Letters to Jack: Month 7

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Sweet, sweet boy,

You are seven months old now, which means we’ve lived in our new house for three months and you still don’t have a light in your room.

This just shows how busy we are as a family of four (plus two cats). I’ve been trying to finish this post for three days.

Earlier, I fed you prunes for the first time. You loved them! It took you a while to figure out this solid-food thing, though. And I’m not convinced you’re completely there. Sometimes, I’ll bring the spoon to your mouth and you just stare at it, expecting it to perform or something. Other times, I get the spoon into your mouth, start to pull it out, then you lunge toward it, spilling half of the spoonful and making me panic that I’ve jabbed your tonsils.

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You’ve been cranky the past few days, which is very unlike you. Twice, something about the carseat triggered unattributable squalling fits. The kind of crying that communicates, “I’m hurt. Something is wrong. Help me.” There are few sounds worse to experience, despite the fact that I can rationalize my need to soothe as biological programming.

I pulled off the freeway during one of these fits, convinced I’d pinched your skin in the buckle or something equally terrible. But nothing was visibly wrong, and Charlie was with us, and it was getting dark, so I decided it was best to just make it home.

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You were still a mess when we got home, so I thought nursing might help calm you down. It worked in Yosemite, though back then we’d already begun limiting nursing to only once a day –  in the dead of night when you were too tired to remember you have teeth. I was especially hopeful this impromptu nursing session would work a second time because I’d been struggling with a painful clogged duct that the pump couldn’t get out.

So, you bit me. I cried out, but gritted my teeth. This was just a bit of pain, I told myself. You’d settle down now, start nursing, and relieve the GD clog.

Then you chomped down like a pit bull and wouldn’t let go. My screaming was louder, longer. Dad ran to grab you. I stumbled to the bath, filled it with a few inches of warm water, laid naked on my side, in the fetal position, and cried.

I would have stayed there feeling sorry for myself, but Charlie came loping into the bathroom and sat on the toilet bowl next to the tub with a video game, like there wasn’t anything strange about the situation at all.

So, I got up and got on with it.

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You’re getting on with it, too – if by it, I mean crawling. You finally mastered sitting up, so you’re moving on to elbow crawls. We have to be more vigilant about what gets left on the floors. I covered all of the sockets last week after I discovered you’d booked it across the living room and were trying to electrocute yourself.

You’ve started crying when we take things away from you, like that sharp fork I left lying on top of a plate on the floor (see above re: not leaving shit around).

You’ve discovered your hands. Sometimes I find you waving to yourself with a look of complete awe on your face. You’ve also discovered your penis, which you grab during diaper changes, then burst out laughing. I know, it’s pretty silly.

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Although we’re running ragged these days, you remind me every morning to cherish the time. When I walk into your room, your two-tooth, beaming smile says, “Today is just the best day, isn’t it?” You squeal when the cats come in the room. Or when you see one of your Grandmas. Or if you get to spend time in the bouncy seat. Or if it’s Wednesday.

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I had the perfect Mother’s Day. We went with Dad and Charlie to the trampoline park. You and I snuggled as I softly bounced you on one of the trampolines. Dad sat nearby reading a book. Your eyes began to droop. Once you fell asleep, I stayed bouncing with you, warm in my arms, as I watched Charlie launch himself into the foam pit over and over again, laughing.

I was filled with grace and gratitude. There is something about you and your brother — together, with me — that just makes me feel whole.

You are my boys, you will always be my boys.

How in the world did I get so lucky?

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2 Responses to Letters to Jack: Month 7

  1. Barbara Crawford says:

    Lovely to read, as always. I’m grateful you have time and inclination to write, you do it so well.

    See you Tuesday at 7 AM, right?

  2. Gramma Z says:

    Love you all.

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