little brother --
You are growing so fast. You grow as you play. You grow as you sleep. I watch you learn by doing, I watch you watch us. Sometimes you repeat sounds you hear, simple sounds that sound so beautiful in your little baby voice. I lift you up from your nap and I can feel that you've grown. I feel you getting heavier and heavier and feel helpless, wishing to keep you as my baby forever.
I imagine you as a little sapling with arms like branches and fingers like twigs and a little nest of golden-blonde hair.
Sometimes you cry a tired, heart-broken cry with your arms reaching as much as you can reach them to me. I hold your ear to my heart and hush your tired baby hair. We sway and hum and I listen to your breath so sweet. Your tears feel hot against my skin. I love when you are snuggly like this, tired of the day and the sounds. Other times you are like a wild animal, squealing to be set free when I just want to cuddle you a little longer.
Tiny teeth are sprouting from your bottom gums. You like to test them. You like to bite our fingers. Sometimes you crawl up to us and pull yourself up on our legs as we sit. You look at me, smile, and bite my knee with your itty bitty teeth. Sometimes you and I sit on the floor and share an apple or a plum. You like to dig your teeth into the cold fruit and suck as much juice as you can, like a little hummingbird. When I look to see where you bit, all I see are two tiny holes that you've made. You look so proud.
You are starting to stand and occasionally will take a few steps. You're very apprehensive to walk. Sometimes you'll stand and flap your arms wildly until you plop onto your butt. Sometimes you'll let yourself fall forward. Sometimes you panic and squat down to avoid falling. If your dad and I are very close, you'll take a few steps, only so you can dive into our arms. I'm in no hurry for you to walk. I can barely keep up with you when you crawl.
You are a wonderful traveler. We like to put you in the backpack carrier and go on hikes. You hold out your arms and try to touch everything within reach. You pull petals off wildflowers. You wave pieces of grass and let them go into the wind. When we go to Big brother's baseball games, you sit on a blanket with us and put your feet in the grass. You watch people go by, you sit on our laps and look out the windows at the trees.
You watch the cats sleep or jump or play and you squeal with delight. You call out for your 'Dahdah' over and over. Sometimes you whisper it. The moment you see him, your face is in love and pink and just elated.
I come in your room after a nap and you smile so big. I pick you up and you bury your face into my neck, you open your mouth so wide and hum into my cheek.
Big brother comes home from school and says hi to you. You flap your arms and squeal and make all of the noises you know.
I hope you know we feel the same way about you.
In two months, you will be one. I cannot believe how quickly this time has passed. I cannot believe how completely I love you, how much joy you have brought into all of our lives. I am so blessed to be able to watch you grow, even though I wish you would slow down sometimes. I feel so blessed to get to see you when you wake up in the morning, to kiss you before you fall asleep. Thank you for choosing me to be your mom.
I like you, I love you, I will always protect you.