dearest phoenix hugh,
try as i might, i just can’t keep up with you and the insane speed at which you are growing. what i want to know is where my tiny wide-eyed squishy baby has gone? because all i see is a little boy, constantly in momentum, feeding himself pieces of broccoli and unleashing his toothy grin on friends and strangers alike.
your personality is getting more and more pronounced. you have a cheeky sense of humor and when you’re happy you sit up and rock back and forth waving your arms up and down as if you believe that, with just enough exertion, you might actually take flight. you have favorites now – foods (avocados) and books (hello, animals!) and songs (anything coldplay). you love being on your papa’s shoulders and like your mama, you much prefer the outdoors to staying inside.
you’re learning so much my sweet child, and doing all.the.things. meanwhile, it’s been 2 years and your papa and i still haven’t switched out our tennessee drivers licenses for californian ones. so basically, you need to cool your jets, because your ambition to knock things off your to-do list, is making us look bad.
i find that there are STILL brief snatches of time when i can’t believe i am actually a mama. i’ll be mid-shower and suddenly i’ll remember being 8 months pregnant and writing options for your name in the steam on the glass door. i vividly recall how i longed, and hoped, and prayed for you.
and now, here you are my little darling, showing up to life every day with a joyful exhuberence that is entirely infectious and spell binding.
and though you test our patience, and demand our attention, and force us out of bed at ungodly early hours on lazy saturdays, i know that you are single-dimpled-handedly polishing and refining us. there’s very little room left for our self-centered ways and our arbitrary wants. even though my eyes yearn to stay shut, there is a part of me that knows that one day i’ll ache for the bleary haze of the pre-dawn games we play – you pulling the covers over your head and back down again, your big blueberry eyes widening as you mouth ‘buh’ (your version of ‘boo!’) followed by your giant smile as if you’ve invented the best game ever.
you have started ‘talking’ a lot more and you’ve got ‘baba’s’ and ‘dada’s’ figured out. on nights when your papa puts you to sleep the two of you have come up with a ‘call and response’ routine, where your dad will make a sound and you’ll echo it in your sweet voice…until you fall asleep. and all the while, my heart breaks into a thousand tiny pieces due to an attack of cute.
i love sharing in your firsts. speaking of which…during our recent trip to tennessee we took you to a playground and you had your first swing experience. i’m so glad your papa captured the photo below, because just LOOK AT YOU.
can i also take a minute to talk about how ridiculously adorable you are when you’re naked? i really have no choice in the matter – your velvety chubby haunches just beg to be chomped.
i don’t know if it was the realization that today marks your ninth month on this side of your womb world…but for whatever reason, i felt this need to hold you long after you had fallen asleep tonight. normally, i’m so relieved when you finally give in to sleep that i deftly maneuver you into your crib and make a quick exit. but tonight, i held you close and stroked your silky, albeit unruly, hair and once again marveled at your mile long lashes. i felt the warmth of your little body pressed against mine and i thought about all those months i carried you. impatiently awaiting your arrival. so curious about what you’d look like and eager to learn all about you.
it still baffles me that i get to experience the rest of this journey through life alongside you. there are days when i feel wholly undeserving and woefully unprepared. but there are also moments, like tonight, when i let go and simply bask in this bond that you and i are creating. and in those moments i feel like i’ve actually spent my whole life in preparation for this incredible responsibility.