Tuesday, May 24, 2011

dear Lydia

It's been a while, sweetheart. I need to actually start writing you these letters in your @$*##*$(%* baby book, you know, the one I haven't touched for months. Actually, that's not true. I did record your first tooth in there in March.

And now, you have three of the little buggers. And an accompanying crabby disposition, runny nose and god-awful diapers to boot.

Yesterday and today you hit some major milestones. First of all, you have gotten a booty-crawl down pat. You scooted five feet yesterday, ten today. Who knows how far you'll go tomorrow? For some reason crawling isn't where it's at for you. You drag one leg under you instead of bringing it up like the other one. Don't get me wrong, we're not worried one bit. I'm actually a little relieved that I can set you down to play and know that you'll stay within a ten-foot radius for as long as it takes to do whatever little task that required putting you down in the first place. Nowadays I can't get away with setting you aside while I do dishes or laundry, though...there are cupboards full of pots and pans to explore at my feet, and knobs to turn on the washer and dryer.

And you're talking more! You've always been much quieter than I ever, ever expected a daughter of mine (and your father's) to be. Here I thought we would surely have a chatterbox, babbling incessantly. Not so much. You ponder, observe, and study the world seriously and throughly; nothing misses your gaze. You can be brought to a chuckle by being tickled in the right spot (armpits) or by being chased around the house, but for the most part you've been a soulful, silentish little girl. Until recently, that is. Now you've mastered "Huh?!" and repeating noises back and forth with us, usually short "Ah!"'s to get our attention.

You're home with Daddy much more. The two of you are starting to understand each other; Daddy does an incredible job of taking care of you while I'm at work, which makes me happy. I have no doubt that your father loves you with every fiber of his being, but (and I'm being selfish/judgmental/etc. here, bear with me love) I was scared to begin working more because your father simply isn't me. After months of my being there for you day after day, second after second, knowing your language and anticipating your needs, how could you possibly switch over to your father's way of doing things so fast?

Well, you have. I come home at night and you're smiling away, playing with Daddy and loving every minute the two of you have together. It warms and breaks my heart at the same time. Now that we're slowing down with nursing, and losing that special connection that only you and I had (damn it, getting weepy!), I watch you become more independent by the minute and wonder if my little girl isn't going to need me anymore. I guess I'm scared for you to grow up, to shed my protective arms and reach for the world on your own.

Not that you shouldn't. My darling little sweet pea, I want you to embrace the world the way you were born to with your inquisitive, restless spirit and awareness that knows no bounds. I promise that I won't hold you back just for my personal benefit of keeping you my baby for longer than I should.

Easier said than done, I assume.

So Lydia, beautiful daughter of mine, keep hitting those milestones. Reach for the coffee table tops that hold your shaky legs up; I'll always rescue you if you can't see your way down again. Keep trying new things every day...butt scooting, clapping, different foods. We'll be there to guide you and hold your hands every step of the way. Just remind me when I'm interrupting your learning.

With gratitude, baby angel girl,


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