Next week you will be eleven months old. That means that you are almost one year old. That also means that one year ago, I was gigantic and hot and uncomfortable because you were inside my body — pressing on my lungs, kicking my bladder and stretching against my hip joints. Now when I look at your belly button, I marvel at where we were once attached. I poked at you the other day and told you that that’s where you were joined to mama. And then I tickled you until you laughed, and laughed, and laughed.
Sam, I can’t tell you how amazing you are right now. I know it’s been a few months since I’ve written to you, but it’s not because I haven’t been thinking about you — it’s likely because I’ve been chasing you up the stairs, watching your dad teach you new words, or trying to monitor exactly how much dog saliva is getting on your face, inside your mouth, and all over your clothes. If someone had tried to describe to me what having an almost-eleven-month old is like — well, they couldn’t have. That’s the thing about parenting an infant; it’s indescribable.
Someone could have told me … “Oh, my ten month old likes to smile at me when he sees me come into his bedroom in the morning” or “Wait til he says ‘Mama’ for the first time and looks right at you!” or “You’d better watch him — once he starts climbing stairs, he will be RIDICULOUSLY FAST.” I would have understood those statements and perhaps even made note of them. In fact, I remember my sister-in-law talking about our nephew around the same age — “He is just THE BEST!” — and I still didn’t get it. You don’t understand IT until it’s sitting in your lap, watching “Wind in the Willows” with you at 5AM, contentedly drinking a bottle and putting his tiny little hand right on your arm.
I know that’s all some mushy stuff that you won’t understand for a long time, but it means a lot to me to write it down at this very moment in your life and mine. Everything feels so magical right now to me — it’s this time of year that does it to me, because everything about this time of the year reminds me of waiting to bring you into this world. It’s a smell memory. A feeling memory. The Japanese separate the idea of the early summer from the late summer, because they are such different stages of a season. The late summer — the cicadas, the dragonflies, the first breath of fall in the hot, humid air, the brown grass and the drooping Crepe Myrtle by our basement door, heavy and sensuous with dark pink blossoms — all of these things will always remind me of waiting for you. For as long as I live, August and early September will be special, beautiful weeks when my senses are filled, and my body remembers what it is like to wait to meet someone that you will love forever.
This past two weeks or so, something pretty magical happened in your life — and perhaps this memory will take its place in late summer as well. You began talking. A lot, and more and more. “Aya!” was your first word (that means “Leela”), followed by “daw” (dog), mama, dada, “Up! Up! Up!” (mimicking daddy telling Leela to go upstairs) — and our daycare provider says you are also saying “A-ka-ka” for Annika (the name of another little girl who goes there). You’ve also begun “reading” books to yourself, flipping the pages and narrating like we do when we read to you. “A go go go go. Ga ga ga ga. Da da da. Ba!” You don’t have the words down right, but we get the point. You understand that pictures and words come from books. Totally. Brilliant.
I know that every other parent experiences this too. They laugh and clap at milestones, and they marvel at the rapid development of language. They think their kid is the BEST and the smartest and the most fantastic creation that’s ever existed.
And that’s what we think about you. And we always will.
Today, your daddy said to me, “I don’t care if he goes to college or makes a ton of money. I just want him to be happy. And not a total loser.”
We know you won’t be. Because you are just THE BEST.
I love you,
Welcome to the Savvy Mom Space
I’m a liberal feminist that believes that liberal, feminist ideals should gel with embracing your gender and motherhood (if that’s what you feel like doing). I support all kinds of moms and dads and parents. Oh and, although I totally love that natural vibe and not harming the environment, I supplement my organic milk and fresh fruits and veggies with the occasional Twix, the frequent Oreo, and the daily Coke Zero. I’m opinionated, not easily offended, and a loudmouth in person and on the internet. I am what I am. Welcome.