i never wrote a letter last month, and that dereliction of duty can be attributed to the following factors (in no particular order):
1. over the course of three weeks, we all got sick.
2. i worked a lot of overtime to compensate for #1.
3. we drove seventeen hours to nashville, where we spent nearly a week.
i do hope you forgive me, darling girl. now that i am sitting here, trying to recall two months of development, i am drawing a blank. because so much has happened. your personality has burst forth with all kinds of effervescence. you engage your toys in elaborate play now. often, you will only interact with me if i am voicing elmo, or your beanie horse called pony, or the my little pony knockoff who sports a buzzcut, on account of your former habit of eating hair (also called pony). you offer your toys water, snacks, or my breast. you encourage them to throw balls. you play with them. it’s wildly entertaining for me to be part of.
you LOVE playgrounds. with every visit you grow braver about climbing and sliding. you are as tall as a three year old. and you are making a mighty effort to match their abilities. however, you also eat pebbles. well, you chew on them, actually. call us horrible mothers, but we let you do it, too. because it is a miserable fight to fish them out of your mouth. we haven’t seen any evidence of you swallowing them. and you always spit them out when you’re done. also, you’ve been working on two molars for months now, and chomping on little stones seems to bring you relief. so, chomp on.
speaking of those damned molars, you have been on a regimen of ibuprofen/tylenol/teething tablets for a long time now. you despise the bubblegum flavored ibuprofen (but are ok with the clear cherry stuff), and adore the grapeish tylenol. when it is time for medicine, you scream TY!!! YEAH! WOW! then, i tap 3 teething tablets into my palm, and you pluck them with your delightful pincer grasp, 1-2-3, and savor them in a happy mouth. kid? you are adorable.
your love affair with books has deepened. mama h has noticed that when i am home, you bring me all the books about mommies to read to you. you sit cozily in my lap, and masterfully turn the pages. you have definitely entered the age of wanting books to be read to you again and again and again. it never gets old for me, either. those moments when you are awake, and sitting still? bliss.
jude, i have to confess that trying to remember all the ways you’ve grown over the past two months is really daunting. you are so wondrously present tense that it is hard to be anywhere but NOW with you. i can tell you with a vivid recall that every morning, you sit between your mothers and point to us, back and forth. we say mama mommy mama mommy mama mommy until you dissolve into a happy giggle, usually after you point to my nipple and i say, “nipple”, which is your favorite word. but, ask me to remember when you began to tantrum in earnest? when your adoration for cats shifted to DOGS? all i know is that it has all happened.
so, my darling, i will let photos tell the stories i can’t.
in closing, i want to say this (in the spirit of wonder-filled, squishy mothers everywhere): jude, every day, i watch closely as you wake up to the world around you, and i am so proud of your bravery, your burgeoning wisdom, and your tenderness. you are in love with your life, so content and mindful of every morsel (and pebble), and i am overwhelmed sometimes that i get to be your mother. i was lucky enough to be the one you chose to house you for nine months, and now i get to raise you? to instill the security of home? to protect you? i get to do all these things? i am overwhelmed, but overjoyed. and ever thankful.
i love you so.
and now for those photos!
here you are with your primo, carlos, on my 31st birthday! (26 october)
and here you are with your new friends, harper & mateo, when you met for the first time on 10 october. in this particular photo, the three of you are being wrangled on a steep driveway.
who can forget the day you spent with your cousins aaron and connar? here, big kid aaron really wants to hold you. you are so over being held by him, since he has been trying to carry you all day. 26 september
grandpa joe stopped by and hung out with you in the playroom. you allowed him to read to you for approximately 37 seconds. i am lucky to have caught this brief, lovely moment. 27 september
you still love balls.
this look? oh you beautiful girl. nothing but confidence. 18 october
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