You’re a happy, giggly, growly, eight-month-old, with personality for days. You have a contagious belly laugh that gets everyone giggling; you rarely meet a stranger; and you’re the sweetest baby I know. And I’m not just saying that because I’m your mom. Admittedly, I’m biased, but I cannot believe that I get to call you my son. You’re a perfect little human with the uncanny ability to make everything brighter. I am so glad I get the opportunity to play with you all day; every day. This has got to be the most fun job I’ve ever had, and, oddly enough, I am learning a lot about how to become a better teacher when I return to the classroom.
I’ve always been that teacher that skipped a few steps. They’ll figure it out, I would justify silently as my students grappled with a gargantuan assignment. But I’ve realized that it is all about baby steps: for mommy and for baby.
Have you taken your first baby steps? Not yet. Have you started crawling? Does scooting backward count? Ok. You’re not there yet. And I’m feeling quite mixed about it. I like the idea that I can set you in one place, leave the room, and you’re still there. I actually prayed for 3 months of sitting and playing with your toys…and we’re almost at that marker. So God answers even the silliest prayers and teaches us something along the way: comparison is the thief of joy. I don’t worry about the fact that you’ll be all over the place in no time: running and playing and exploring. I do sometimes worry that I haven’t put you on your belly enough, or that I’ve done something wrong to where you’re missing this milestone. Mommies have a way of making the silliest things their fault.
In reality, there is no blame to be placed. There is nothing that you or I have done wrong; you’ll crawl when you’re good and ready. You’ll walk when it is time. Metaphorically, I’ve learned to place my anxiety on the shelf, and marvel at you: the portrait of joy. Baby steps, I assure myself. You’re hitting milestones; you’re growing; you’re content; and you’re oh-so-happy.
This month, we started with a trip to Athens to visit Mandie and see the botanical gardens that mommy visited in college. You loved the warm weather…and picking up the gravel. You got some good time with your Nana and Papa as we visited PDK for the first time. Papa got a chance to show you all the airplanes and you sat and watched them take off and land. It was a really special memory for all of us. We got a chance to go to Jasper for my reunion and we attended your first Marble Festival. You and daddy waited for me at the finish line, where I ran my fastest 5k yet. I’m convinced you were a big part of the reason I ran so fast…after all, that stroller is pretty tough to push. We took a trip to Birmingham to visit your Nana and Grandad; five cousins; Aunt Mallory and Uncle Matt. You got a chance to be held by your honorary Aunt Becky and Uncle Jon…after some gushing over your style by the smitten waitress (that happens a lot; you’re a stylish little guy).
We have been park-hoppers lately: Ashford Park, Brittany, PDK…you name it. You’re really starting to enjoy seeing kids and babies and you’re interacting more with walking toys, sandboxes, and you still love to swing. Brooke and I took you to Legoland: a place I know you’ll love when you get a bit older. Mommy tried to make some finger paint…although, I think you would’ve rather just eaten the paint. We have had beautiful, warm weather punctuated by cool fall mornings, and you and I have enjoyed time on our front porch rocking and looking at the wildlife. We got a chance to take you to Burt’s Pumpkin farm where your Aunt Allison, cousin Taylor, and Nana got to join us. Everyone loved Burt’s…except your dad. It could’ve possibly been because of the horrible ride home…you were not too happy to be in the car that long. 🙁
Of course, October would not be complete with celebrating mommy’s birthday: you were a good sport and joined Bren, Rebecca, Judah, and Emerson for lunch at True Food, you came shopping with me, and gave me plenty of hugs and kisses…although, you weren’t too happy for mommy and daddy to leave on their date. Brooke really came to the rescue to calm you down. We also celebrated two of your good friend’s (Clay and Theo) FIRST birthdays. I still remember getting to hold them just hours after they were born and you kicking up a storm to meet them. It is a joy to know you will have lifelong friends in those two.
We got to visit the Chamblee Alumni tailgate as well: you had your first taste of watching a marching band. YOU LOVED IT! I think you’re really into music (fingers crossed). Let’s hope you have a better singing voice than your dad and I. :).
You and I got a chance to build your first fort on a rainy day last week. It was so much fun reading books and staying warm. I know you’re going to love it even more as you get older :). We rounded out the month with Halloween festivities. We attended Halloween on the Town, Octoberfest in our neighborhood, and we trick-or-treated with Martha and Lainey and the rest of the neighbors. It was overwhelming; you did an awesome job for your first night out. I loved watching your little eyes light up with all of the silly costumes around…and I also loved dressing up with you as you were Popeye, and I was Olive Oyl. I’ll take what I can get for now, because soon you won’t let me match you :).
Your current stats are about 20.5 #, 28.5 inches, 3 teeth (and your cutting between 4-6), and the biggest heart I know. You like your take along tunes toy (SO MUCH), chewing everything, eating whatever I put in front of you, scooting backwards, talking (daddadadadadada, yayayaya), being in your birthday suit (a surefire way to calm you down), bath time (most of the time), tags of all sorts, standing, jumping, swinging, and REMOTE CONTROLS (only the coolest toy ever). Dislikes? Cutting teeth, sleeping all night (lately), being on your belly, being in the car (nothing new here), when other babies cry (you cry with them…soooo sad), and that’s about it.
Well, little buddy, the real holiday season is about to begin and my heart is constantly a-flutter thinking about how much this season really means now that you’re here. I cannot tell you how much I love you because words are not enough. You are the joy of our lives and I can’t wait to see what’s next.