It is a warm February day here. The snow is melting, the birds chasing each other outside our windows. You are asleep, an epic nap that has lingered into the early evening hours.
When I wrote you last, the holidays were quickly approaching. And though that was little more than two months ago, it seems a lifetime has passed since then. There have been so many changes around here. We celebrated Christmas, your very first one. We drove many miles in the car and saw all three branches of your family. In the midst of all of that traveling, you stopped nursing cold turkey. Just one day decided it wasn't for you anymore. I think it was a combination of teething, travel, a shift in our routine, and maybe feeling ready to drop a feeding. It was a perfect storm and though you handled the transition just fine, I had a rougher go of it. I was not ready for you to give up nursing so quickly and had prepared myself for the continued gradual weaning track we were on. I hoped it was a nursing strike, but after two weeks of persistently offering to nurse you throughout the day and your adamant refusal, I knew you were done. I shed some tears. If your entry into the world last January taught me anything, it is that you do things in your own time and for my part, there's usually little control or say in the matter!
In January you turned one, which was at once both monumental and an easy transition. You had a wonderful time at your party and it was such a great gathering of important people in your life. Everyone was here to celebrate you and it was such a cozy, special day. In February we celebrated Valentine's Day together. Your dad brought home a huge bunch of tulips and I made you heart shaped pancakes for breakfast. We made valentines out of some paintings you did (Which reminds me I never mailed them and they are still sitting here! Mom fail!).
You my love are on the edge of walking. So, so close. You will hold our hands and walk about the room. You scramble around the apartment clutching furniture and pivoting in every direction. You crawl with lightning speed.
Your current loves:
singing "Wheels on the Bus"
pointing to items when we ask you, "Emerson, where is your _________?"
reading "Caps for Sale" (You love, love this book. I can recite it from memory.)
bouncing on the bed
playing in the snow
putting blankets or clothes on your head
eating pancakes (We call you the pancake machine.)
helping me unload the dishwasher (You unload the spoons into a little basket.)
wiping the table with a sponge after eating
splashing in the bathtub
Recently you've begun putting your foot down at dinnertime. Many times you are bound and determined not to eat a bite, before you have even tasted it, and even if I have made a favorite dish of yours. As frustrating as it is for me, I try to act as nonchalant as possible. I sit patiently with you and eventually (most of the time), you'll come around and eat.
There are more changes on the horizon for our family. This is the part where I tell you about the house we just bought. Our house. What started as a very casual search turned serious a couple weeks ago when we stumbled upon a wonderful house. It is a perfect bungalow and perfect for us. A beautiful brick house to begin our next chapter. There is space, (oh so much glorious space) and light that streams in through lovely windows. It is evident at once that this house has been well loved and cared for by the families who have lived in it. It's hard to believe that you will not remember our current apartment, the place where we got our start as a family of three. I will take lots of pictures to show you someday, but it has been such a good place to us. We started our life in Chicago in it. Your dad finished law school and started his first job while we lived here. It is where I hobbled around with swollen belly and feet, first went into labor, and the place where we first brought you home. It is where you learned to talk, sit-up, and crawl (and probably walk any day now)! I know someday I will look back on this apartment wistfully, but for right now, we are anxious to get to know our new space and make it our own.
Since you came into the world, your dad and I have been recording bits of audio. We had countless little clips of you babbling, crying, and forming words. I am such a visual person, but there is something so transformitive about audio. It focuses the attention and perfectly encapsulates what it means to be a human and to be alive. We are still recording your sounds and will continue to do so as you grow. Your dad has been weeding through the audio from your first year and includes it below for you. It spans the first time we heard your heart beat, when you were only a few weeks old in my belly, to the morning of your birthday when we ate breakfast together.
You are constantly surprising me. Everyday you make new connections and I can see this incredible web forming in your mind. It's amazing and it's hard to describe to anyone else but your dad. These are such beautiful days and I know I sound like such a sap, but I really can't help it. I love you with all of my heart, Emerson. I cannot tell you how much my love for you swells and surges inside of me. It grows stronger and stronger. Everyday I feel I know you better and I am so, so honored you chose us.