the other day, you turned 10 whole months old. once again, i’m flabbergasted at how quickly time sprints forward anymore. you’ll hear this a lot from me, i think, for the rest of my life. time, as i once knew it, is a hazy memory. i might remember something about seasons and years and predictable change; marks on the proverbial calendar. now? each moment is new and even more fleeting than i ever thought possible. for you, little girl, never stop moving, or growing, or becoming. i feel like i should write you weekly letters, as you are a whole new jude all the time.
the only things that seemed to remain the same this month were the amount of visible teeth and your diaper size. (though, judging by your current drool, fussiness, and lack of appetite, the former is about to change any second now…) the rest of you blossomed like so many new green leaves on all the spring trees. your hair is growing so fast these days; you are fuzzy, blondish-red, with swooping little bangs on your forehead. after baths, we actually use a brush now. because you are a bald baby no longer!
this month, you made your first new friend, a sweet boy named bobby. he’s a little more than 6 months older than you, but you’re a lot bigger than him. his life is one miracle on top of the next, and his sweet mama thinks that your example of constant crawling and cruising is helping him learn to do the same. bobby is a very detail-oriented guy, and he has taught you to pay attention to the intricacies of everything you encounter. i love watching the two of you interact with toys: squinting, breathing heavily, studying how every component fits together.
despite the moments of jealousy, you and bobby seem to really enjoy each other. you touch each other’s face with great affection, and so far, sharing seems to be going well. good job, you.
let’s see, what else? oh! also of note, you have taken one or two independent steps here and there. you totally have the balance thing down; you only lack confidence now. (mama h and i, meanwhile, lack baby gates. time to remedy that.) you have also taken to imitating the meowing of cats, which is ridiculously adorable. we brag that you are fluent in feline, which is probably true. and in recent days, you have begun blowing kisses, accompanied by an enthusiastic *mwah*, which sounds more like *mmmmma*.
i love your loud little voice.
he also has a lot of hair, which you mistook for fur, and so you tried to pet him like a kitty. otherwise, you ignored him, because all he really did was sleep a lot and squawk a little. however, i am confident that the two of you will become fast friends within a matter of months, and i hope you are always close. your aunts and uncles and other cousins are all a lot older than you, and i know how alienating that can feel sometimes. i want nothing more than for you and carlos to know and love each other well. be gentle with him, too. someday, he may be bigger than you.
speaking of cousins, by coincidence, your oldest cousin, alyssa, happened to be in dallas on the same weekend we visited carlos. and so you got to meet her too! she is sixteen years older than you, and you are in so much awe of her coolness. (actually, i am too.) i was 13 when alyssa was born, and was her first babysitter. i won’t go in to how weird it is to see her as an adultish person, but i will say how uncanny it is how much you look like her sometimes. she agreed. and she made a joke about you being her baby. and i said it wasn’t funny. and then we both laughed nervously.
okay, so this letter is becoming a meandering, sentimental mess. sorry about that, love. i’m going to end it now by saying, once again, that you are my heart. and i love you more than you love the cats.
pee ess, as anyone can see by the last photo, your heart belongs to pop pop. that might have something to do with your inherent understanding that you completely own the man. so much so that he and your gabby bought a new house just to be near you. and every time you do something cute, he promises you a pony. i think we’ll need to invest in some land for your pony herd to graze.