This is what the homestretch looks like and I must tell you that it’s leaving me a bit sad and wistful. You delight us in each moment that you are awake and asleep, but each day you shed a bit more of that dependence on us as you feed yourself, turn your own book pages, motor around the house from one object to another, dive out of our arms and into your bed before we are quite done snuggling your delicious sweetness.
Always a kid that loves food, you’ve taken your appreciation of good eats to new heights this past month. I have enjoyed cooking for you for the past five months – you’ve let me try everything from the basics to the bizarre, gulping down every last bite and begging for more. I no longer have to puree those lovely dishes to within an inch of their life – you pick up each bite and transfer it in, making short work of it with just two teeth a few weeks ago to now eight teeth in the past few days. Even your smile looks older this month.
Your personality comes through so clearly in your face – a sour blueberry won’t stop you – it’s just a good opportunity to get a laugh out of the crowd. Your smile comes easily to friends and strangers alike, and your wave is on auto-pilot with the gray-haired crowd in any room.
Most notably, this month, is the change in your relationship with your older sister. I know she can get a bit overbearing at times, but you are so very hard to resist and put down, even when we know you want (and need) your own space. But now you watch her, and follow her, and sometimes even need her and it delights her to no end to be needed by you. You’ve replaced that look of tolerance to one of admiration, and occasionally a look that very clearly demonstrates your early grasp of inequality. Sometimes she has things (strawberries) that you cannot have (yet) and even at eleven months you know this is unfair, holding your empty carton that used to have blueberries, wise beyond your days on this earth.
Next month we’ll celebrate your first birthday and everyone will marvel at how quickly the time has gone by. We will not marvel. We see it as we tuck in your sister’s ten foot long legs and watch you fill up more and more of your crib each night. It is as everyday and expected as the sun and the moon, and the urgency to slow it down and enjoy every plump and juicy bite is nothing new. Oh my, how we try to.
Happy birthday, my girl in blues.