little jude, you came into this world and made me a mother. i realize this same thing happens all over the world to a bunch of people every day but still. wow. everything is new!
you've been a big and tenacious baby since you lived inside of me. you kicked passionately and HARD. when you arrived, you lifted your little head up as early and as often as you could. you are now on hands and knees with a look of sheer determination to crawl any day. you roll all the way from one side of the living room to the other in order to push all of the buttons on the cable box you shouldn't. you are a steadfast little soul and i can already feel myself learning and growing as a result of your joining our family.
having you is the greatest adventure your dad and i have ever taken together. every day we learn something new about you or about how we hope to raise you and it is so fun to do as a team. we learned how to put together and use a breast pump. we've mastered cloth diapering, babywearing, and bath time. i now understand exactly how to nurse in public. a crib has been built and organic baby food has been made and we know which crazy noises make you smile. we are learning you and you are teaching us!
there have been challenges. i have not prioritized my own well-being a few times and have simply had to hand you to your (amazing) dad immediately upon his arrival and hide in the bathtub for half an hour, or go to coffee with a friend, or just cry for a minute. this is a new job and i'm getting better at it. and you're patient with me. you grin your wide grin at precisely the right moments as if to indicate that you know it can be rough some days and that you're thankful for it all. you are so wise, baby jude.
up until a couple of weeks ago you slept skin-to-skin with me for nearly every sleep you took. you have been so brave and successful in your slow and gentle transition to napping and starting out the nights in your crib, little one! you now close your eyes after maybe 10 minutes of talking to yourself and the past few nights have slept the first 6-7 hours of your night alone in your crib. essential oils and white noise and your favorite stuffed goat have helped but YOU are the one who decided the crib was an alright place to be and we are so proud.
that's not to say i don't watch you on the video monitor as i fall asleep secretly hoping you'll wake up soon so you can come cuddle in bed with us. your little sleepy sighs and the way you scoot to find me and how sometimes we open our eyes at exactly the same moment in the morning and smile, first thing, before anything else happens, are experiences i treasure and will always remember. our connection is heaven to me, jude man. you make me filled right up to the brim with love.
oh, and you should see you with your dad. first of all, after a couple of months of looking just like me, it has flipped and you are a tiny version of your dad EXACTLY. my big dimple on your right cheek is the only visual indicator you're mine at all. you look at him with awe and wonder and get excited when he walks into the room. he can make you laugh harder than anyone so far. he has always been the one to change your diapers at night and get your from your crib when you stir. he is the emotional safe place for you and me both, kid. and aren't we lucky.
the house isn't always clean and i've only gone to yoga once a month instead of the once (or more) a week i set an intention to and there are thank you cards from christmas that are long overdue and i still carry around more of me than i did when you sparked inside of me but it's easy to look through all of that when you splash water all over the whole bathroom during your bath and scream your little pterodactyl scream and giggle just because we've made a kissing noise at you. you know just how to turn chaos into simple, beautiful joy.
your favorite toys are your moccasins with the strings and your fancy red piano. you talk and sing all day long. you're growing a mohawk. you can never hold still long enough to have your nails trimmed. you're hugely interested in murphy. you have been to breweries and parties, the mountains and the ocean. we're taking you to your first concert, martin sexton, in a month. we tried your noise-cancelling earphones on you last week and laughed and laughed. we hope you love it all. it is so fun to show you the world.
we are learning and re-learning balance (actually, this is the theme of my life). being a great parent and excelling in your career and maintaining your friendships and taking care of yourself and your house and growing spiritually and having new experiences is not easy to do all at once. but we're learning every day and trying our best to do our best. we wouldn't change a thing, we're just slowly getting better at learning how to do it all at the same time. luckily your dad is the most patient, understanding and loving dude on planet earth and we are surrounded with friends who will get together with us when we need it and are happy to wait until we have the time and energy, too.
your grandparents and aunt margot have come to visit lots. your aunt margot was just here for eleven days as your dad finished up a big deadline. she helped me organize and played with you and knows you probably better than anyone besides us. she can sense when you're tired, loves changing diapers, and is really good at picking out baby outfits. she adores you and you reciprocate that right back.
time is flying and sometimes i want to press pause and keep you as this perfectly sweet and cuddly baby forever. but another part of me is so excited to adventure with you, jude man. we can't wait to see the world through your eyes and teach you what we can before you take off and create your own life experiences. it's all just so tender it's remarkable i make it through an hour of the day without tearing up (okay, sometimes i don't. sometimes i love-cry a million times a day).
my greatest desires for you are that you always feel safe and loved and encouraged to be exactly who you are. that you are filled with passion and zeal for life. that you make connections that nourish the development of your heart. that you explore and learn and grow. i often fall asleep dreaming of all these things for you and then each day wake up and realize all i need to do for today is love on you and tickle your ribs and maybe help you practice sitting unassisted and that will be enough. for today.
i haven't done a great job of journaling as you've grown but i wanted to take a minute to jot down a little about how incredible this journey has been so far and how happy we are you came. you make every experience new and beautiful, really. you are life expressing! long story short, you are better than we could have imagined and we love being your mom and dad. thanks for letting your light shine on us for a while, baby jude.