You are a little over seven months old now. Over the last month, you have had your six month shots, experienced your first Thanksgiving, your first Christmas and your first New Years Eve party. You did really well through all of the excitement, I must say. You are kind of a rock star. You have so much personality now. You have two teeth on the bottom and you don’t hesitate to smile freely at almost everyone you come in contact with, as if you are trying to show them off. You desperately want to crawl but can’t seem to figure it all out yet. But you are ridiculously strong and if you had figured out balance, I am pretty sure you could walk a mile on those crazy strong legs.
Your shots went better this time. Probably because I felt better because, since he broke his foot and has been out of work for a month, your dad was able to come and
witness the horror hold you so that I didn’t cry my face off while that mean lady stabbed you with needles. (She is neither a mean lady, nor does she stab you, but I am your mom and in that moment, she is the antichrist and she is stabbing furiously at your little, chubby thighs and she is lucky that *I don’t carry a switchblade…anymore…) I am always grateful when your father can take part in your check-ups because you seem happier when both of us are around. Especially when you are naked and cold and have strangers prodding you.
Thanksgiving was pretty uneventful. We visited your Grandma J and Grandpa Willie, and you did really well all day until we got home for our second dinner. And then your Great Aunt Carol (who loves you to itty bitty pieces and usually makes you super happy) tried to hold you and you screamed your head off for thirty minutes until you wore yourself out and fell asleep. No one held the little tantrum against you though. Because you have those gigantic blue eyes that you inherited from me, which will get you out of most unfavorable situations, well into your teen years. (Just don’t try to use them on me, little lady. I invented this game.)
Christmas is a hard one for me, Lilah, I haven’t enjoyed it in a very long time. You see, and I am sure that you know this by now, Christmas is mommy’s birthday. And I know, I know, most people really enjoy their own birthdays because they get presents and a cake and there are candles and everyone celebrates you and stuff. But Christmas birthdays aren’t really like that. You kind of forget that it is your birthday because of all the madness and running and family scuffles about when to take the ham out of the oven. But that part doesn’t much bother me either. I could handle that. But, ten years ago, on Christmas Day, my grandmother, your Great Grandma Shirley, passed away. She was the most important person in mommy’s life and she was a saint (and I don’t use this term loosely) and anyone who knew her will tell you that. I have had a very hard time getting past the loss of her. I have tried to avoid Christmas celebrations every year since that day, my 23rd birthday. Christmas is not easy to avoid. I am telling you this now because I want you to know that, because of you, for the first time in ten years, I have had a real reason to celebrate. You bring me so much joy, my beautiful daughter. You are the light in every day. And while, this year, I still missed my grandma’s voice terribly, and her smell and the hugs that she gave that were so much better than hugs from anyone else, I was able to fill myself with the joy of you and be thankful, that even though on this day I had lost such a wonderful person, from here on out, I have you. And I look forward to next Christmas, and the one after that, and the next one. Because you will be there. Because seeing your smile will be everything that I could ever want for my birthday/Christmas gift. So, thank you, my darling. Thank you for giving me Christmas back.
All of my love, always.
* I never actually carried a switchblade. But I do routinely threaten to cut people. I’m just frontin’.
- Open Letter to Baby L at 5(ish) Months (brokencondoms.wordpress.com)