You turned six months a few weeks ago and all the sudden, I have a baby. You’re not that smelly-necked dinosaur thing that used to live in our home (thank you, sweet Lord in Heaven). Instead, you’re a baby. A baby that sleeps and plays and laughs and eats. We fed you your first food last week: an avocado. You hated it, loved it, hated it, then loved it. And now you love it always. When it’s time to eat and we put the bib around your neck, your nose scrunches up and you start grunting like a gorilla with a stuffy nose. And the grunts continue during feeding time until you’re finished and you stop grunting and purse your lips instead.
“All done, Mama,” those avocado-smeared lips say.
You’re a monkey-ish sort of baby with wild expressions and chubby arms that flap with delight at all things that exist. Your innocence is heartwarming, and your curious mind is such a joy to watch. I think the reason God doesn’t let six month old babies speak yet is because there aren’t enough exclamation points allotted in the English dictionary to properly illustrate your excitement for the sheer amount of things you discover daily. I often imagine the soundtrack in your head likely goes something like this: “A chair! Mama, a poster! A flat surface! A pillow! Another pillow! My gosh, mama, ANOTHER PILLOW!” And then it loops and loops and loops as you discover and re-discover and think and explore. It’s such a beauty to witness.
I hope your thirst for knowledge and wonder never leaves you, because it’s one of the most important thing that exists, Bee. We live in a world now where curiosity is a commodity that few own; that few attempt to gain. And I want you to have it and share it and believe in it.
I also, by the way, want for you to stop pounding your head with your fists while you nurse. It’s terribly entertaining to watch you zone out as you strike yourself repeatedly above both eyebrows, but I also feel sort of sad as I lay you down for a nap with numerous red marks on your face.
“All done, Mama,” those droopy eyes say.
I don’t know why you do so much fist-pounding, but it makes me smile because I know the red is temporary and those marks will fade as you wake. (Many marks will fade, Bee, and a nap will almost always make everything better.)
You’re army crawling now, incredibly fast-like. And as I follow you around the floor, my mind starts to mentally catalog all of the hazards in our home and how many things we need to start baby-proofing and then I try to figure out how we reached this stage so quickly. You’re on the move now. A real baby, ready to fly away into unchartered territory.
“All done, Mama,” those fast little feet say.
I’ve stopped writing about you quite as much as I used to, Bee, because I feel like you’re already beginning to find your voice, even though you don’t yet use words. It’s a voice I can’t wait to listen to for the years ahead of us, even when you’re a toddler and your voice asks repeatedly annoying questions, or when you’re a teenager and your voice quiets to one-word answers and eye rolls.
“All done, Mom,” those rolling eyes will say.
But I won’t be done, little Bee. I’ll never be done watching, listening, loving. Never ever.