Thursday, July 5, 2012

To Etta, at 6 Months

Dear Etta,

Happy half birthday!  I am really having a hard time comprehending how in the world six months have passed since your birth.  Six months!!!  All I have to do is look at you to be reminded it's true.  You are sitting independently (minus the occasional tip sideways).  You grab for everything in sight, especially items you see us using frequently, like our phones and utensils.  Once you have a hold of an item, you don't just shove it in your mouth; you transfer it from hand to hand as you inspect it, rotate it, inspect it some more, taste it a little, and inspect it again.  Whenever you end up lying on your back, your chunky toes are immediately shoved into your mouth.  You're experimenting with your voice, discovering it's abilities and making your presence known to the world.  By far my favorite development is your new ability to reach for me and then wrap your chubby arms around me as I hold you close.  You melt my heart.  

As you grow, you and Tye are becoming closer and enjoying each other more with each day.  Most mornings, you sleep in later than the rest of the family.  When you wake and begin to happily play with your toes or the bed sheets, I let Tye know you're awake, to which she responds excitedly, "Etta awake!  My little sister awake!" Then she runs into the bedroom and jumps into the big bed to say "Good morning, Etta!" and gives you kisses.  A kissy cuddlefest ensues with the two of you beaming and giggling, setting the tone for the rest of our day together.  
The other day as you sat in the grass while Tye was swinging, you turned your head side to side to follow your big sister in the swing as she went back and forth.  One of your favorite games to play together is for Tye to dress up in her finest princess apparel and run from the front of the house to the back while you sit along her path like a race spectator.  Every time she passes, you turn your head quickly to follow her and your face lights up in a huge smile.  The other favorite sister pastime is giggling.  First, you squeal happily, which sends Tye into hysterical laughter, which then causes you to squeal in delight, and the cycle continues.  I suppose as a mother of two girls I have years of this ahead of me, but I still feel like I can't get enough of it.  

You've now experienced your first dip in a summer pool, your first roadtrip to visit family in Illinois, your first Fourth of July fireworks, and your first time in a swing; and I know the firsts are going to keep coming in rapid succession.  After all, six months is the recommended age at which a child can be introduced to solid foods- a thought that nearly sends me into shock.  My baby is old enough to eat real foods?!?  In reality, I don't expect you to be eating any time soon- you still have to practice your pincer grasp and lose your tongue thrust reflex, two prerequisite skills for solid food feeding.  But you're close, and you're interested.  It won't be long before I'll be posting photos of you covered in avocado and sweet potato.  For now, I'm cherishing these last days of exclusive breastfeeding and proudly reveling in the idea that those rolly-polly thighs and chubby arm creases came from God's perfect food for you- me.  

Here I am again, Etta, wishing each moment would last a little longer, each second stretch into just a few more.  I'm absolutely looking forward to the future- seeing you crawl and walk, and hearing your voice-  I just wish sometimes that it would come a little more slowly.  One day you'll understand.  Until then, forgive me while I shower you in kisses and breathe in your sweetness every chance I have.  I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.


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