eleven days ago, you turned five months old. this means that, for eleven days, your dear old mom has been trying to get around to writing you a letter. our lives are all a bit busy right now, especially mine, and finding time to reflect thoughtfully has been really difficult. i am an unrelenting perfectionist, little one, and i confess that it is exhausting. not writing your letter until now has eaten away at me a little every day, and i’ve gotten more and more frustrated. here is a life lesson for you: don’t do this. obsession over things you can’t make perfect is a ridiculous waste of time and energy. you can’t win at perfectionism. perfect never happens. ever.
but enough about me! this letter is all about you!
you grew up a whole lot this month. your bouncing skills have evolved into a kind of elaborate riverdancing. you are on your feet all the time. you thrill yourself for long periods of time by playing a little game called “stand-sit”, wherein you stand up, and then sit down. over and over. big grins and drool ensue.
oh yes. drool. this month, you rolled out the new cascading waterfall kind of drool that only comes with teething. you’ve been periodically miserable over the state of your raw, wrecked gums, but a combination of teething tablets, baby teethers, and your beloved baby tylenol seem to make it all better. as of today, none of your evil teeth have poked through. you wouldn’t think that true judging by your hardcore style of clamp-jawed nursing. but i digress.
while we’re on the subject of health and medicine, i must say that we are holding out a lot of hope that you will grow out of your constant ear and eye infections. they make you so sad and miserable and goopy-eyed, and they also keep you awake. this means you want to be snuggled up with us at 3 am, but not in a sleepy way. you want to be entertained at 3 am. your long-suffering mama h often takes you into the other room so i can sleep, but jude, it would seriously make all our lives better if you could just get over the infections. thank you.
this month was a very important one in the grand scheme of things as well. you sat on my lap on november 4, as we watched live reports of barack obama being elected president. (you voted for him in early elections.) i am so proud that, even before your first birthday, you got to see a black man elected. this bodes so well, i think, for how your generation will view race. “black president?” you’ll all ask. “what’s the big deal? we have an asian lesbian as president now.”
november 4 was a sad day for families like ours in california, however. in your history books, i’m sure you will read about prop 8, and the revolution it sparked. all over the country, people protested in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in california, and we joined them here in austin. we stood downtown at city hall on a blustery, impossibly sunny day, you decked out in your i <3 my moms tshirt from grandmas mary and nancy. you smiled and cooed and snuggled close to me. we ran into old friends and met new ones. you’re a wee activist already, little chicken. you make us so proud.
on that fateful protest day, we introduced you to solid foods, as you’d been staring jealously at us while we were eating for weeks. we started with rice cereal mixed in breastmilk (mmmm!) and some pears. i took a million photos of your priceless wtf expressions. we laughed until we couldn’t breathe, because you’re just so hilariously adorable. and, oh my little girl, you absolutely love food, even though the photos may not quite show that…
in other news, we found out, after taking you on a 3 mile walk around our neighborhood, that none of the playgrounds around here have swings. mama h and i had such hopes for introducing you to the wonders of swinging, but alas, it wasn’t to be. in the end, you settled for going down the slide on mama h’s lap, and staring dumbfounded at the monkey bars. don’t worry. we will find swings for you. that is a promise.
also, this month, you experienced your first halloween, dressed as wonder woman, thanks to the fabulous costume that uncle g bought you from six flags. you really loved the bowl of candy, and now i know for sure that you are my daughter. a few days previous, you enjoyed your first big party at our house, as we celebrated my 30th birthday. you basked in the presence of our dear friends, and even spent a moment in front of a big fire in the backyard. and then you fell asleep.
it’s time for me to close this letter, as you are now awake and it’s playtime.
i love you more every day, jude. who knew that kind of love is possible?