Month Seven

Dear Abigail,

The other day, as I came out of a very fuzzy state, having been under general anesthesia for my long-awaited sinus surgery, I was asked the following question from the nurse on duty:

“Isn’t it hard being away from your daughter,” she asked as she checked my vitals and made conversation, asking me what I do for a living. “I just couldn’t be away from my son five days a week.”


Earlier, before going into surgery, another nurse looked at your dad and I and said, “Well where is the baby?” Maybe it was because they’d screwed up the surgery time, and I hadn’t eaten since the night before, but I looked that woman right in the eye and said, “Oh, we left her with the dog. But don’t worry. The dog is really good with her and they’re great friends.”

Here we are, seven months into your life on earth, and I remain dumbfounded by questions like these from other moms. To the nurse who tended to me after surgery? I gently grabbed her hand and said, “I am glad you have the option you do,” after she told me she was able to bring home a full-time salary by working 12 hours a day, three days a week. To the other nurse, pre-op, she just laughed at my response.

Your Dad was very proud of me for not losing my marbles on either of these women. I really wanted to, after all. I remain dumbfounded that any person could mother and let those sort of mindless comments spill from her or his lips. Oh it’s a complex business, this mothering business.

In case there is any doubt? I miss you like mad, all day long. Especially the older you get, the more entertaining. You’re such a neat little person.

1) You are stupendously curious. I know babies are curious as a whole, but I can’t get over how focused and intent you are on figuring the world – your world – out. I maintain, the more you develop physically, that all of your irritation with the world at large had much to do with how curious you are and how desperate you seem to figure things out. The easier it is for you to control your own destiny – say, get your hands on a rattle you want a few inches away, grab it, bring it to you and sit up and play with it to your heart’s content – the happier you are.

2) Your smile. While it’s true that you’re still stingy with the smiles, but when you do? Holy Moses. Your mouth opens up huge and wide, so wide, with so much force, that your neck buckles a little, and you’re forced to tuck your chin into your chest, as if the weight of all of your glee is too much for your body just yet. It’s amazing to see these smiles. To be the reason for so many of them throughout the day is more than my heart can bear. It buckles, too.

3) Your determination. Your favorite thing in the world to do is to grab someone – anyone’s, really – hands so you can stand right up. You love standing more than almost anything. There has never been a time in your life where you didn’t love – seriously, love – putting weight on your feet and legs. Each time you do? BAM! Big smile. Even if just a second earlier you’d performed the same feat, smiles. What kills me, though, is that you can begin to lose steam, be as tired and cranky as can be and yet? You insist on standing. Always and always, more with the standing. You will not let exhaustion or irritation get in your way.

4) Hair. Kid, you don’t have much hair. Your Papa feels awful about this, since they say you get your hair from your mother’s father’s side. You do have his hairline – sorry – and his thin hair – sorry. You are fascinated with my own hair, almost to the point of obsession, and whenever you get a chance (which is always), you give my hair a good hard yank. I wonder if it isn’t to try and borrow some of it until yours comes in. It’s making its way, it’s true, but it’ll be a good long while before anyone is putting any pigtails in your fair.

You are super mobile this month. You’re seconds away from crawling. No joke. Any day now. I’m not sad, but selfishly I’m disappointed that this stage of you sitting in one place and playing with all of your toys around you is coming to end. It’s made life a lot easier for your dad and I, I can tell you. Peeing, grabbing some toast, making the bed…all of the things that require us to step out of the room for a second, or just be hands-free, have been made immeasurably easier because you can not only sit up, but also reach over, roll and grab the toys you want.

You are seconds away from crawling.

It’s been a tough month. First I had a molar pulled and some work done on my mouth. Then we all got sick. And then I had sinus surgery. There has been a lot going on that has pulled us in a million different directions. We did do a lot of fun things – walks, trips to see relatives, brunches with friends – but admittedly this month has been a bit of a blur.

Sorry about that.

Consistently, though, I find myself more amazed by you and how you change me every single day. For the better. This month I agreed to run another half-marathon with some friends, and there isn’t a lick of that commitment that frightens me. Not a bit of it. I may have to do the relay – I don’t have the time available away from you to train for long runs – but the training and work I have to put into getting race-ready doesn’t seem daunting.

Just by being here, being in my life, being my daughter, you have given me a faith in myself I’ve never had. I know I can do anything. I know I will do anything. You depend on it. I’m going to try hard, every day, not to let you down.

You are my favorite monkey.