, not once over the course of that weekend did I feel like you were too much for me. Not once did I wish someone else could take you and give me a break. I thought I would be overwhelmed by the responsibility, I thought you would exhaust me, but it turned out that there was nothing else I would have rather been doing and no one else I’d rather be doing it with. The best parts of the weekend were when you and I were alone together, living our little life. Is it too early to declare that you are my best friend?

Oh, and there is this other little thing (which feels like a very big thing to me) you do with your hands — squeezing them into fists and opening them again, over and over. You do this against my neck and shoulder when I hold you when you’re tired or sad, and it feels like you’re hugging me over and over again with your little hand. I melt. Every time, I just melt.

Before we could leave the hospital with you, we had to first sign a form basically promising we wouldn’t shake you out of frustration. But what am I to do with this urge I feel to squeeze you way too tight because I can find no other adequate way to express how hugely I love you?

I love you so, so much.

Love,

Mama

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