Bearboy. Has it really been 8 months? Impossible. In these months, I have learned what people mean when they say "It goes so fast!" and "Time flies when they're that little." It means right when I think things are a certain way - your sleep, your favorite songs, what time of day you'll want food - it changes. And suddenly you are a whole new baby. It's wild. I used to plunk you on my chest and you would just lay there for as long as I would hold you, like this.
You don't do that anymore. Now when I go to get you after a good long sleep, you stiffen up and grin, kick your legs and do your excited gasp-for-air thing. When I pick you up, you turn in every direction and do the Water Spider - the move so frequent we had to give it a name - in which you pump your arms straight out and your legs too, with this manic face. All kinds of things make you do the Water Spider: my cell phone, the crinkle of a bag, and seeing your Papa at the end of his workday.
I've been looking at pictures of you tiny.
You had a wobbly-shaped ear and a patch of long hair in the back that I cut as soon as I got you home. Your cheek felt like leather and your little feet and hands were scaly for days. I thought you were so beautiful. You were...eventually.
Every time I take your picture and upload it, and survey the little timeline of your life from eight months ago 'til now, I can't ever imagine you being any bigger or stronger or more aware than you are in this moment. Always I am surprised when I see pictures from just a few weeks ago. Your legs were skinny and you were more bald and your face didn't light up with understanding the way it does now. Still, I can't fathom that you will keep growing and be a toddler asking for Goldfish.
Sometimes I wish I could start all over. Not with another baby, with you. You have been so squishy, so sweet, so drowsy, so giddy. When I see headlines about babies found in dumpsters or stolen from their parents or just left in a bed with no blanket, I have to turn my mind away and put my face in your face. How could I miss a second of you, on purpose? I utter sweeping, childlike prayers. I pray for all the babies, everywhere, to be loved well and treated right.
It has been such a trip watching you figure things out.
Your all-time favorite toy is your pie plate.
You also love to crush water bottles, crinkle the Subway paper, and bury your face in a magazine. Toys are pretty much wasted on you, so I'm thinking Christmas is gonna be easy. You're getting a cardboard box and a Sunchips bag made from recycled material.
You would be completely lost without your beep, your backup beep, and your Lambers.
I'm so glad I got you. That's something your Papa and I say to each other from time to time, and I will always tell you that. Nursing is one of the best things I've ever done in my life, something I really didn't see coming. And now that you're sleeping more and more in your crib like an independent boy, I hate it - something else I didn't expect. Sometimes I come get you and stuff you into bed with us anyway, and watch you throw your hands over your head and find Dustan's face in your sleep. When you wake up, before your eyes even open, you are smiling. It killllls me!
You are my favorite thing. I'm gonna put duct tape over the tooth you're sprouting, and I'm gonna push you down when you start walking. Don't learn words, or grow anymore. Okay?