Yesterday you turned 9 months old. 9 months. All of a sudden you are a little BOY instead of a baby. I know it’s been happening all along, but it hit me yesterday like a ton of bricks. I put you in a little t-shirt and khaki shorts (in honor of Daddy’s birthday, which was also yesterday, the shirt said “I’d rather be naked”, which was one of Daddy’s favorite pastimes as
an adult a child), and all of a sudden your tiny body didn’t look so tiny anymore. You stood up proudly and you didn’t wobble on your legs like you once did. You climbed all over me and Daddy and the furniture and all at once you seemed more like a fearless rock climber rather than a fumbling baby.
You do things with such purpose now — grabbing my glasses off my face when you wake up in the morning, twirling my curls of hair as I change your diaper, putting your sippy cup to your lips when you are thirsty.
You grab things with such precision that it shocks me every. single. time. The way you can flip your body over in a split second and take off into a crawl towards something you want (ahem, 99% of the time it’s a cell phone!) is still surprising to me.
People can’t help but smile as you toddle around, holding my fingers or a piece of furniture. You always have your trademark open-mouthed perma-grin on your face when you are on the move. It’s not hard to figure out what makes you happy. Your little feet slap the ground and the simple act of walking brings you so much joy it seems that you might burst with happiness.
This month, being able to move and crawl and squirm and scoot and walk and cruise and climb has turned you into a little person beyond the reach of my arms. And while sometimes I want to scream, “STOP!” and just pause this precious time in our lives, it’s just so beautiful to watch you become your own person that I am in awe.
In the last few days you have become amazed by doors and drawers. Anything that opens and closes. You will park your cute little butt next to a door swing it back and forth, back and forth. This morning you shut the door to your nursery and when it slammed shut your little eyes danced. You were so darn proud of yourself. I have a feeling this means there will be some smashed fingers in our near future, but you seem to be quite the tough cookie about bumps and bruises. You could care less as long as someone is there to give you a kiss and a quick snuggle, and then let you do right back to doing whatever you were doing when you got hurt.
Now that you’ve learned to pull up to a stand on just about anything, we often find you standing in your crib after your nap (with your lovey dangling out of your mouth, no doubt). Shockingly, though, you still haven’t really figured out how to go from sitting to laying down. You can sit up, stand up, cruise around and sit back down, but for some reason you have trouble going straight from sitting to laying down. I know babies often get “stuck” standing up when they first learn to pull up on things, and I was so proud of you for learning how to sit back down before you learned to stand up. I thought we were in the clear for the “I’m going to sit here and cry in my crib until someone LAYS ME DOWN”. Apparently we are not in the clear — but you get stuck sitting instead of standing. Yesterday you were so tired for your nap, but you were “stuck” sitting. You were crying so pathetically that I went in to check on you and you were literally hunched over trying to sleep sitting up.
Poor little dear. Maybe you DO still need Mama after all.
Owen, I can’t even tell you how thrilling it is, as the person who brought you into this world, to be able to watch you become a real person right before my eyes. Not that you haven’t been a person until this point, but there is something so special about you growing and learning and exploring when I’m not holding you in my arms. It breaks my heart and fills it with joy at the same time. That, right there, is the most amazing thing about being a mother. You’re mine, but you’re not mine. You’re part of me, but you’re totally your own person. You are so much like me and Daddy, but you are also 100% you.
I love you. Loving you fills my brain all day, every day. It’s hard to even think about anything else. You may be growing up, but you’re still my little baby. You will ALWAYS be my little baby.
All my love,