Friday, October 03, 2008

Happy Birthday To You: 8 Months Old

Dear Anabella,

8 months, eh? Way to go, Kid. Lots to report on this month, for sure, but I'm going to make it brief because of the kind of week it has been for all of us. I'd prefer to reflect on some bigger issues today, instead.

You are fully sitting up by yourself now and you are so proud to be able to do it. It's not too far away before you'll be pulling yourself right forward and starting to crawl. You remain pretty chill about it all, though, and we can tell you are in no rush. Baby Girl, there are so many years ahead of you for rushing. Take it slow for now and enjoy.

You continue to expand your ever growing culinary tastes. This month we started to feed you some chunkier bits and just today you realized what the heck to do with them! You chew! Can't tell you how relieved I am to see it. This has been a tough, tough week and Mommy is on edge about your health and your safety. To see you chew those chunks like a pro and swallow them safely instead of spitting them at me or choking them down is the best gift. We'll be taking it slow here too, but what a great start you have made.

We had our first "all girls'' trip this month with Auntie Dings and baby Liv. The four days that we spent together at the cottage were incredibly precious to me and something that I will remember fondly forever. You seemed to really notice your friend for the first time and to watch you two girls interact in your own baby-way made your Auntie Dings and I swell up with joy. I hope that one day you will have the same relationship with Liv that I am privileged enough have with her mom.

As mentioned, despite the many gifts and joys that you bring to me every day, this has been an incredibly sad week for your father and I, and for many of our friends. I believe that out of great tragedy must come great learning and so I am working very hard to find some perspective and to hold it tight. I've spent some hours sitting in your room and watching you sleep this week. Something that I haven't done since you were tiny and sleeping close beside me. I'm finding that have to let you go a little bit more every day. Every day you get a tiny bit more independent and you need me a tiny bit less. But Anabella, one day you will read this and when you do I want you to know something important.

The fulfillment, love, pleasure and joy that you have brought into our lives in these eight short months is already worth more than any pain or sorrow that we will have to survive as a family. I know that this is not the last difficult week that we will go though together. There will always be more tears and more fears and more challenges. Here's the thing though. As long as we have each other, we can get though it all. All I need, all I need, is Daddy and you.

Another thing that you learned to do very well this month? Give hugs. And wow. I can't imagine a more precious development. Your hugs? They are the best therapy, the best medicine, the only drug that I'll ever need, ever again. As long as those hugs keep coming, we'll keep going. Together, us three.

I love you so much.


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