Today you are four months old. You are having a great time in Milwaukee again to see your grandparents, friends and other family. Your first plane ride went great, and you even made a new little friend who shares your exact birth date. What are the odds of two four-month-olds on the same flight from DC to Milwaukee with just their mommies to see their grandparents and having the exact same birthday? Whatever the odds, it was nice to talk to little Lucy’s mom at the terminal as we waited to board, and it will be nice for me if we end up getting together again sometime.
You are learning so much. This month you’ve been rolling over. The first time it happened, I missed it. You decided to go from your front to your back at the exact moment I turned toward the washer and dryer for some laundry handling. And you didn’t stop. You don’t stop moving. I put you down and you go. Your arms and legs just go, go, go. Which is nothing new, really, except for that now you’re so much stronger the motion of your limbs inches you around in random directions. You have also learned to roll over from your front to your back, which all the books say some kids don’t do until their six months old. Clearly, you continue to be a genius.
You have laughed. And man, that’s the best. Daddy got the first tiny giggle out of you, but I got the belly laughing that lasted for a long time. I’m so glad that your dad pulled out the camera to catch that chuckle-fest because since then, even though we’ve both been able to make you laugh again, as often as once a day, the giggling hasn’t gone on nearly as long as that one time.
You are such a happy baby. You smile all the time unless there’s something bothering you, and you’re a lot more interested in getting to know your surroundings. You reach for everything. You want to touch (and taste) it all. Including your toes. Even while you eat, your hands are searching, grabbing. And they make me feel all warm inside as those open palms caress my chest as we sit together while you eat, or wrap around my arm as I fasten a new diaper around your cute little butt. The fingernails, which grow so fast, provide a different sensation, including the occasional yelp, but there’s no deterring your curious grasp. When your dad looks at you with his winter lumberjack beard, your hands go right in and those little fists tighten around his whiskers. And then you talk.
You also talk with a hand or a thumb in your mouth. Your own or someone else’s. In fact, you talk the most when there’s anything at all already in your mouth, though you also babble a bunch with a naked bottom. Sometimes you belt out these long notes, it sounds like singing. A lot of the time, even when you’re upset, you talk and complain more than cry. You meet my eyes and speak your words as though you are telling me your deepest feelings, most important discoveries. But maybe you’re just commenting on the pattern of the pillow or the grain of the wood. Either way, I would love to know what you’re trying to tell us. Because I think that you’re starting to understand what we say to you, we always try to converse to the best of our ability and I’ve read that these exchanges are good for your growing brain.
I have to admit that being a mom has not been going exactly as I thought it would. I’ve had a lot of down days, and even though I try not to let sadness cloud our time together, I’m afraid that it sometimes does. I promise that it’s not your fault, and I’m working on feeling better. So don’t ever hesitate to need me. I will always be here for you, no matter what else is going on in my head.
Your eyes are starting to lighten. They are your most prominent feature, with those lashes that go on for miles. They are big and still blue, but I have the feeling that the color might change into that beautiful hazel green like your dad’s. You look a lot like your dad, so much that it’s hard for me to see much of myself at all in your features. It’s okay, though, because I love your dad, which is the reason you’re here in the first place. And even if my nose is the only visible reminder that we have a few genes in common, I know that you’ll get a lot more from me than that. And I promise that I will do my best to pass on more of my good qualities than my not-so-good. And I guess that’s really all the guarantees I have for you this month.