My sweet, precious Emmett,
You are one month old. Ok, ok, you are actually one month and 5 days old, but this is just about the first chance I’ve had to sit and write to you since then. And, while I’m being honest, these pictures were not taken when you were one month old — you were really 2 weeks old. We haven’t gotten our act together to pose your monthly pictures yet.
But please don’t be offended. The lack of pictures or timeliness of my letters is far from an indication that you are any less loved than your brother. In fact, it’s really proof that I’ve been doing a lot more gazing at you without a camera in my hand. I’ve breathed in your baby smell while rocking you in your nursery. I’ve spent my time fending off your brother who adores you so much that he wants to climb all over your body to show you and pat you and touch you. I’ve taken you out on the town almost every day. To see friends, to the grocery store, on walks, to pick up Owen from school. You and I are living symbiotically; it’s like we’re one person. Where I go, you go, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. We’ve done so much together already that I can barely believe it’s only been a month.
I know it may be hard to tell a newborn’s personality immediately, since they all just eat and sleep and poop, but from the moment you rushed out into this world (and I do mean rushed… what was the hurry?) so many people have used the same word to describe you: ALERT. Alert, and, now that it’s been a month and we’ve had a chance to get to know each other, I would add CALM. You are a very content little person. Chill and quiet (most of the time) and happy to be carried around from thing to thing, person to person.
But, at the same time, you are awake more than any other newborn I’ve ever seen. Your gray-blue eyes are wide, taking it all in. You have a still, quiet intensity about you, like you’re soaking everything in — the sights, sounds, smells. And you’re thinking. Constantly thinking. Processing. Learning. I await the day when you have the words to share what’s going on in that beautiful head of yours. Though perhaps you’ll be a man a few words, revealing only the parts you want others to see. Only time will tell.
Sometimes, while resting your head on my shoulder, your breathing will slow and align with mine, and your head feels heavy, and I’ll peek at you to see if you are asleep… but your blue eyes are still twinkling. Open wide. Taking it all in.
This last week you have started smiling. REALLY smiling. We saw glimpses of what your smile would look like in the early days — probably gas at the time, but we marveled at your double dimples and the way your eyebrows raised and lit up your face anyway. These days you often have a bemused expression, like you’re laughing at your own private joke. Or you’re on the verge of that huge, open-mouthed smile I’ve only seen in your sleep. And once in a while, usually right when you wake up from a nice nap, you look me right in the eyes and grin.
Oh, that grin will knock a grown man to his feet. It’s a powerful thing, my child.
You have a regular flow to your days. You wake up, nurse hungrily as if you’ve never eaten before, and then you’re ready for a long happy awake time. You lay on your back kicking your legs and smile at the wall, the ceiling, Owen, Schnitzel, whatever passes within your field of vision. You stay awake for almost 2 hours most days, just chillin’. Then you nurse again and usually fall asleep while I pat your back. You love to be patted, jostled, bobbled, bounced. Can’t get enough. I can only imagine how much you were wiggled and jiggled in my belly, as I was very active when I carried you around for 9 months. After that I swaddle you and put you in your crib again (or sometimes give in to your quiet breathing and sit on the couch with you on my shoulder for as long as I can). The rest of your day is a cycle of sleeping, eating, pooping (usually while eating), happy awake time, and more sleeping.
Come 5 or 6pm your ‘tude takes a turn. I’m not sure what it is about this witching hour (ahem, hourS), but you are fussy and hungry and difficult to figure out until “bed time”, which is around 9pm for now. We’re getting the hang of it, but usually calming you during this time involves feeding you and feeding you and feeding you some more, and bouncing you with the noise of the tv in the background. You simply will NOT be in your crib or the quiet nursery at this time. I guess I should be thankful… learning to sleep through noise will serve you well in life, little guy. Especially in this house. And in college. Keep it up.
I can’t brag about your night time sleep since you’re not really into sleeping long stretches, but I am thankful that you are incredibly easy to put back to sleep. I can almost always put you in your crib drowsy but awake, and so far you really haven’t needed much rocking or swaying or shhhing the way your big brother did. Still, I’d love to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time… mmkay? Can we try that?
Oh Emmett, I may never have the time to write down all of the reasons you are special and loved and so, so precious to me. And I may not take your monthly pictures on the right day, or even at all. And it is inevitable that you will be compared to Owen as we discover ways that you are similar and different. But you must always know that I am madly, head-over-heels in love with you, and there isn’t a darn thing you could ever do to change that.
From the very first moment you arrived, you stretched my heart in a way I never imagined.
P.S. You make these hilarious squeaky sounds while you sleep and eat. For a few days we even nicknamed you “Squeaks”. But it didn’t stick. You know what did? Bonky Bonks. For the way you bobble your head around and peck our shoulders like a baby bird when you are hungry. I’m so sorry if this one sticks, my little Bonky Bonks.