Last week, you turned seven months old. It’s been quite the eventful month for you and for all of us. You took on the end of daylight savings time without much of a disruption, but a week later, we hauled you and your brother and all of our worldly possessions halfway across the country from our home in Virginia to make a fresh start in the land of your parents’ birth, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
I still have a lot to say for myself about this change, but as for you, you handled everything like a champ. You did pretty well on the long drive, even managing to tolerate the dark for a few hours without too much screaming. We had to make a lot of stops, and a trip that used to take your dad and me about 13 or 14 hours without any little boys along took us about 20 this time. But it wasn’t all you. And it wasn’t all your brother. Family road trips just take a little longer, and lucky for us, we will only have to do that drive again if we really, really want to. Because now that we’re in Wisconsin, vacations can be spent doing something other than coming to see your grandparents. And that was sort of part of the point of it all, really.
You are incredibly observant. And I know that you’ve been a little confused over the last few days. You look around at our bedroom, which contains all the same furniture and artwork that we had back in Virginia, and you look at me or your daddy and you really seem to be working hard to reconcile the space with the people and the stuff. It was amazing to watch you figure out your new reality. By now, you seem to have embraced it while I, I am still getting there.
Your smiles help. You love being around your grandparents. I was worried that you’d continue to prefer only me, even as you had all these loving people reaching out to hold you close. And there are still times, especially evening times, when only one person will do. But you have made so many hearts so happy over the last several days with your openness, your curiosity and your loving and playful nature, including your own. I’ve enjoyed watching you explore these new places and these people that will be more in your life now that we’re closer to theirs.
This month, you got your first tooth. I thought you were coming down with a cold or a stomach bug because you’d been fussy with a runny nose and some, shall we say different, diaper contents. But a couple of days later, I stuck my thumb in your mouth to keep you from yelling during M’s nap time and lo and behold, I felt that sharp little spot sticking through your gums.
I have to tell you, I wasn’t ready for that. At all. Your brother seemed pretty excited for you, sticking his own finger in your mouth to feel the thing I was so surprised about, but me? I almost cried. You are just growing up so fast, and with everything going on in our lives, it’s been hard for me to stop you, or even just to stop and enjoy you. Don’t get me wrong, every new thing about you brings me so much pride and joy as your mother, it’s just that sometimes, I don’t know, I’m afraid it’s gone so fast I’ve missed something important.
But maybe, it’s just that it’s never going to be enough for me. I will never get enough of your smiles, now with one tooth prominently poking up from your bottom gums. I will never hear enough of your baby giggles. I will never get enough of you pulling yourself up, losing your balance, and falling back onto your butt or to your hands and knees. Of your huge, open-mouth grins when you see me from far away and crawl determinedly in my general direction. Of you sitting on the floor watching your big brother. Laughing at him even when he’s not doing anything at all to try to entertain you, just out of the joy you have being close to him. Of your mimicking his lightsaber fighting moves where you hold one of his hand-made creations and wave it back and forth in your little fist. Of your hugs. Of your sweet cuddles, though somewhat rare, with your daddy. Of your babbling, or how your reach for our faces and pull us closer for kisses, Eskimo kisses or little raspberries on your chubby cheeks or neck. You do all these things, and my heart goes, “Do it again.” I want more. And still more. It will never be enough.