You are six months old. An entire half year has gone by since your birth. It seems that nearly every woman around me is pregnant and this makes me a little nostalgic for the days when you were a newborn, when you were tiny and wore preemie clothes and did nothing but sleep and eat. Sometimes I hold you like you are supposed to hold new babies-sideways in my arms-and say silly things like “Oh my little newborn! You are my littlest newborn! All you do is sleep and eat and you are smooshy and tiny!” and you, for whatever reason, think this is hilarious. You tolerate me for a few minutes, but then you begin doing your crunches, lifting your head and straining to sit up.
You aren’t my little newborn anymore. You are my big girl who can sit by herself, eat solid food, and has a gigantic personality. Oh, I just love you.
I would like you to take a moment to appreciate the technologically advanced era into which you were born. Back in my day, we didn’t have fancy phones that took video and pictures. We didn’t have online journals for people to spill their junk. In fact, we didn’t even have electricity! (Ok, that last one was a lie). But really, I have never seen a video of myself as a baby. However, I happen to have a few videos of you as a baby, and I would like to share one, so that one day when you are all big and grown up, you can look at this video and see what you were like when you were mostly bald, and toothless, and wore a diaper.
I like that video because it gives an accurate picture of what you are like. You are crazy. And loud. And hilarious. It took everything I had to keep from bursting out in laughter and ruining an otherwise glorious live shot of your vocal cords in action. And, your hair grows straight up from the top of your head.
Norah I just know that one of these days you are going to start crawling, and you aren’t going to give me any warning. You’ll just stick your legs underneath yourself, and start moving. Probably toward the cat because you lo-ooo-ve the cats. I am requesting now, that before you start crawling for the first time, you give me a little warning shriek of some kind, just a little something so that I know I need to prepare myself. When you do these big things, like rolling over for the first time, or sitting by yourself for the first time, and you don’t give me any warning, I get so excited that my heart starts to hurt and my voice turns all squeaky. So, prior to the crawling, let me know. You’re close, you stick your face in the carpet and put your butt in the air and you move forward a little bit, so I know it’s coming soon. (By the way, mobility with your face stuck in the carpet is not the way to go. You really don’t want to have carpet burns on your face when I take pictures of you crawling.)
We are also working on saying “Mama” because jiminy cricket, I am the one that changes all the sweet potato diapers, so I am the one who gets to be named first!
Recently, Norah, we have been spending a lot of time with Jasmine and Garrett and Isaiah, or collectively, the Browns. I need you to know what a good part of our lives they are, because when you are 15 years old and I am (…let me count here…) 37 years old and we are both still alive, it will be in large part because of Jasmine.
I won’t lie to you Norah, being a mama is hard work. The daily cycle of feeding, diapering, playing, napping and starting all over again can really make me feel very disconnected. Like I am all alone in this big world of parenting. That’s pretty silly, given that I have plenty of people here and at home in Roswell who are with me, who love me, and who will help me when I need it. Jasmine reminds me that I am not alone, and by her reminding me of that and by her willingness to help me when I need help, I remember that I can also call your G-Ma or your Gia or your Grammy if I need someone. She reminds me that it is good to stay connected with the people I love, like your Aunts Sara and Audrey and Amie or your Uncles Tristan and Ben. Having a good friend nearby to help keep me grounded and in reality is making me a better mama and I am so very grateful for that.
All my life I have wanted a friend with whom I could really share my life, and because Jasmine and I are in the same life stage, live close to one another, and share some uncanny likenesses, I feel like she and I can share our lives. And part of that involves helping one another raise our kids. She snuggles with you and makes you laugh (dude, you love Jasmine) and I like to give Isaiah the cucumbers from my plate.
Norah, I sincerely hope that when you are big, you will find a friend like Jasmine. She has become priceless to me.
Little girl, you are 16 pounds and 27 inches of pure love. You have started sucking your thumb and holding your ear just like I used to do, and I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. It amazes me, that even though you are only 6 months old, you and I have some similarities. I hope that I can be a woman that you will want to be like.