You are now six months old, well, almost halfway to seven months. This letter is terribly late, but it's all your fault because you started crawling and I spend most of my time keeping an eye on you and your ever-changing whereabouts. This month you graduated from wobbling on all fours to full-fledged crawling. Seriously. That day - January 14th - I recorded on Twitter: "Holy Jesus. My kid can crawl." And ever since, you are very busy, ambling all over the living room, under the table, and many determined attempts under the computer desk. It is now imperative that I childproof the house, or at least, ask your father to please do so.
I really don't know why you decided to crawl so early. I appreciate your obvious intelligence and ability, but still, dude, what's the rush? I do not brag about it, and am praying that you will not do something crazy like, decide to walk, in the new few months. Please, no, for the love of all that is holy. Just enjoy your babyhood, okay? It's the only one you and I get, and it's got to last us awhile. You are such a delicious baby, I now understand why people fixate on keeping a baby in the house - it goes by so fast, as if on the hooves of wild horses. It would be nice to have such gratifying babyness on a semi-regular basis, but alas, not so great that I feel like giving birth or being pregnant all that many more times.
The thing about you being a big six month old is that SO MUCH has changed. You continue to evolve into a real, honest-to-God kid. At your six month appointment, you were twenty pounds, and twenty-nine inches. You are bigger than some toddlers we know - but as your Gran-don says, "Eating is an old family tradition." Now you babble, and wake up telling us about whatever it is you've stored up from all those hours of sleep, so happy to greet the day. You happily play with your toys, scattering them far and wide. For awhile there, when you spotted a water bottle, you would exclaim "Gigigigi!" joyfully. If you get excited - upon seeing your godsister The Green Bean Kid, or your bratty cousin, or a puppy - you are sure to babble and laugh. You now have two teeth - the second appeared with a minimum of fuss (at least it seems that way, in my hazy memory) even though we're still prone to giving you a teething tablet if you're extra fussy. You've gotten to the point where you accept them calmly, instead of spitting them out in mid-dissolve. I think you could be starting another tooth, what with some excessive raspberry blowing the other day, but teething is like that: you just never know.
We're experimenting with food. It all started one night where I shared some sweet potato off my plate with you - you gobbled it up, as if you just knew that THIS was THE something better than that boring old cereal. So far, we've tried banana, and baby carrots (before I was introduced to the whole nitrate controversy, so I won't do that again for awhile). If I sit you in your high chair, you know that means FOOD, and get rather cross if I don't appear with a bowl of gummy goodness in due time. I really do intend to make the majority of your baby food, I just have to get organized to do so. (Thanks to darling Swistle, I feel quite prepared.) Your great-grandma sent over a bag full of baby food, which we're playing with, as well. Mostly right now we're mixing up fruity things with cereal, and you seem to like it. I hope you'll be an adventurous eater, and plan to introduce you to all things yummy and delicious. Like sushi, but that will be awhile, I know.
There are so many adorable things you do, and though I may bore the Internet with these recountings, this is my only designated place where I write your milestones down. My memory is faulty at best, and I never want to forget the details of your babyhood: the way you happily pat your hand on your leg - it's an indicator of your interest in whatever is going on - the way you reach out and touch the ends of my hair, the way you're always delighted for a game of Where's Mama? or Where's Thomas? A few days ago it seemed like you had the game all figured out, and you hid your head on cue - this is mind-blowing to your Daddy and I. We joke that you are our favorite TV channel, with all your funny tricks. At least, you're our favorite channel until the writer's strike is over - after that, you're on your own.
Lately, I've been marinating in this extraordinary realization, which sounds so obvious: I am your mother. Stepping into motherhood has been a fairly natural transition for me - it is easy to love you, to play with you, to laugh with you and admire your doings. I've always FELT like your mother, but with a sense of wow, who let me have a kid? But now it's becoming clear to me that there are things I (along with your Daddy) must decide, ways in which to raise you, feed you, provide the shape of your days and nights. It's a bewildering situation, especially as I get flustered by too many options. The word that's been richocheting in my head is intention. How do I intentionally mother you? What choices are best? I wonder if I am overthinking this, but I do want to intentionally guide you and give you certain things - a sense of love for whoever you are, an atmosphere of hope, faith, and forgiveness, the right sort of vegetables. Because of who I am, I will be your definition of love, comfort, your north star in this topsy-turvy world. That's a terribly big responsibility, and it's quite scary. I can't half-ass do this motherhood thing. The love part is no problem, the self-sacrifice becomes easier, day by day.
Last night, I came home from teaching, and you were already asleep in your crib. I ate my supper in complete peace, and spent another hour doing exactly what I wanted. Before long, I found myself missing you, an aching in my being. I couldn't help myself - I took you from the crib, only to hold you. I needed my baby in my arms. I soaked in the unique sweeteness of being your mother, of your heavy, trusting weight against my heart.
I love you, my funny, my wiggly one.