Thursday, June 23, 2011

A letter from Dad

Dear Anna Kate,

You little monkey, you. I can’t believe it’s been almost seven months since you joined us here on Planet Earth. It’s floooown by, really.

In rapid succession, you went from rolling over, to sitting up assisted, to sitting up all by yourself, to pulling yourself along the ground, to crawling, to pulling yourself up on furniture.  VERY rapid succession. I am afraid I am going to wake up one morning, and you are going to be packing your stuff to go to college or something. Slow. Down. Please. Please slow down.

But I know you won’t. You will keep on keeping on, growing, developing, maturing, changing. Cuz that’s the nature of life. And because that’s who you are. You are tenacious and determined. It’s great to see most of the time, but sometimes . . .  when your mom and I need you to be still or stay put or just not get into anything/trouble . . .  you get that determined look on your face and we know that we’re gonna have to take some active measures to make sure you don’t!

So, life and your determination to grow and change are going to win out over my desire for you to stay put where you are in life. Now, I don’t want you to stay put forever, mind you. I very much want you to become the lil girl and young lady and lovely woman I know you will be someday. But it’s just that I’d love to take in your current stage of life for a bit before you move on to the next. In part, because I am in NO hurry for you to grow up and  . . . .sniff . . . leave. No hurry at all. But also in part because, every time you change, the person and baby and creature that you were just a few days, weeks or months ago is gone. And gone forever. I think that’s why I get so misty-eyed and emotional when I see the things you are now capable of that just a short time ago you couldn’t do. It means I’ve lost that baby from a short time ago, never to return. And I loved that baby. I miss her.

Your mom and I recently took some time to look over the HUNDREDS of pictures (literally) that we’ve taken over your first six months. And we were SHOCKED at how much you’ve changed in appearance and ability in that time. It was stunning. We barely recognized you in some of those pictures. Which is so weird, because we like to think that you haven’t changed much at all. But you sure have. Slightly each day, it seems. Which is why we were so clueless as to the accumulated transformations.

And as we looked over those pictures, we had a blast recollecting the things you did and couldn’t do at those various stages in your life. And, of course, I got a lil misty-eyed again, remembering the lil baby girl you were in those days, and the particular joys we felt at that particular stage in your life. And, I got sad because I knew I would never see that lil girl again. Like I said, I miss that lil girl. She was awesome in so many ways.

The good news, however, is that I love the current baby you are just as much as I do (did?) that lil girl from a few weeks ago, from a few months ago! And, the good news is that you are just as awesome as that lil girl from some time ago, in many of the same ways and in many different ways.

One especially neat aspect of who you are at this point is your ability to recognize your mom and me, and to express your emotions towards us. It’s near impossible to describe the feelings that overcome us when you smile at us (you smile SO big when you see us), when you shriek excitedly at us (loudly!), when you swing your arms or kick your legs at us (so energetic), when you show your unbridled love and happiness to be with us. You haven’t figured out how to lie or deceive yet, so it is moving to see those reactions – because we know you aren’t faking it. What we see is how you truly feel. We get to peak into your heart and see how much you love us and like us and appreciate us. It is one of the most inspiring feelings because it motivates us to be the best parents we can be for you. Someday, that will mean inevitable conflict with you, saying no to you, drawing boundaries for you. And that won’t be easy because we want to give you the world.

But for now, it means feeding you, cleaning you, cuddling you, hugging you, holding you, playing with you and meeting your needs and doing fun things with you. And for now, we’ll revel in your unbridled love and excitement for us. . . . and in the baby you are today.

For I know that you will be a different baby tomorrow, next week, next month. And I know will miss the baby you are today. But I also know that I will adore the baby you are at that time, too.

So, until the next time, lil girl - I remain amazed by you, and I remain in love with you and I remain

Your loving Dad.

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