Letters to Charlie: Month 5

Dear Charlie,

This month’s shout-out goes to evolution for the opposable thumb. You found yours this month and it has completely transformed bedtime and naps.

All the parenting books said we should let you learn to put yourself to sleep, but my heart couldn’t stand more than a minute of your crying. So we bounced on the exercise ball …and bounced, and bounced, and bounced… until you were 95% asleep and I could transfer you into the crib without a crysplosion.  Then came the guilt.

But, the Thumb! Oh, Magical Thumb! How I love thee! It has become your instant soother, your natural pacifier, your replacement bouncy ball. You fuss for a bit when we put you in the crib, but WHAM, you’re out like trout once that thumb finds your mouth. Amazing Thumb.

You’re starting to develop some separation anxiety when I leave the room. I hate to hear you cry, but it makes me feel so good to know that you want me next to you. I still have this fear that you have no idea who I am. I can’t imagine how I’ll feel the day I walk into Grandma B’s after work and your face lights up to see me.

You’re still getting used to rolling over. I think we’ve only seen you do it successfully three times this month, and only from back to front. Your chubbiness may be holding you back; you clocked in at 18.5 pounds at the doctor’s today, up from 17.1 last month.

Your feet are always moving. Maybe you’ll be a runner. Or a soccer player.

We took you to the cabin in Julian for the first time. A year ago, I was barely pregnant and imagining what it would be like to have you there. It was a lovely trip. You got lots of quality time with your grandparents, who let your Dad and I take naps DURING THE DAY. At night, you slept beside me in the bassinet just like when you were a newborn, and I loved it.

You are still a baby, but sometimes I glimpse the man that you’ll become. I’ll see it in a certain look or in the way that you move. When you are that man, will I see the beautiful baby you once were?

This was a month of sweet moments. We took you to the Zoo, one of our favorite places, and it was just as great as we thought it would be. You liked watching the birds in the aviary. We saw keepers feed a polar bear. And we cuddled a lot as a family.

During a cloudy day a few weeks back, you and I took a peaceful walk around the neighborhood. It was cold, you were bundled and napping. I sipped a pumpkin spice latte. The streets were still, my mind was still. All was right.

But my favorite moments are right before your Dad and I go to bed, when we sneak into your dark nursery to marvel at how amazing you are. A few days ago, I started to cry, the force of my love for you obliterating everything else.

“You know,” your Dad said. “Words like ‘miracle’ and ‘blessing’ don’t have the same meaning for me as they do for other people. But when I look at him, I think I understand what they mean.”

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