Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Big's Bi-Annual Newsletter

In following the footsteps of another, more ambitious blogger, with her "Monthly Newsletters" to her little one, I decided that at this six month mark--this strange place where we have a six month old, a six year old, and, of course, it being the sixth month of the sixth year--well, all the stars seems to have come into place for me to write such a newsletter. So, here goes.

Bi-Annual Newsletter No. 1*

You're sleeping-in right now, Big. Its a thing that we hoped would happen because we're a sleeping-in sort of family. 8:36 a.m. and you're snoozing away. I see you turn your head and wrinkle up your face once in a while and I think that maybe you're about to wake up, but then you roll over again and drop back into the subliminal.

Let's see. How do I summarize the last six months? Impossible, and now I'm regretting not incorporating the Monthly Newsletter into my blogging repertoire.

Weeks One and Two: Once BioMom got out of bed from the C-Section, we were up and running and you were the sweetest, smallest thing. At first, your face was so serious, and you would look suspiciously back and forth with your eyes as if you were just airlifted into Lebanon on some Mission Impossible quest saying to yourself "Okay, am on the ground, orienting myself to the surroundings. WHOA! Who are these HUGE people in my face? Where the hell am I?"

BioMom and I really took advantage of the time together--she with her FMLA leave, and me, conveniently, between semesters--to enjoy you and each other. It was wonderful. We oooed and aahhhed at you. We went out for lunch. We saw movies. Oh, we saw movies. For the first time, both of us were truly ready to watch the Oscars. Your first movie ever was Brokeback Mountain. I was so worried that we'd ruin the movie for everyone else that I could barely concentrate, focusing on your needs and making sure you were comfortable and quiet. During the "I can't quit you" scene, I was in the bathroom, changing your diaper. But I didn't care.

Weeks Three through Fourteen: Collic sets in. Between the crying, the books about sleep that BioMom was devouring and a self-esteem rocking failed interview process that I went through that month, we're just lucky we survived.

Months Four to Now: It feels like we got out of this strange black hole. As the doctor reminded us: It is YOU that remembers the collic. HE doesn't.

You are a "normal" kid now. You smile and giggle like crazy. You adore your big sister and literally light up when she walks in the room. In just the last two weeks you have:

grown two teeth
begun to roll over both ways at will
sit--sort of
learned to fall asleep on your own
begun to take long morning and afternoon naps
smile when we put you in your crib
learned to push the musak button in your crib
begun to REALLY sleep through the night
learned to squeel like a baby eagle when you're happy
tried: rice cereal, potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, oatmeal and . . . watermelon!

You love to play. Especially at your sister's soccer games where I sit with you on my lap with someone rolling a ball in your general direction. With my hands over yours we hit the ball back and you burst with laughter every time you "hit" or kick it back.

Sometimes, while giving you your bottle, your eyes close drowsily and you reach up with your free hand and explore my face as if it were a message in braille. This melts my heart. I can't tell if you're doing it to a) see if I am still there, b) to explore me or c) because you're bored and in need of constant stimulation. In any case, it is darling. In any case, the message would read, I'm here for you sweet-potato. Not going anywhere.

You seem to have an unusual penchant for words with the hard "c" or "k" sound like "kick." And you have a deep little giggle that squirts out of you when we say them: Heh. Heh heh heh.

BioMom and I have officially traded places in terms of being the full-time breadwinner/caregiver, and it wasn't an easy transition. In fact, we're still navigating our unforeseen-expectations potholes. But so far, it has been incredible to get to know you so well and be so close to you. Given my life history, I am not one to take things for granted, but as far as this time is concerned, I approach with heightened awareness of its fleeting nature and with the knowledge that you are the first and last baby that I will care for from day "one". This is to say that given the stroller or the Bjorn, I'll take the Bjorn until my back gives out with your weight any day just to be that close to you.

You're beginning to grunt now in your unique vernacular that tells me that you're awake and open for business. So, I'll close for now. The past six months, while not the most challenging of my life, have been some of the most rewarding, interesting, and refreshing. Thank you.

*Caveat: Despite the hopeful title, this may or may not be followed up with another Newsletter at 1 year or sooner.

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