It is late evening, around 7 or so but the sun still shines just over the crest of trees across the street. I cannot help myself – I open the blinds as full as they can go and bathe the room in afternoon’s orange glow. Ash says that it raises our electric bill but he knows that won’t stop me. I love it too much. In the nursery, toys are scattered about recklessly. There are some rattles shaped like seahorses – to fit our undersea creatures motif – that no longer interest him. He prefers the bright yellow pieces of the Shape ‘n’ Sort. He now understands that they go inside the ball, but cannot quite match up a shape to its hole. The soft blocks still captivate him if only for a moment, as he bites into the flexible rubber, then tosses it aside, as far as he can throw it. Another one of his new-found abilities. How far can this be thrown? If I drop this toy, will mom keep picking it up? If I drop this Cheerio, which one of the dogs will scarf it down? The synapses must be rapid-firing in his little brain, for I can see him learning and connecting and understanding each and every day.
Elliot, you are 11 months old now and you have come so far. When, at your nine month appointment I got all up in arms because you were small and possibly developmentally delayed, everyone said to wait. Be patient. He’ll get there. You have created a pattern of starting slow then taking off like a rocket. When your friend, a mere 2 weeks younger, began crawling, you would only seal flop. When she began pulling up and cruising, you were still working on balancing while sitting upright. Then, out of nowhere, you pulled up on each and every thing around you with deft skill, with confidence and a strong will that you must have acquired from your father.
I feel like time has gone slowly, yet quickly, as if that were even possible. I used to: go to work, come home, make dinner, watch TV, snuggle with husband, and go to sleep, all to begin again the next day. I had purpose but it was simplistic at best. My life is so full of purpose now I don’t know where to begin. I can’t say that having a small child doesn’t have its lows. Certainly, some days I am so low down I’m in the negatives. And it’s nothing you do, per se, just the fact that you are a baby. And unpredictable. And these are just the facts. But with each passing day, an aspect of you improves. You cry less but fuss more at being bored. You can feed yourself cheerios and that keeps you busy, while on the other hand, there are less seating options for you since crawling and standing are your number one goals at the moment. Soon, probably before your first birthday, you’ll be walking.
First birthday. Geez. It’s unbelievable that it’s a mere 4 weeks away. All the baby sites and magazines and, well, tradition, tells us that this is a big milestone. This is the age when “everything changes”. You become the T-word. The toddler. A little boy even. Sometimes when you’re playing on the floor and paying me no mind, the sun catches your face at just the right angle and I can see the little kid you are becoming. There’s something more mature about your face as it morphs into boyhood and out of babydom. And I am sure one day I will look at you and see the teenager and then the man. And each time it will crack my heart just a little more until it shatters and all the love I hold for you will no longer be contained. It’s just too rich and full to be held back. I love you with all my heart, little bear. Happy 11 months!