lulu letters: month 10

Updated: Sep 15

Hello, Angel Face.


You are officially a person: full of heart, spunk, courage, curiosity, and all kinds of passion. You are constant – moving, exploring, go-go-going, trying to express yourself, and taking it all in with rather astounding comprehension. You are endlessly exhausting and endlessly the beautiful core of life.



7.16


You listened to me this morning. You crawled toward the cords, and I said firmly, “Ehp! Lulu, no.” You stopped and looked right at me, then tried again. We repeated this three times. Then you crawled away. WOAH!! Magical.


One of the funniest things to you these days is someone walking up our stairs. You can barely handle it – cackling, laugh-coughing with your Goofy-type “Eh-ya!” (I have no idea how to convey that sound in writing, but your mouth is wide open, and it’s kind of a yawp-type sound that rises at the end.)



7.17


Your pincer grasp! I made you a frittata with butternut squash, kale, and ricotta and cut it up into tiny tiny pieces, smaller than my pinky nail. You picked up those pieces, as well as the smashed blueberries. Less and less goes into your bib.


The other big news is that you’re learning how to CLAP!! Babies clapping is pretty much the cutest thing imaginable. I peek back at you in my rearview mirror and see your reflection in the mirror (because your car seat faces backward) – you laughing at absolutely nothing at all and clasping your hands together as if you’re trying to contain the excitement.



7.18


We now have a photo where you look like me! Thrilling beyond belief. There is something otherworldly about seeing myself in you. A deeper connection, a deeper truth. I don’t want to say a deeper love, because 1) it sounds narcissistic, and 2) it’s not true. A deeper...affirmation. That’s it. My soul embodied in elements of your face.



7.19


We have been enjoying surprisingly long morning snuggles in bed. This morning, you snuggled with the two of us for nearly an hour. Babbling at times, quiet at times, drifting off to sleep – or at least closing your eyes – for a few minutes here and there. At one point, the only sound I heard was your soft clapping in the early morning light.


You nuzzle into us and rest your head on our chests, on our faces, let us wrap our arms around you. It is all the love we have, linking the three of us together.

You have such fancy food these days!

  • A chickpea pancake with peanut butter/ricotta spread, accompanied by mango with flaxseeds

  • Herbed tofu with lemon, zucchini fries, and purple potatoes

  • A quinoa cake and a side of cauliflower with EVOO


These are just a few of your meals this week.

You love to watch videos of yourself, and your reactions are even more entertaining than the videos (which, though I’m biased, are all highly entertaining). You start by staring at the screen, very serious, and your expression slowly morphs into a smile of recognition and thrill. Sometimes you laugh and flap your arms. We watch movies on repeat just to watch you experience them over and over again.



7.22


Sometimes you gab and laugh with your eyes closed, in your early sleep stages. What are you saying? To whom are you talking? What is so funny? Whatever is going on, thank you for sharing the joy.

You’re still not a huge fruit fan, with the exception of blueberries and bananas. Breakfast is your smallest meal of the day at this point. Lunch is usually a mid-sized amount. But dinner?! WOW. Impressive, to say the least. And then you have a 6 oz bottle about half an hour later. Where does it go?! That said, I am happy to see you a bit more...portly...again. Your belly is fuller and rounder than it was just a few weeks ago. You’re kind of eating us out of house and home. What I assume will be two meals worth of food often turns into one.


And you have guns. Really and truly. You have arm definition. It’s nuts.


Your strength and gross motor control continue to develop at an alarmingly fast pace. Five days ago, you shakily pulled yourself up on my knees as I sat on the floor playing with you. Now you easily pull yourself up on boxes and other low objects, and I’m already beyond worrying about you tumbling down, so steady you are – even lifting one arm now and then. You’re still a bit shaky on taller objects, like the coffee table, but I know that you’ll find your balance rapidly. You can already somewhat transfer from one object to another. You’ve also learned to stand flat-footed versus on your toes, which is how you began.


You seem too tiny to be walking around, such a little pipsqueak! Still, it’s happening before our very eyes, our sweet, feisty little lady making her way.


Your fine motor skills are even more impressive! That little pointer finger is going strong these days – another so typically “baby” aspect of you we have the gift of watching emerge. Mema told us how you picked a petal off a flower and then held it out to the flower as if you were trying to put it back. She thought, “That can’t be…” Maybe it can?


You are so clearly amazed by the big world around you, taking it all in.



