Yesterday, you turned 6 months old. That’s one half of one whole year, which is kind of a big deal, don’t you think? We celebrated by feeding you rice cereal for the first time, lounging around the house, playing, laughing and napping. I thought about writing this letter to you during different moments throughout the weekend, but decided I’d rather just hang out with you and your papa instead. I think I chose wisely. We had such a nice and lovely time.
Since I see you every day, it’s hard to see how much you’ve grown, but after recently looking at the photos of the day you were born, I realize that you are so much bigger. You are so long that when I cradle you, your feet dangle over the arms of the rocking chair. You aren’t chubby, but your face is full and your thighs are plump (and every inch just begs to be squeezed). You don’t have teeth yet, but we can see the glimpses of them growing beneath your gums.
You are continuing to learn about the world, and it is so fun and fascinating to watch. You are figuring out how to use your hands and legs. You want to grab things and go places. You can’t get very far yet, but you try. You are learning how to get our attention, not just with crying, but with cough sounds and squeals, and you have gotten pretty good at telling us what you need. You understand more than I expect you to, like you know that reading books with papa and me means bedtime is coming and that walking to the microwave means that your bottle is on its way. You’re constantly surprising me with what you know. Just this morning, I handed you a sippy cup as a toy and you pulled it toward your mouth as if you wanted to take a drink.
I am grateful that I get to witness you learn, change and grow. But I am just as grateful for the lessons you are teaching me.
I am learning to be more present. I have always been the type of gal who does a dozen things at once, but you have taught me to slow down and enjoy the moment. I have my hands full with you, often literally, so I can’t do all that I used to, even if I wanted to. Instead, I am finding joy in just being here with you. In feeding you, bathing you, changing you. I even watch you sleep sometimes. Everyone tells me how quickly you will grow up–and aren’t these letters all about how you’re already doing just that?–so I am trying to soak it all in while I can.
I am learning to take baby steps. I used to make to-lists a million miles long, and I’d be lucky to get even a handful of those things done. But now I realize if I make smaller lists, I can actually check things off. I am more realistic with my goals and more efficient with my time. As a result, I have gotten so much done.
I am learning empathy. Whenever I get frustrated by something you do or the way you act, I remember that you are a brand new person in this brand new place, trying to make your way. I realize that I’ve felt the way you do, and it helps me find patience and understanding.
I am not sure if any of this makes sense–if it’s evident that you are the one teaching me these lessons or how you’re doing it. I just know that you are. I know that I am a better person because I want to be, and that it all started when you came into our lives. I want to be a good person, for you, for your papa, and for me.
I love you so much, darling son of mine. Happy 6 months! And happy 6 more. Let’s make ‘em good.
Your biggest fan,