Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Letter from Mama, v16

Happy 16-month birthday, lil' dude!

Honestly, I wrote 17 when I started that line. I don't know how I shorted you an entire month- on one hand, you change day to day and shorting you 30 days would be a drastic missive in my world. But on the other hand, mostly you seem like a kindergartner trapped in a toddler's body. So, it could go either way. But happy 16 months for sure!

This month you've said about 28 new words, got your first haircut, witnessed the removal of the baby gate, and celebrated March Madness with Daddy. The speed at which you pick up things is nothing short of incredible. How you now can grab your diaper and run to the changing table when you're wet. I hope that translates into early potty training. You opened the bathroom door last night just by turning the knob like real, big people do. You help feed the dog and clean up after him; we ask you where the remote/bird book/jacket is and you're offering it up to us 5 seconds later. You're a complete blur most the time. You want to help so badly- with anything Daddy or I do. Email. Laundry. Stir on the stove. Take things out of bags. Through this, I have found myself acting and thinking like you are much older than you are. We speak to you like adults speak to each other. We understand your every motive, all your intentions, and I feel like I am barely a step ahead of you on most of them.

There's a line from a book we both love, Olivia, and it goes;
"You know you really wear me out. But I love you anyway," the mama pig says.
"I love you anyway too," says Olivia.
It's the last page in the book and it always makes me smile. Reminds me of us.

There are moments, like earlier this week, where I can see the old you in the new you. I can see the baby lil' dude instead of the girl. I'll have you on the changing table and you'll be quiet, and relatively still. Then, you'll jerk your arms and legs, drawing them up against your warm body. Your eyes will fix on mine and all of a sudden you're the baby I brought home from the hospital, all silent and eyes and quickfire limbs. I'm left in those moments wondering if you are remembering too, when we whispered and swayed and fit together perfectly. Do you remember? Can you remember what it was like before you were the you now? Are you surprised by your own growth and movement and adaptation and stamina? The sheer force of your tiny will?

Soon, soon now, you'll be able to look at me and tell what it is you remember and what it is you feel each morning when your face rises to meet mine. How I'll ask you what the good part of your day was, and what the bad part of your day was and you won't even hesitate to speak, to fill my ears and world with more and more of you. Until there is so much of you we'll feel the same, until you can tell me your story instead of me always telling you your story.

The days, they are not far away. And believe me when I say I more excited than you can imagine.

Mama loves.

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