Monday, October 24, 2011

What I Love

I'd like to share with you some of the things I love about you, Zora.

I love how you seem to dance with shimmering leaves. Papa and I are both delighted that you seem to find the outdoors magical! I have sat under a tree with you looking up and you are mesmerized by leaves moving in the wind. You are able to sit and just be completely blissful, transfixed, delighted, by leaves. Your eyes sparkle. You wiggle with glee.....over leaves! Papa loves to just go outside with you, just walk out the door, even if we only have a few minutes, and take you on a tour of the nearby bushes, leaves, grass. He likes to lay in the grass with you. You like it too! You are learning to grab the grass, pull it, and put Yum! This beautiful world is just delicious to you! I love this about you. It gives me "beginners eyes" once again for the beauty of the earth.

I love how you like to hang upside down. Now, this one is complicated---I'll have to write more about this later, because this whole upside-down thing has some threads back to our difficult birth. But still, you seem to default at times to throwing your head backward and just hanging with that big 99th percentile head of yours over a pillow, lap, whatever. You look like you are having fun! Whenever you finish eating at what I call the "Boppy Lounge", you always seem to slide your way to the edge of the boppy (breastfeeding) pillow and let your head dangle over the edge. Maybe it helps with digestion? Not sure, but you like upside down and it's just very sweet to be seeing you begin to have some preferences. Maybe you'll be a trapeze artist, Zora.

I love how you need to be part of any conversation, even if it means turning away from a good meal of breastmilk. I know that this is common developmentally for your age---for a baby to begin to have more and more interest in the world. But we are definitely seeing a very very curious girl emerging! Lately I cannot get you to eat (and at times when you ought to be HUNGRY!) if there is something a bit more interesting happening. If Papa walks in to the room and wants to chat with me, forget it, mealtime for Zora is over! You want to see him, hear him, converse with him. It is pretty adorable how you get riveted by a voice, a sound, light, wind. You need to look! You need to see what's going on! Papa and I are both reminded of how Papa decided to re-frame your (challenging!) birth position in a positive light-------that trying to come out face-first just meant you wanted to see what was going on! 

I love how you are so easily pleased by playful singing. If we had to ask you right now how to describe life, and if you could talk, I am confident that you would say, "Well, of course everyone knows that life is a song!" That's because we pretty much sing all the time. We sing about breastmilk, about diapers, about waking up, about going to sleep, about playing, about trees, about the sky, about everything. And why do we do this? Well, probably mostly because I myself like to sing, and I'm the mother you got, and secondly, because it always always makes you smile. Singing can deter you from any funk that you might be heading into. Some current favorites are Zip-a-dee-do-da, This Little Light of Mine, May the Longtime Sun, When the Day is Over, and any other thing I happen to make up to try to stave off an urge to fuss or cry. 

I love how you want to engage with the world. Not sure if we can determine a tendency toward introvert or extrovert at this early stage in your life, but I would say that you really like to focus outward and see what is going on around you. I see this when we go to our Music Together class once a week. The teacher said that often at your age, Zora, the mama and baby face each other and enjoy the singing together. Well, in fact, you really seem to prefer to sit in my lap and face outward so that you can see all the other bigger kids dancing around. And you delight in them! I'm thinking that you'll be pretty psyched once you are up and moving so you can be part of the fun.

I love how much you smile and laugh. That's it. I love it. Your laugh is simply wonderful. Your smile is pure joy. 

I love how you study details. It is so fun to hand you an object and watch you study it with your eyes and with your hands. You seem to be so attentive, so curious, so fascinated with a new object. Lots of times the object goes straight to mouth, but you are also very interested in looking at things and you seem to really notice details. 

I love how much you like to use your hands and fingers. I love to watch your little fingers grab, grasp, explore. I'm surprised with how much dexterity you have with those little hands of yours! You are getting so good at turning the pages of your books, at picking up blocks, as grabbing for small edges and frills or strings on stuffed animals and other plushy objects.