7.23


Today you experienced Grassroots. Donning the quintessential tie-dye, you were spellbound, staring with wonder at it all. We stayed only a few hours, got a taste of the music. Before we left, we danced together in the dance tent, you beside yourself with glee. You are something else, my little party girl.



7.24


Day #2 of Grassroots. I loved carrying you around in the baby carrier, and you generally enjoyed it as well. You smiling up at me, moving your fuzzy little head below my chin, your cheek and hands on my chest...Why haven’t I carried you like that more? Probably because I can never be sure how long you’ll last, and you wanting out means I might have to carry you quite a ways in my tired arms as you try to wriggle free. Yet you lasted one mile to Grassroots from our home and back again, later on, two days in a row, and – quite shockingly – you fell asleep on me twice. Absolute bliss.


Day #3 of about five hours of sleep for your Mama and Papa. Yikes.



7.26


You have a death pincer grip. You’ve been crawling around carrying toys or objects, particularly attached to one of your 30-cent Baby Gap sandals today. You held that shoe while I changed you and while we read before nap, and I had to sneak it out of your hands before you fell asleep holding it because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to wrest it from your pudgy white knuckles.


You experiment with so many sounds now. You look like a lizard, tiny tongue darting in and out as you randomly “blah blah,” sometimes a mere whisper of sound.


You also experiment with those six teeth you have – four on top with more visible below the gums, spaced and adorably somewhat off-kilter, and only those front two itty bitties on the bottom, right next to each other and perfectly straight like two soldiers at the ready. Papa just showed me the bite mark on his chest from bedtime, and I found two clementines with bite marks in them – and a third with an inch-in-diameter section of rind missing. I guess you had fun with that bag while I unpacked the rest of the groceries!


You are so determined. Your only mission now, or so it seems, is to master standing. You pull yourself up on anything and everything, and you can now stand with only one hand on a shelf or table. Still a bit wobbly, but less so every day, and you’re slowly figuring out how to “dismount” – an oh-so-essential skill. What kind of Olympian might you be? Probably kind of tall for a gymnast...Some kind of track and field perhaps. Something that requires a lot of energy and gumption. A high-jumper perhaps?


A dear friend remarked on your expression in some recent photos: “Bring it on – I’ll figure it out.” Agreed.



7.27


I nursed you at 4:15 am, but you couldn’t settle in. Papa finally brought you into bed, as we do many early mornings these days, and you were so restless. After listening to me try to soothe you to sleep, Papa rolled toward you and said, “Okay, Emmylou. Time to sleep.” Within two minutes, you rolled over into a somewhat awkward position on your back and fell asleep. You slept for about an hour and a half.


Your Papa is a baby whisperer.

One of the funnest aspects of you these days is watching your synapses join. Today you showed a clear understanding of, “Are you hungry?” for the first time. You turned toward me with an expectant expression when you heard those words. When I attach your high chair tray, you know to lift your hands out of the way. And, most thrilling, you did your first HIGH FIVE this morning! I did one with Papa, then held my hand up to you, and you brought your hand to mine. AHHHH!!!!! That was maybe the coolest thing you’ve done so far. Needless to say, your Papa is beyond-the-moon pumped.

I love you so fiercely. I will do all in my power to protect you and be the best mother I can possibly be. You come first.



7.28


You have become such a part of our lives that I have to stop and remind myself of the miracle that is you, how long we journeyed to reach you, or catch you, or collide with you, however we connected in this Universe.


That miracle radiates in moments like those this afternoon, watching you completely engrossed with a cottonwood tree leaf for ten minutes straight. Or watching you stare at the velcro arms of a stuffed monkey that Mema wrapped around your leg. You had no idea how to get it off your leg, but you stared at it for the longest time. When she finally un-velcroed it, you held the re-velcroed arms and tried to tug them apart – then tried to bite them. You knew the answer somehow lay there…


I feel the miracle when I find a tiny pair of shorts or a onesie. I think to myself, “Wow. I have a real, live baby who wears these adorable clothes.”


The miracle hums through simple objects, like stuffed animals or “indestructible” baby books. Items like these have become so commonplace, yet they’re all you, all around me. I see one lying on the floor, or I stop to put a few back in a basket, and I imagine you crawling around with them, huffing and puffing and babbling and slapping your hands as you crawl, always on a mission to anywhere at all.



