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September 30, 2010

Nine Months with My Little Man

Dear Nathaniel,

Today, you are nine months old and I can't believe my eyes. Just a short while ago, you were a tiny little baby snuggled up in my arms, content to stare up into my eyes for hours on end. Today, the world is brimming with excitement for you, a place ready to be explored and conquered, one outlet cover at a time.

No corner of the house is safe now that you have discovered your ability to move. While you are still doing the commando crawl in favor of the traditional hands and knees, you have no trouble getting from place to place.

Your love of exploring has been made easier since you discovered that you aren't limited to the floor. Several days ago when I was in the shower, I looked down to see your little hand pounding against the glass. I opened the door, shocked to see that you had pulled yourself up to your knees without any help. And then, as I watched, you held onto the edge of the tub and stood up on those confident little legs. I was so proud of you!

You continued to amaze me even this morning when I walked into your bedroom to pick you up out of your crib for snuggles and oatmeal. To my surprise, I saw that you had pulled yourself up on the crib rail. While my heart was bursting with pride, I was also quietly thanking God that you were still inside the crib. I know your mischievous side all too well, my little Houdini.

These days, trouble is never far from those hands as you crawl and explore our home. Countless times each day, you hear me utter the word no as you attempt to demolish the floor lamp, pull electrical cords from the outlets, or swan dive from your high chair.

Truthfully, I didn't know when to expect you to understand that very important little word, but this past month has shown that you understand it in all of its glory. Countless times, I've watched you crawl over to the lamp and have firmly told you no. With that little gleam in your eye, you looked straight at me and hit the lamp. I repeated myself and although you fully understood that you were disobeying, you ignored me. It wasn't until you saw me walking toward you, not until you knew for certain that mama was coming over to take you away from the lamp, that you immediately scooted away from the scene of the crime, just quickly enough to receive praise for making the right choice on your own.

Your enthusiasm for running from one activity to the next extended to this month's photo shoot as well. Despite my best efforts at keeping you entertained, you were far too busy reading your books to smile at mama.

9 Months with Books

Somehow I didn't mind the difficulty of getting a good nine month picture. Knowing that you love your toys and books so much that you simply couldn't break away was extremely rewarding. Understanding the happiness you feel each day when we sit down to read Moo Baa LaLaLa for the ten billionth time makes me feel like I'm doing something right as your mom.

This month I realized that this road isn't an easy one. Raising you to be a strong, humble, and Godly man won't be an easy task for your father and I. We knew this when we set out on our journey of parenting.

What I didn't expect was how amazing you would make this ride. Several nights ago, you fell asleep between your daddy and I as we snuggled on the bed. I knew that I should pick you up and lay you down in your crib, but somehow I found myself incapable of that simple action. Instead, I scooped you up into my arms and we stayed that way for what seemed like forever. I stared at your little face, wondering at how it was possible to love someone so deeply.

I know that we will pass through challenging times together, but I promise that I will always love you just as much as I did that night that you slept in my arms. Everything else in our lives may change, but I hope you know that my love for you cannot be shaken.

All my love,

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