Sunday, March 06, 2011

3 Months - by guest blogger, Dad :)

To my Daughter, my dear Anna Kate

As I like to remind you when I hold you or rock you or change you or play with you - this is me, I am your father. And I am writing to sort of wish you a happy quarter birthday! You see, you were born on November 30th. So, three months later is February 30th. Except there is no February 30th. So does that anniversary fall on February 28th? Or March 2nd? I am not sure the right answer. But by the time that it’s taken me to finish this letter to you, you have certainly, by any measure, turned three months old. Three months old! And you are already getting so big, you've changed so much since that amazing day in November when you were born.

I've been meaning to write this letter to you for several weeks. Since your birth, really. But even before that. I always dreamed of the day I'd have a child, and that I'd write a letter to them expressing how much I loved them. But here's the catch. I've realized over the last three months that I could write and write and write, from now until your first birthday or from now until the computer ran out of memory, or the pen runs out of ink, until there is no more paper...and I still wouldn't be able to fully explain how much I and your mother love you or how much you mean to us. It's impossible to put it into words. Can't do it.

So, I will merely say this - I love you so much, Anna Kate. So so much.

And, until you become a parent yourself, you won't have any idea how much I love you. Not a single clue. Because, until you experience it, you can't understand it. But I hope that once you are able to read this, you will keep that in mind and never forget...that my love for you is indescribable and boundless.

And, I will also say this - in the short time you've been in our lives, you have opened my eyes in ways I couldn't imagine, and you have taught me so many things. And you can't even talk yet! Although, you do coo and gurgle and giggle and make the cutest noises. Nonetheless, you've shown me how amazing and powerful and good God is, that he can and does create life, and that he blesses us even though we don’t deserve it. I know this because there is no way that I by myself, or even with the help of your mother, could have created you. And that there is no way that we deserve you. You are purely and entirely a product of his amazing power and greace. And, even though we are unworthy, he has blessed us by giving you to us, placing you in our lives. I hope you will see that as you grow older, that God is so powerful, that there is nothing beyond his ability, and that no matter our imperfections - he continues to pour his grace out on us. Your very existence is living proof of that.

And, in the short time you’ve been here, you've also shown me what an amazing woman I married. Your mom is such an incredible mother to you. I love watching her interact with you, play with  you, care for you, nurture you, support you, encourage you. I've always known she was special, but it's taken motherhood to make me realize more precisely just how special she is. I hope you will realize that she is an incredible woman, and that you will appreciate her, and admire her and obtain a certain amount of inspiration from her.

And in this short time, you've shown me how much my parents care about me, as well. I have always loved your Grandma and Grandpa. But I realize now that the love I have for them does not even approach the love they have for me. Not even close. And, with that realization that you've helped me to achieve, I hope that I am able to become a better son to them, and that I am able to love them more. I hope you get to witness how much they love you, too. They are absolutely NUTS about you. It's fairly annoying sometimes, if we're being candid. But it comes from such a place of love and caring, it's hard to get upset with them. Or, rather, it should be hard to get upset with them. I am so thankful for the perspective you’ve given me regarding my parents and I know you will continue to inspire me to be a better son to them.

Now, let me mention a few things I've had the great pleasure of observing over the last three months, some of the neat little things you've done, or how you've been especially cute. Part of the reason for writing them here is to be able to embarrass you later. Because, honestly, that's one of the perks of being a parent - embarrassing your child. But part of it is also because I know that many of the memories you've created for us will be forgotten as the days, months and years pass us by. And I want to try to capture as many memories (big and small) of this time as I can. Because the last three months have been three of the happiest and most amazing months I've ever spent on this planet.

1.    As I’ve mentioned, you make the cutest noises. You can’t talk yet, obviously. But  you do a great job of squeaking and cooing and gurgling and sighing and little noises like that. If you are making those noises, then we know all is right in Anna Kate’s world because you don’t make those noises when you are not happy. You actually make very different noises when you are not happy. Very, very different noises. But if you are in a good and content mood, you will chirp away. It’s so, so, so sweet. One of my favorites is when you say “aw-woooo.” I don’t know what you are thinking or feeling when you make it. But you take a deep breath, and then – aw-woooo. Even though I can’t say for certain, I take it to mean you are saying “love yoooou.” That’s what I think, anyway.