Reading a book with Baba.

Table time with blocks.

I love how you are learning to ease yourself to sleep with softness. Over the past few weeks, you have shown us that you can start to get yourself to sleep with less help from Mama or Papa if we'll just make sure you have a very very soft blanket that you can massage with you hands and smush into your face and eyes. 

I love how much you put effort into your movements. You've been rolling from your back to your  belly for quite a while now, almost 2 months. Watching your efforts is so fun for me and your Papa. There is often a lot of grunting involved! And you are just starting to get your legs up under your knees (precursor to crawling!), making me apprehensive about how soon our house is going to need to be MUCH more baby-safe (for a baby on the move!) than it is right now. You show great effort! I think of Yoda---"Try?! There is no 'try'. Do or do not!" You have a determination about you that I look forward to seeing evolve in you in the years to come. 

I love your recent squeals of joy. Wow! You know how to raise the roof! Not sure what is bigger, your smile as you squeal or the sound you are learning to make with those healthy lungs!

I love your intense ability to draw me and your Papa to you-----these sophisticated attachment behaviors that have us constantly turning ourselves toward you. I swear you can get our attention by simply staring at us, even if one of us has our back turned toward you. I think you learned this from Teacup. She could get our attention just by staring really hard, not making a sound. She pulled us in and made us delighted and happy at how much she just wanted us, wanted our attention, wanted to commune with us. And you too. You have us, Zora. We are yours! You have changed our lives forever. Now, more than ever before, there is nothing more important than attending to relationship. Email can wait. Blogging can wait. Cooking dinner can wait. Eating dinner can wait. Cleaning can definitely wait. Zora cannot wait. For now, you are the center of our universe. You are very very good at placing yourself at that center---with a smile, a hoot, a squeal, or just those sweet longing eyes. 

I love how you are teaching your Papa and I to truly practice relationship endeavors that we have ascribed to for years and years. Here's an example. Papa and I have talked about the importance of hellos and goodbyes for our own attachment to one another----the importance of acknowledging and greeting one another---basically just connecting rather than mindlessly going through our days. And we've done a decent job, but we falter. There have been times when one of us might come home and hardly even say hello to the other before jumping right in to busy-ness, be it email, studying, phone calls, cleaning, exercising, all of the things....that....keep us from being connected. Ugh. Now, Zora, with you here, we are rising to meet you. We are seeing that so many of the ways that we want to connect as best friends, your Papa and I, are ways that we want you to experience the world. Clinical research tells us that while the parent-infant relationship is one of the most important "blueprints" for how a child will act in relationship for the rest of their life, the other most important blueprint is the relationship that the child witnesses in their family------whatever version of "mama and papa" that you happen to be born into. And so your Mama and Papa are looking at all of these ideals we have about how we want to treat one another and we are saying, "Wow, it's time to walk our talk!" And so there is perhaps just a bit more intentional loving going on between your Papa and I now that we know that we are the "container" that will be your blueprint for what love looks like. Wow, Zora, what a gift you are to us! More affection, more intention, more love. We are setting aside time for meals with more intention---putting away the laptops, lighting a candle, singing a "grace", enjoying each other's company! We are balancing our conversations more intentionally so that you will see that "girls talk too" (hmmmm.....need I share here that Papa usually talks a lot more than Mama if we're not careful about it!?). We are pausing and making time for hello and goodbye. We are just a little bit more present, Zora. For you. For ourselves. I thank you deeply for that.

I love that you sleep through the night. I try not to bring this up around other new moms because it's such a rare gift to get from a little one like you---I know so many new parents who are really struggling with lack of sleep! Wow, and even with you being a fabulous sleeper, we are still tired a lot! So, Zora, I will thank you again and again for your ability to sleep. And I send a wish out that this will be a lifelong pattern for you. 

I could go on and on. Te amo. 

No comments:

Post a Comment