12 Month Letter, Posted at 13 Months

Dear Little Mister: 

You are one! When people ask me hold old you are, I find myself saying 13 months and then giggling because I realize that I no longer need to answer in month time.  I had written a one year letter which I will get to, but wanted to talk just a little bit about the first fourish weeks of the second year.  You only have one full tooth and a few more coming, but wow, can you do a lot with them. When you are nursing, one of the ways you tell me that you are finished is by chewing on my nipple. I have mixed feelings about weaning you, but in those moments I certainly feel ready to be finished.  

We are seeing the start of sibling fighting. When your sister yells, sometimes you still start crying because you get scared. Now, you sometimes yell back and pull her hair.  When she has a toy that you want or takes something that you were playing with, you do not hesistate to crawl over to her and either grab the toy, hit her, or pull her hair.  We have started putting you in the baby version of time out and separating you from your sister. I told Daddy that managing the squabbles is already exhausting and I am sort of nervous about what will happen in a few years. 

You and your sister can also make each other so happy.  Recently, your Didi (big sister) got so excited when you gave her a high five and said hello to her. She loves to hug you. You love watching her dance, sing, and read you stories.  Daddy and I love seeing you be sweet to each other.  

Now to be sentimental....

Many moons ago, Daddy and I started having conversations about sharing the rest of our lives with each other. I hope that you also have the chance to plan a future with someone that is kind to your dreams and wants to build something wonderful with you. ​Through​ the rose colored glasses of people on the verge of so many adventures, we speculated about what we thought our future would hold and what we wanted. I wish I could remember more of those conversations, but mostly I remember feeling, "I am so excited and lucky!" I also keep going back to a phrase (and various versions of it) that we repeated a lot-- "we have to be comfortable with change and expect things to be different than with thought." 

Fast forward some years and we find our days filled with being co-pilots on a plane of chaos. Our carefully laid out plans for raising our kids are constantly recreated. The past year has been so intense with job changes and moves, closing chapters, and starting new ones.  You came into our lives!!! 

Our fearsome foursome recently celebrated one year. When I see you and your sister together, I still get surprised that we have two kids.  You are starting talk more, and get teeth. A few weeks ago, you started trying to climb stairs. Before our eyes, you are transforming from our little baby into a little boy. Your laugh is still one of our favorite sounds. 
Some wise person said that one of the gifts kids give you is the chance to relive your childhood.  Taking you to the places I went as a child has brought that home to me in very real and surreal ways.  I would just add that a special gift you have given me is the chance to be a less anxious parent. When your sister was born (and still), so many things were new and unknown.  Some things are different with you, but I am glad for the chance to go through this first year again with a little bit of experience.  We go into the world together and I follow your lead with smiling and saying hello to strangers.   I let you wander around the room during library book time and yoga. I try to cuddle you patiently as you get upset during swim class.  The knowledge that I will miss these blurry baby days as you get older helps me to treasure our time together.   
Thank you for teaching me to move with confidence even if I do not know what is ahead. Thank you for making me laugh, especially when I wanted to cry. Thank you for cheering when I come into a room. Thank you for latching, so that I could experience breastfeeding. What a year!! I am so glad to know you and honored to be your mother. 
Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 4:48PM by Registered Commenter[beastmomma] | Comments1 Comment

Month 11: Making This Place Our Place

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. 



Posted on Monday, September 7, 2015 at 11:34PM by Registered Commenter[beastmomma] | CommentsPost a Comment

Months Nine and Ten: Things Unspoken and Going Places

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. 

You are discovering and sharing your voice. Making noises to let us know you want to participate in conversation. You have big belly laughs that I concentrate hard to remember as I know now from previous experience that some noises don't sound the same when they are played back on video as they do in the moment. 
We are going to get another chance to practice all of these things as we are moving to MD at the beginning of August. We are returning to something familiar as this is where I grew up, got married, and you have come to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. We are also starting something new as we build a community that reflects our roles as partners and parents.   In the grand scheme of things, your life in MA will not be something that you have memories of and most of your childhood stories will be centered around growing up in MD. 
Even though you may not remember MA, I want to make sure you know that I am thankful for the good life we built here.  A community of friends and family we created. As we prepare to leave our house here, I find myself crying as I think back to coming here just after I married your dad, bringing you and your sister at home, and all the ways the house has transformed to reflect our different life stages.   As the cliche goes, we have laughed and cried within this walls. We have felt happy, sad, scared, frustrated, and everything in between.  The best thing that has happened to me over these past six years is that I finally figured out my favorite thing about all the homes I have had (and will have) is the people in them. 
I am so happy that you are in our home and I am excited for our next adventure!
Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 9:39PM by Registered Commenter[beastmomma] | CommentsPost a Comment
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