7.29


You had strawberries by themselves (versus in a mixture) for the first time yesterday and seemed surprised by how much you enjoyed them. But blueberries? They’re still your #1, by far. I put smashed blueberries on your plate, and you go right for them, looking for more like a treasure hunt. When they’re gone, you look expectantly at the bowl, waiting for more. We used to call your Zia Leah “Blueberry Eyes” because her big, round blues looked just like blueberries. We would go blueberry picking, and not many berries made it into her basket. I can’t wait to go picking with you next summer.

We have been watching you move through different stages of movement. As I’ve already shared, your current mission is to get upright. Here are some stages of that journey:


  1. Crawling

  2. Pulling up on laps and low toys, in a bent-over “all fours” position

  3. Pulling up on chairs and coffee tables, standing on your tiptoes

  4. Pulling up on progressively higher shelves like a little rock climber (Today you reached the third shelf of your bookshelf while standing on your tiptoes and were frustrated that you couldn’t reach higher.)

  5. Standing supported on flat feet

  6. Standing with only one hand holding on to a surface, growing less and less wobbly each day

  7. Playing with a toy or flipping book pages with the unsupported hand

  8. Standing holding just one of my hands


We chatted with a neighbor this morning, and you suddenly seemed like such a toddler as you stood in the driveway steadily, in your little pink shoes, one hand holding mine.


You’re getting better at the “dismount.” As of now, you’re still unsure about letting go, but you stick your butt out and push with your arms to brace yourself as you fall with a little support from one of us. Yesterday morning, you held yourself by Papas pajama strings and pulled yourself back up when you started to fall backward!


Have I mentioned how strong you are?

You are also more and more relentless, our budding scientist, always exploring. This morning you managed to open the bottom cabinet of pots and pans and whined when you couldn’t lift the incredibly heavy Le Creuset pot lid. I tried to give you a lighter plastic bowl, but you refused. You always have your mind set on something, whether it’s picking up a piece of challenging/slippery food or reaching a target. The Wolff kitchen has a nightlight, and Mema always replaces it with a socket protector when you’re there. You saw it yesterday and, when you realized that Mema was going to replace it, you sped up your crawl in order to reach it first!


The biggest laugh yesterday was when you knew I was about to take away your nail clippers. I try to not take away many things, but you love to chew on the metal side of those clippers, and that’s no good. You saw me approaching after you chose not to listen and chew on the other side instead (as you sometimes do), and it was the first time you gave me a sneaky look and slowly tried to hide the clippers on the other side of you. I died. You’re only nine months old!


Hilarious...and yikes. You are something else, pumpkin face. You are something else.



7.30


You are so much more attached to your fuzzy critter friends. This morning, you carried your little blue whale – we’ve named it Wally – around for over half an hour. That little death grip around the apartment, as I changed you, as I carried you into the car, and most of the way to Ithaca.


When we got home from our big shopping adventure, you pulled a pint of blueberries out of a grocery bag, and I said, “Thank you!” as I gently took it from you. Then I died of joy.

Some nights, you go to sleep for me. Some nights, Papa comes in to rescue me after about 20 minutes and works his magic. We support each other.



8.1


We had a fun-filled weekend with Zia Leah, Uncle Luke, and Ollie – who’s afraid of you! He crawls up on a chair or behind Leah or Luke when you come near him. I don’t really blame him? Lulu Monster, chasing him, grabbing his tail...Poor Ollie.


You were the ideal baby at the Russell party. Absolutely zero fuss the entire evening as you listened to the band, crawled around, and made new friends. Ava and Casey adored you, and Casey couldn’t stop rubbing your fuzzy head. (“How can anyone resist that little face?” he said.) Not many men are so affectionate with you, and I so enjoyed watching him interact.


We ended the evening with a brave act: your Mama and Papa took the stage to perform Wagon Wheel with the band. I hadn’t been in front of a microphone to sing in about 20 years, and your Papa had only played guitar in front of an audience on one other occasion. Needless to say, it was a bit shaky. But we did it, and we survived. I hope that you see us do that again, many times.

This afternoon, you fell asleep on Zia Leah. She meant to just hold you for a few minutes while Mema and I prepared your new portable bed, but you were slowly lulled to sleep by her rocking to the radio. Very unexpected, but she was thrilled. She loves holding you while you sleep. You woke up several times, but Mema closed her eyes, and you followed suit. Miraculous.

You continue to grow stronger and stronger, pulling yourself up faster, dismounting more gracefully.


Tonight you tried corn kernels, no problem. I know what you can handle when it comes to food, and the anxiety is gone. Now it’s all just a good time! I’ve been waiting for this.


