Dear Little Mister:
You are going to be ONE in four days and I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that you are closer to a little boy than a baby. Sharing an eleventh month letter seems silly, but I started a while ago. The last few weeks have been so hard. The major transition of working on and waiting for issues with our new place to be resolved. We finally moved in almost two weeks ago and I am glad that all our stuff is in one place, even if a lot of our things are still in boxes.
Staying with your grandparents has been fun and I love seeing you get more comfortable with them. You now shake your legs and say "HI" with great enthusiasm when you see them. They love to make you laugh (just like the rest of us) by singing and dancing. You are up for anything, but especially eating! You smile and wave while saying sentences in a language that we do not quite understand. You are pulling yourself up and my heart swells as I see how big and powerful you look as you see the world from a whole new level.
You went with us to see your sister's new school and we were so surprised that you were ready to play too. We put you on the carpet and laughed as you giggled and took toys. While your big sister was shy in her new environment, she was happy to see that you liked her new school too. The ways you and she interact are getting more fun. We love seeing her make you laugh. We are all trying to be more patient with each other as we try to get adjusted. I am sorry that you get scared when she yells; she gets frustrated, tired, hungry, and needs attention. We do not always know how to fill her needs and we are working on helping her to express herself with words.
All of us, your big sister, daddy, and I have talked about missing our home in MA. I think that we have all cried because we want our old friends and our old house. As we see you explore the new house, make friends with almost everyone you meet, and start to pull yourself up to new heights, we get reminded that the best is both yet to come and growing right in front of us.
Dear Little Mister:
I want you to know a few things about me: I love you very much and often I am at a loss for what the right thing is and how to do it. I did not write you a nine month letter because I felt so unsettled and unsure. Being a grown-up is so hard. Sometimes, parents are scared and worried. I do not know how to talk about that with you or your sister in a way that is empowering. Instead, we continue to focus on making sure you are growing well and feeling loved. Even without the nine month documentation, I hope that we will remember how you and your sister bring each other joy. How watching you become more interactive is so much fun. You celebrated your first father's day in June. Adorable and sweet, you were and are as you are excited to meet new people and watch what happens around you.
The days pass and suddenly you are 10 months old. You are constantly on the move. Even as I nervously watch you continuously come to the edge of where you are "safe," I continue to learn from you. My fierce little mister; you are up for adventure, curious, and brave about the unknown. You examine what is in front of you and and if you do not like it, know that something new is waiting to be discovered if you shift...just a little bit. Even as I struggle to keep up, you are your sister constantly teach me to be comfortable with change, to welcome transition, and that creating and keeping routine is a moving target.
Dear Little Mister:
As usual the days and moments pass faster than I am able to reflect and document. The week that you officially turned eight months old, we were preparing for our first extended family vacation with your paternal side of the family. That week turned out to be much busier than expected as Daddy gave and graded final exams, flew for on-site interviews, and I had three phone interviews! Somehow, we managed to pack everything and get all of us to the airport for our 7 a.m. flight.
I was nervous about how you and your sister would do on the flight. Since you are nursing and I am mostly around, I do not pack bottles or give you formula very often. I was worried about how I was going to feed you without flashing everyone. Fortunately, you (your sister and cousin) did great on the flights. You nursed, napped, and then laughed and chatted the whole way down. While we were away, you became more interested in solid food. The importance of dinner being a family occasion and chance to socialize was reiterated as you at the best when you were in your high chair with the rest of the family, checking everything out and making sure you were heard. You also slept really well. I am not sure if it was having your own room, being close to the ocean, or being so tired from all of the fun in the sun. Maybe a combination of all three; I am trying to figure out how to spend more time near the beach :)
Over the past few weeks, you have gotten more expressive. You have a range of facial expressions that change to reflect joy, frustration, and many things in between. We continue to enjoy seeing you interact with your sister and the response to her antics. I am still waited with mostly excitement and some impatience to hear you say some version of Mama, Mom, Mommy. You are so cute and enthusiastic with saying "HI" and I think I heard you say, "yum." You are getting more comfortable sitting up and love to explore and examine things you can reach. Part of this process includes putting things in your mouth. We keep thinking that your teeth are going to come any day now and look in your mouth a lot to see if any have arrived. You are very interested in the food we are all eating and I hope that you will enjoy food as much as all of us do.
The house feels noisy and full of life. In general, you go with the flow and love visitors and being out in the world. We communicate with each other in a combination of words and sounds that we do not fully understand in our (but mostly daddy and my) tired fog, but know means some combination of "I have no idea what I am doing/this is the best thing ever/I love you so much."