Sunday, December 26, 2010

9 months in, 9 months out

Dear Natalie,

I have looked ahead with trepidation at this day, and willed it to take its time getting here. Today, you are 9 months old. As of 8:32 this morning, you have been outside of my body as long as you were in it (you'll notice that we're pretending here that you arrived at exactly 9 months, my little 42-week baby... play along, k?). I was so excited for you to get out here and join us in the outside world, but now I look back on those pregnant months with some nostalgic longing. Not longing for the exhaustion and the weight gain and the achy hips and the peeing every half hour, but longing for the time when I knew you better than anyone. Longing for the ability to keep you safe every minute of every day. Longing to take you with me everywhere, instead of having to leave you behind 3 days a week. Although you were always a product of me and Daddy, during those months of waiting I was the lucky one who began learning about the person you would become. I knew when you slept and woke, when you rolled and shifted, when you hiccuped. Now you are out here with us and I am one of many people in your life who love you, care for you, know you. You and I are both so lucky to have family and friends who would do anything for you, but I will admit that it is sometimes hard to share you. It is hard to admit that my little baby isn't such a little baby anymore at all.

Every day you become more independent, more capable. I am struggling to come to terms with what it is like to see you hurt yourself, to see you try something and fail. But I am learning and so are you. At 9 months old you are such a little person now--you clap and laugh and wiggle and bounce. You are learning to wave bye-bye, and can drink from a straw and a sippy cup. You are a pro at finger foods these days, and can help to feed yourself with a spoon. You climb on everything and in everything and pull things apart and turn stuff upside down to see how it works. You say so much, like "Blah-Blah," "Da-Da," "Dib-Dib," "Ya-Ya," and I keep listening for the "Ma-Ma" sound I know is coming. You love books and pulling on Daddy's hair and chewing on anything we'll allow. You want to pull on cords and tear paper and explore the stairs. Your eyes have officially turned liquidy-brown and your hair is starting to curl up at the ends, especially around your ears. Every part of you is dimply and squeezable, but your skin is no longer as baby soft as it once was--all that crawling has made your round knees start to rough up like a big girl's.

So much of me wants you to just stop, right where you are. Don't change. Just stay little.

But all of me is so proud of everything you can do, and I wake up every day curious and excited to see what comes next.

Happy 9 months, my budgie. You, my lovedove, were all I wanted for Christmas.


We'll be back to regularly scheduled blogging soon, complete with Christmas pictures. Mikey, the Budgie, and I are jetting off to Florida for a week with Natalie's Grandma and Grandpa Cherry! While we are gone, I have some posts scheduled to publish & you can be sure I'll have lots to share once we are back. Cross your fingers for smooth travels & sunny skies. We are desperately in need of a vacation, and I absolutely cannot wait to show Natalie someplace new to explore!


  1. Everytime you write a letter to Natalie, I end up in tears. beautiful, beautiful.

  2. I love this post, it made me remember Norah's first nine months and think about those same emotions I have when I look at Eliza and what is to come. Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful family!

  3. Gosh you've put in to words all the feelings I felt/feel for my little love bug. It's a crazy wonderful feeling. I will always long for the days of her being little but am still so excited to watch her grow and accomplish the wonders of life. Happy 9th month bday Natalie!