You understand so much. Today you were pulling yourself up on the red knobs on Mema’s kitchen island, and Papa said, “Can you reach the top?” He demonstrated with his hand, and you followed suit, standing on your tippy-toes to reach the top gray ledge. Later, Mema said, “Do you want to play with your tunnel?” and you crawled right for it, trying to unfold it. A coincidence? I vote no.

Everything feels pretty stable right now, even as everything continually shifts. I feel like I’m standing on one of those moving floors in a Fun House – constantly moving at different angles, but always maintaining some sense of balance and more and more sure on my feet.



8.3


You make a little sound when you see someone preparing to read you a book or give you a bottle. It sounds like an urgent giggle. “He he he…he he he…” As if you’re wavering between necessity and joy.


Today you ate about a pound of food. For breakfast: a homemade quinoa cake with almond butter, a few cherries, ⅓ of a banana, and yogurt melts. For lunch: your first quesadilla with guacamole, tomatoes, and corn succotash, plus a falafel. I kept giving you more, and you kept eating. Quite impressive!



8.8


Hello, Chicken Little. I have absolutely no idea why I’ve started calling you that. Maybe because you resemble a chick: fuzzy light hair, eyes that dart around always looking for the next adventure, little beak mouth that purses when you focus on something. It seems apropos, a happy accompaniment to Pumpkin Face and all of our bean derivatives (Little Bean, Garbanzo Bean, Bean Sprout…). Might as well fully embrace the “home on the farm” theme whilst we live simply here in the country.


Anyway, it has been a few days, hasn’t it?


Here are some recent points of note:


  • You have a death grip. Whether it’s a toy, silverware, or, today, a plastic straw, you carry objects from apartment to car seat, white-knuckling them like Gollum with his Precious.

  • Your understanding of the world around you has grown exponentially this month, and it amazes me.

  • I tickle Papa’s feet and invite you to do the same, and you do.

  • A few mornings ago, the milk container you were playing with rolled under the couch. You shimmied down to your belly to look and tried to reach it with your arm. That was the first time I’d seen you do that, and I was so proud. Genius baby.

  • You excitedly turn away from me when I catch you doing something you know you’re not supposed to do – like gnawing on the remote control – your little breath rapid and your eyes wide as saucers.

  • You get so excited when you hear me filling your bathtub after dinner. When you’re ready to get out, your arms reach for me. You’re pretty serious in the tub as you suck voraciously on the washcloth and tub toys, but you seem to enjoy it!

  • Our morning snuggles...You end up in our bed 90% of early mornings now, and how I cherish our snuggling. Funny that we circled back to that after so rarely doing it in our first seven or so months together. I stumble into your room when I hear you fuss, knowing that you don’t lull yourself back to sleep because you’re already sitting or standing, and reach my hands over the edge of your crib to find your fuzzy head. You reach your arms up to me, and I’m as grateful as I’ve ever been for you.

  • Those arms reaching for me...I can’t handle it. If we’re playing on the floor, alone or with someone else, you crawl over for what one can only describe as a hug, every so often, before promptly continuing play. Every so often, you crawl to me as I prepare a meal in the kitchen and claw at my leg. I pick you up, and you are so at ease in my arms. Like you’re home again.

  • Your new sounds crack me up. So much tongue action, “Babalahbalah…” and the new rattlesnake sound you make with your teeth.

  • Your smile...I smile and kiss your face excitedly, or rub noses, or make a face, and your little face, so close to mine, breaks into pure glee. That dimple shining, those teeth in all their glory...I can’t believe you are mine.

We had our second family trip this past weekend, to the Jacques family shindig in Rensselaer. You met the rest of the DeThomasis clan, Clive, Rick and Tracey, and Zippy. You also met Carly’s pup, Cooper – and you loved talking to him. Every time he got close, you started quietly babbling away to him, sharing stories and telling lies.


Your first hotel experience (and our first hotel in about two years?!) was a raging success! You slept in your new travel crib for the first time – from about 8 pm until 4:45 am, at which point you joined us and quickly fell asleep on the boob until 6:30! Ironically, last night was a nightmare with you wide awake from about 1-3 am...No idea what that was about. (Maybe it was those few bites of your first ice-cream and cake that Aunt Lisa snuck to you the day before. Ha!)



8.10


I love kissing your soft palms, studying your strong, expressive, marshmallow hands. They are the hands of an explorer, and I can’t wait to see what other amazements they discover.