2.    Projectile-ing. You are a little baby. But goodness, do you have powerful abdominals and stomach muscles. You’ve only projected a few times that I’ve seen, but you can certainly push it out! And fairly far, too. I remember one morning, I was all dressed and ready to go to work. I was playing with you on the couch. You coughed and gurgled a bit. Took a deep breath. And . . . . kablooooey! It must have gone two feet out! Needless to say, I sprinted up the stairs as you kept spitting some stuff out (all over me and the rug and the stairs). You’ve gotten your mom a few times, too. Coated her. In our bed. Thanks for that, by the way. But I don’t think I’ll ever get my head around just how much comes out and how far you can spit it out. And usually, when you are done with that process – you will grin so big! The post-projectile huge smile. It’s hilarious.

3.    The way your mom and I have split up the night duties, I end up rocking you back to sleep after your done eating in the middle of the night. That’s been such a great bonus for me. It’s just you in my arms and me, that’s it. You’ve been fairly easy in the rocking back to sleep category. You even have a little routine as you go to sleep. You will cry or fuss as I swaddle you. Once I give you the paci, you usually calm down and start sucking on the paci. You will eventually fall asleep, and it’s easy to know what that is. You will take a big deep breath . . . and then let it out quickly. At that point, you’ll spit out the paci and nestle into my arms a little closer. It’s at that point that I know you’ve fallen asleep.

4.    For some reason, you can’t stand being in a stopped car. You hate it. If you are in your car-seat, and we are on the road, you are usually in a fine long as we are actually moving. But if we stop, or even slow down, you will start to fuss and cry. Yet, if we are in a restaurant or some other place – you are just fine being stationary in your car-seat. But if that car-seat happens to be stationary in a car, then look out! Your mom and I have taken to arguing and talking to stop-lights or other drivers or railroad crossings in an effort to get us moving again. Cuz our baby girl does NOT like stopped cars.

5.    I’ve been lucky so far, but you’ve only peed on me two or three times. You haven’t pooped on me yet. Yet! But there have been a few times on the changing pad, while I’ve been changing your diaper, that you strategically waited until I had your old diaper off and your new diaper not quite on yet – that you decided that moment would be the best time to pee. It hasn’t happened in a while, so I am hopeful that I will escape being used as a bathroom again by you. But I have a sneaky suspicion I won’t be so lucky.

6.    When you wake up in the mornings, it is a privilege for your mom or I to go and get you. Because as soon as you see either one of us as you are laying on your back, awake in your crib, eyes wide open – you get a huge smile across your face as you look up at us. It is so neat because it is such a spontaneous reaction from you. It’s almost like “Oh, hi! It’s YOU again! I like seeing YOU!!!”

7.    You might be part inchworm because you have definite inchworm tendencies. I will lay you down to sleep in your crib. And no matter where in your in crib I leave you, you often wake up in a different part of your crib – upt to two or three feet away. And, it’s very common for you to have spun 90, 180, or 270 degrees from where you were laying initially!

8.    I am not sure whether you will eventually be left or right handed/footed once you get older. But as for now, I am guessing left. I haven’t really noticed you favoring one hand or the other yet, but when you are on your changing pad and you are in a good mood (which usually seems to be the case on your changing pad), you will start kicking your legs. We call it “getting kicky.” And, whether it means anything for the future, you do a LOT more kicking with your left leg than your right. And a lot harder, too.

9.    You recently discovered your fists. Or, rather, you recently discovered that you like the way your fists taste. Because lately, it’s all you do – shove your fists into your mouth. Your mom thinks you’ve started teething. Maybe so. But whatever the reason, you will go to town on your fists! And, you’ll gnaw on my hands and your mom’s too, if given the chance. It’s very cute to watch.

In any case, these are just a few things that stick out in my mind as I type about how cute you are and the cute things you do. I know there are so many other things you do that make me smile or that I want to remember, things that I can’t recall right now. Which makes me sad for the things I’ve already forgotten, but glad that I managed to write these few things down. But to write down all the cute things you do that make your mom and me smile and laugh and cry would take just a little bit less time than it would to describe how much we love you.

I am so glad, lil baby girl, that you are here and that we get to be your parents. The past three months have been so much more than I ever expected. I so look forward to seeing what the next months hold, and to watching you grow into a little girl, little lady and into the woman you will someday be. Until then, I will contently listen to you coo, watch you kick your legs, suck on your fists, and tell you “I love you” over and over and over.

Your Dad

1 comment:

Tammy Harms said...

Awww! Happy Quarter Bday Anna Kate! xoxo