Thursday, August 7, 2008

Letter from Mama, v8

Happy 8-month birthday, Miss Lil' Dude!

Last night at bedtime you were so sleepy, so you were extra-still and content on my lap in the rocking chair. I definitely seized the opportunity to breathe in your baby hairs, so clean from the bath. I just rubbed your back there in the dark, after the books had been put away and the lamp clicked off. It was you and me in the dark. You were completely still. It reminded me of when you were a tiny baby, all swaddled up in tiny fleece pajamas, your little chest rising with your sweet breaths. I think those days it was easier to be your Mama- and I say easier, not better. All Daddy or I had to do for you was take care of you. We kept your tummy full, your face clean, your bed warm. It was about bodily care.
Today, lil' dude, there is simply more to you, making my job bigger, more important. But you have this little way of letting me know I'm doing OK. You smile, you laugh, you crawl up on my leg to get up. You let me know. You little hand curls around my neck. You look all the way into my eyes. Are you getting enough to eat? The right foods? Are you content with your playthings? Are we sticking to your schedule enough? Your smiles and language tells us yes, and we relax. You're the most important thing we've ever done, you see, so we just want to be sure is all.

Last night, I brought you with me to the garden where we sat in the dirt and ate fresh sweet peas right out of the shell. I spread the tiny green pieces in my palm, outstretched before you. One at a time, you ate peas. We got dirt under our fingernails, the sun was in our eyes. It was a sweet, simple thing and you were so happy. As we pulled carrots out by the bushy stems, I gave you one to chew on. You eyes got so huge, a whole carrot just for me! I hope you always find joy in the simple things in life, to really appreciate everything you have. I am sure you will.

Now that you are on the move, it seems you've found friends in your littles at daycare. Your daycare lady tells me how much you love to play with two other little girls, now that you can keep up with them. Your first friends! This makes me so happy for you, as you learn to share and respect others. You'll learn empathy, you'll learn how to comfort, how to cooperate, how to communicate. There is nothing more important in this world than the love of friends, nothing, You'll see someday, you'll ask me questions about my friends, those who I've loved and known even longer than Daddy. These people are truly important, they make me who I am. I know you are awfully young, but you have to start somewhere. I can't help but picture you and a group of your friends sleeping in a pile on your floor someday. It's just something I wish for you, sweetheart.

I wanted to mention one other thing here quickly. Your Mama loves jewelry, especially necklaces. No outfit is complete without some sort of jewelry in my opinion. And you, well, you love jewelry too. Some of my jewelry is very special to me. I have many pieces that belonged to my great-grandma, or your great-great-grandma. I have a few pieces I bought in the Dominican Republic when I was 19. I have two island necklaces from Maui, where Daddy and I honeymooned. There are a few necklaces I found in obscure antique shops as Daddy and I shopped on our 1-year wedding anniversary. Most of my pieces tell a story- stories I will all tell you, I promise. In the mornings, when I lift you out of your crib, your hands instinctively go to my neck, looking for today's necklace. Because many of them are so precious, I've taken to putting them on in the car, or at work. I'm afraid you'll break them in your excited inspections. But someday soon, you'll be big enough to know to be gentle, and I will tell you all the stories, OK? Just be patient.

Mama loves.

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