8.11


I love our morning routine. You usually join us in bed around 5 am for milk, snuggles, and (usually) one more bout of sleep. Somewhere between 6 and 7 am (often closer to 6), I feel you gently stir and hear your babbles begin. Your hands slowly rise, as if you rediscover them every time. You conduct silent orchestras in the dark, your fingers floating, your mouth speaking to something or someone we can’t see or know. Or, on the flip side, sometimes you just pop up like a piece of toast, eyes wide open, ready for the day. We try to keep you in bed with us as long as possible, and you last about 30 minutes, growing more and more energetic. You tolerate us holding you for a few seconds before you curl up into a sitting or crawling position.



8.12


We’ve all been for two hours straight every night since I last wrote to you. Thank goodness you're so cute because you’ve been a hellion in the wee hours, Pumpkin Face. We attempted to do some sort of “sleep training” the past two nights – only nursing you the first time you wake, helping you settle down versus rocking you fully to sleep, letting you cry for just a few minutes before we stumble in...You get so worked up it sounds like you’re hyperventilating. What is going on with you? Are you actually in pain? I don’t think that’s the root of it, and I can’t give you Tylenol every night, woman.


Do I feel guilty? Yes, a little. Do I think you’re just testing what you can get away with? Yes, I think that might be part of it. Can we continue to function like this long-term? Not likely.


Remember when you used to sleep through the night, and I thought, “Well, naps are a joke, but at least we have the nights!” Let’s go back to that, okay? Give us one sleep break. I beg you.


In other news, we’ve named a few more fuzzy friends. Jellycat bunny is named Claire Hare, and your “Emmylou” lamb-tag-blanket thing shall henceforth be known as Lamby Tabs. That one sounds kind of badass, right? Like a silky, cuddly gangster.

Last night, your Papa asked me, “Which Emmylou is your favorite?”


He said, “Mine is the goofy Emmylou.”


I didn’t know how to respond! I thought about you at your most...persistent. Your Papa told me how you and he did an air-conditioner dance – you pulled yourself up right in front of it, and he sat you back down so you wouldn’t get your fingers caught in it – no less than 20 times. I laughed and said, “Call me crazy, but I love her more in those moments! I think, ‘Wow. We made this smart, strong-willed, tenacious, little scientist baby.’ I’m sure that part of that is her personality, but I’m also sure that some of that comes from us!’ ”


How can that not be true? I don’t think your stubborn-slash-driven tendencies poofed out of thin air. Have you met your parents? Ha! Our bed sheet is the perfect example of our mutual stubbornness: Papa needs to sleep with the sheet untucked, and I need to sleep with it tucked. Neither of us will budge on this, so our sheet is always tucked in on my side only.


“Stubbornness” and its more positively construed partner, “Drive,” often get along famously, and we’re the perfect examples of this. Take your Papa: he’ll spend all day working on a specific code for website development, not stopping until he figures it out. Take me: I’ll spend all day researching something about you – foods to feed you, recipe ideas, play ideas, how to be the best Mama I can be. Those are two small examples, of course, but yes: your parents are both very driven – and very stubborn. So, I suppose we were never going to have a super chill baby.


That said, you can sit for more than 30 minutes at the dinner table, or at a restaurant, and you’re never happier than when at a social function. Everyone who meets you comments on your happy nature.


My favorite Emmylou? Impossible to choose. I love them all. The scientist, the snuggler, the comic, the acrobat, the party girl, and the maniac. Every version of you is pieces of us blended with pieces of the one and only you.



8.13


I put you in your crib for bed tonight, and you weren’t quite settled, shifting into the “all fours” position – which is never good news. I picked you up and you immediately fell asleep. I held you for a few minutes wondering at the marvel of you before I let you go.

Some of your favorite foods these days…


  1. Pork. I made you slow-cooked pork boneless chops, and you were in hog heaven.

  2. Shrimp. You tried your first shrimp this week – the last big allergen. Huzzah! I cooked it in garlic scape ghee. Lucky girl.

  3. Sour cream. This one is surprising, how much you scarf it down. Pretty funny. I get it! Creamy, tangy, fatty goodness. I wish I could partake, so you’ll have to do it for both of us. You’re a dairy fan overall – cheese, yogurt...all of it.

  4. Eggs. If eggs are on your plate, you always go for those before anything else.

  5. Beans. This one also surprises me – I’d think they would be boring compared to other foods, but you always gobble them up. I’ve been sprinkling some lime juice on them this week, which adds some extra layers of flavor for your sophisticated palate.

