Dear Addison: Ten Months

Dear Addison,
Last week you turned ten months old! And cue the tears. Mine, not yours, because you rarely cry. Thanks for that, by the way.

I swear I was just sitting down writing your nine month post. This month slipped right by. I have a sinking feeling this is exactly what I will be saying when you start kindergarten, graduate from high school and get married. Or when you get your GED, join the Peace Corps and head to South America.  

What I do remember about this month is that you are indeed a genius. Your imitating skills are clearly superior and you have surprised us by copying the way your Daddy plays the harmonica and the way I dance like a spaz. Most recently you grabbed my phone, put it on top of your head and said hello. We didn’t teach you any of those things, you sneaky little parrot. When you randomly display these feats of intelligence we just furrow our eyebrows and stare at you, look at each other, and then look at you some more. We know that you have already surpassed our measly brains and now we’re just sitting back imagining what you might do next. Your future will be more than we can claim in this life, and that is precisely what parents dream for their children.

Your love for Maya has grown by leaps and bounds. Meaning you leap and bound on top of her. You learned how to “throw” her bone for her (about three inches in front of you), and if she doesn’t want it, you will stick that thing right in her face until she takes it. I’m working on “easy hands,” but you will have no part of it. Before I can say unsanitary, you pluck hairs from her head and stick them directly into your mouth. I guess I should thank you for the free grooming.

You adore music and when I let you roam around the living room, you crawl right over to your Daddy’s guitar, seat yourself under it and begin clapping. Only a fiend would not indulge that request. Even my goofiest songs about putting on pajamas and dry heaving over your smelly diapers are pure gold to you.

We’ve experimented with several new foods, balking at the doctor’s idea to wait four days in between trying something new. Who’s got time for that when there are avocados, tomatoes, black beans and mashed potatoes sitting around? Surprise, surprise—you eat everything. It takes a village to sustain that belly.

A stick yard

I spent a large portion of our income on a food processor so that I can make you four course meals crushed into mush. I want you to love good food, to appreciate meals with family and friends, and not obsess about calories and jeans sizes. But I also want you to discover whole, natural foods that keep your beautiful body strong and healthy. It’s a balance that I cannot pretend to have found, but I work at it for you, so that you can see a woman who laughs around a table instead of worries, who accepts dessert instead of becoming defensive about her latest diet. It’s a tricky business being a girl getting to know food, and I want your earliest memories to help shape that relationship into an effortless, colorful, joyful experience.

Related: mashed bananas work better than hair gel.

This stage in your tiny life is still full of belly laughs from all those who get to be in your presence, fleeting snuggles when you are just tired enough, and pure fascination with watching your sweet soul take shape.

A shoe on headBut you are also on the move. Constantly. And being with you 24 hours a day is utterly exhausting. So your Daddy and I took a mini vacation over the weekend and left you with BeeMa and Abuelo. Know that I love you with every ounce of my being when I say this: boy was that nice. I think it was healthy for you and me to spend some time apart, to catch our breath and to learn that we can manage a [brief] separation.

A nat pool float

I also want you to grow up in a home where your Daddy and Mama love each other. Not in a we’re-married-and-stuck-with-each-other kind of way, but a genuine, look-at-the-way-they-look-at-each-other kind of way. This is the definition you will have of marriage, of commitment, of respect, of love. Your Daddy and I take that seriously. So when we go out on dates, or take a quick weekend trip, of course we’re doing that for ourselves, to deepen our relationship with one another. But we also do it for you. To show you what it looks like when a husband and wife are intentional about staying mad over each other, about creating time to be together, about being interested in each other as people. We think that’s one of the greatest gifts we will ever be able to give you, so that you know what to hold out for. And what to walk away from.

With every passing day, I am so giddy at the thought of spending this life with you. Of your future bursting into being right in front of my eyes. Surely, what a beautiful dance it will be.

From My Whole Heart,

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