Monday, August 26, 2013

five months//dear maddox

Dear Maddox,

The weeks feel like days around here. Everyday I am blown away by the speed of our little life. But mostly it's you. Your dad was just talking about how quickly this day crept up on us, and just the end of August in general and he said, "I blame Maddox." I blame you, too. You are in a hurry to grow up and I feel like I'm in a wide-open field, grasping at the moments of your life as they all dart past me in thick puffs of time. I can only hold on to so many and I feel like there are far too many moments for this short amount of time we've been given.

It's okay, though. Every new stage we enter and every new milestone we reach brings me to my knees in awe and thankfulness and wonder. I could still stare at you all day long without ever growing tired or bored. I could play with you for days and weeks and want for nothing more than to make you laugh and smile. Sometimes when you fall asleep in my arms I simply sit and hold you and cling to those fleeting seconds while you continue to grow bigger and bigger each and every second. There are things that I must do, like laundry and eat and sleep; but all that I really want to do, ever, is to be with you. The laundry and the eating and the sleeping and the cleaning and the other things can wait because you, my love, you are the most important.

Month four was a big one for us. You found your feet and your toes, you found your voice and you found out about toys. We started sign language but I'm only really good and continuous about three signs: dog, horse and cow. You love your puppy and every time she comes in the room I sign "dog" to you, and although it involves snapping your fingers, I'm sure you'll be doing that sign in no time. You have a toy horse and a toy cow that you love always playing with and so I make those signs as much as possible. I have an entire list of other signs I want to teach you, signs that will actually help us communicate and not just random words, but you are usually more concerned with getting fed than with looking at me to see the sign. I am working on it.

Right after you turned four months your daddy and I decided it was time for you to sleep in your crib at night. You're getting to be too big for your little rock 'n play and if not now, when? So, we figured out how to work the monitor and we laid you in your big boy crib and sent you off to sleep with kisses and prayers. We hardly slept ourselves by the time you woke up a few hours later, and we brought you into our room for the rest of the night. We've slowly but surely weaned you from our room. There have been nights where you are restless and in need of extra loves and we don't bother with the crib. There have been nights where you have slept so soundly for a few hours while your daddy and I end our days together, and the moment we lie down in our bed, there you are ready to hang out with us and refusing to be left alone in your room. It was a big adjustment for you, but I think even bigger for me. My mama heart broke a little bit as we gave you your first taste of independence and I realized that this is how my entire life will feel from now on.

Since we moved you to your big boy crib, I decided that a nighttime ritual was in order. Every night we give you a bath (in the kitchen sink where you splish splash the water all over us and all over the floor, but it is absolutely the cutest thing ever so we don't mind.) and then put you in your jammies and read you a book or two. You love your colorful Dr. Seuss books and I've got Fox in Socks memorized. We read you a story or two and we pray and we slip you into your crib and tip toe out and only let go of that breath we've been holding if you don't wake up with the creaks of the floor.

You're finally starting to like your crib, I think. You don't cry uncontrollably when I place you in it like you did as a brand new baby. You rolled over for the first time in your crib and each time you do, you surprise and scare yourself. Just today you rolled over onto your tummy and were so confused and angry with the predicament you were in. You screamed and I came running, of course, because I'm always afraid your leg is caught between the slats. That happens, too. That happens because you love to kick the bars of your crib. You kick them as hard as you can, which wouldn't seem like a lot for a baby but you are a mini Hercules so I am assuming this will be a one-baby crib. The first time you realized the bars were for kicking, I was in the room directly below yours and I was positive there was a man stomping through the house. Sometimes it sounds like you've kicked off the side of your crib and you've rolled out onto the floor. But it's always just you, kicking away.

Everyone is in love with you, sweet boy. Everyone compliments your beautiful blue eyes and adorable little dimple. Everyone loves your smile and laugh and squeals and chunky legs. Everyone tells us how handsome you are. Even complete strangers and it blesses my soul to hear every single one of those compliments. But, the best compliment we've ever received was from one of your daddy's coworkers. She said, "You can tell that you and Larissa just smile at Maddox all day long. He is such a happy and smiley baby and it's because you two love him so much and smile at him constantly." She could not have said nicer words to us. And it's true. I do smile at you and tell you how much I love and adore you and how precious you are to me all day long. I want you to grow up and know that your daddy and I love you beyond measure. I want our love for you to encourage you, to envelop you and to give you strength. There will be moments of frustration and anger and there will be disagreements and arguments and there will be disagreements. But no matter what, no matter what, I will always love you from the very bottom of my heart to the tips of my toes, past the sun and the moon and the stars. You have been loved when you were a thought in my mind. You were loved the moment you were created, the day we found out, the first time we saw your little body on the ultrasound, the first time we heard your heart beat, the first time I felt you kick, through every single contraction and through an hour of surgery. You were loved before your first breath and you will be loved until my very last. I love you more than one thousand words can adequately proclaim.

I love you, I love you, I love you.

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