  6. Potatoes. White, purple, orange, all the colors, all the flavors mixed in. You’re a fan.

  7. Blueberries. Obviously

  • You have been yodeling. It’s our most favorite sound of yours right now. “Yodel-odel-odel-odel…” That little tongue learning how to maneuver.

  • You are a brave one. You stand up for split seconds on your own, holding onto nothing but air until you plop down on your bum.

  • You are a relentless explorer, opening drawers, pulling up on your tippy-toes to peek at the highest shelves possible...Your favorite part of our electric keyboard is the volume button. You turn that, you scratch at the speakers, you want nothing more than to understand how everything works, what everything is for – or so it seems. You must get that from your Papa. I wish I was as naturally curious as he is. He’s always asking me questions about why things are the way they are, and I always think, “Wow. Why have I never wondered about that?”

On our family walk this morning (the “long” walk around our neighborhood), I thought, “Here we are in mid-August, and I already can’t wait for autumn.” Is that crazy? This summer has brought very odd weather. Lots of rain or ridiculously hot and humid days – neither of which are conducive to the lake. We still have many adventures, and I love not having to throw on additional clothing to go outside.


*Full disclosure: that’s one of my favorite parts of summer. I hate wasting time with layers. Too much to do, all the time! (That’s your Type A Mama, right there, chica.)


Anyway, on the walk, I remembered doing that same walk with your Papa last summer – you in my belly – and looking forward to autumn, as it meant the arrival of you. I also remembered looking forward to doing that walk with you the following year. Now, here we are, somehow already about to enter that second autumn, and it brings the deepest joy.



8.14


I’m sitting with you at breakfast. You seem more content if I don’t interact with you so you can focus on eating. Ha. On the menu this morning (in order of your preferences): raspberries with yogurt, banana with coconut and cinnamon, and homemade chickpea pancakes. You’ve started throwing random pieces of food on the floor as you go, but not as many if I don’t react.

We pulled out Mema’s Tupperware box, and you went to town. You pulled out one container or lid at a time, stuck it in your mouth, and tossed it aside. You made it through most of the box, sitting in a pile of plastic (tried not to think too hard about that one), squealing and flapping your limbs in delight before trying to climb into the now-empty cubby and pull yourself up to the refrigerator, your feet skating on Tupperware lids.

What else…


  • You have started holding your hands out, palms up, waving up and down. I call them your “Italian hands” – your expression so thoughtful, as if you’re pontificating to a rapt audience.

  • You want to see everything, including what’s on every surface – especially tables that you can’t see to the top of. Standing on your tiptoes, you stretch and strain and grunt until you eventually give up and crawl frantically to the next whatever.

  • You have started fussing quite loudly when you can’t get the object you want – like remotes or my breast pump (while I’m pumping).

  • Your best friend is Jellycat. You carry that cat everywhere, always by an arm. Mema tried to “say hi” to Jellycat the other day, and you continually pulled it away from her, out of her reach. She got quite a kick out of that.

  • You LOVE mealtime. (Have I mentioned that?)


You are truly one of a kind, my spunky, spirited child. Someone, years ago, called me scrappy, and it was, in truth, one of the greatest compliments of my life. I hope you appreciate your own scrappiness someday. Knowing what you want is a blessing, and determination will be the wind beneath your beautiful, outstretched wings.



8.15


You are ten months old today, my Lulu, and I can’t stop kissing you – the nape of your neck, the round of cheek that forms when you’re looking down in deep concentration, the soft soles of your growing feet, your perfect soft delts as you fidget on your changing table, your right temple as I rock you to sleep...as if each kiss will turn a memory, a moment, our thousands of moments every day, into a tiny, unbreakable crystal that will float in my brain forever, never fading, never lost. I’m already afraid of how much of you I will lose over time.


This is why I write. For you, yes. But also for me. So that I can re-live so much of you, as much as I have been able to capture in words, here, as you grow. So that I have as much of you as possible, all the yous, with me always.


I have a mug that reads, “The days are long, but the years are short.”


Some days already feel shorter. What happens then? I suppose we keep living them as well as we can, cherishing all the moments possible. And we keep loving as hard as we can, making the most of our time together. I always hope I’m doing that enough, always wish I did it more.


But I think we’re doing a-okay so far, my Lulu. We’re doing a-okay.


Your Mama loves you.