My Dear Llewella,
I should really begin this letter Dear Lew Lew, because that is what you are called these days. I love this nick-name and I think it suits you beautifully. It is small and lively, like you, it is happy and makes you smile as it rolls off the tongue. Much like you, my love. It is nearly impossible to be angry while in your presence. Your smile is infectious. As soon as it bursts across your face all life within a certain radius brightens, as if of its own accord. I feel almost certain that this name will follow you, that you’ll be somewhat stuck with it through your childhood and perhaps into your adolescence. I imagine someday you will tire of a childish name and you’ll insist on being called by your full, grown up name. But that day can wait, Lew Lew.
You have teeth now. Well, two of them. The two bottom ones. They came in together, just like your brother's, at about 7 months. Unlike Asa though, those are it so far. I have to say that I find it ridiculously cute to see those two big (well, they’re quite little actually, but surrounded by an otherwise empty mouth they seem quite large) teeth sticking straight into your enormous grin. And that grin is something we all see often. In fact, more often than not. Your beaming smile hardly ever leaves your little face. Truly. When I hear you stir and start to wake I come over to your crib and am nearly blown down by the force of your happiness. Cheeks split and mouth agape, your eyes crinkle into the brightness of your smile and the whole world would come to its knees in that moment Lew, I swear. You squeak with happiness, tiny grunting laughs that escape your smiling lips. It’s the happiest sound I know. Even at 3am, when every mother wishes for nothing but sleeping children, your happiness gets me. Even as I, frustrated and tired, stomp to your bedroom to respond to your late nights requests, I know that smile will get me, melt me and my anger in seconds flat. I round the corner, resolve like steel, ready to be stern and get you back to sleep. Crack the door and you hear the hinges. Your still nearly bald little head whips around with the sound and BAM! Like lightening the joy spreads across your face and I give up. You win, happy baby.
You eat nearly anything and everything these days, so long as it’s nice and mushy. Bananas still reign supreme but lentils and rice, oatmeal and scrambled eggs seem to be top contenders as well. Your favorite food though would have to be whatever Asa is eating. Seriously. As soon as you see him sit down with a bowl or plate you are on him, quick as can be. Asa sits as far back into the couch as he can, placing himself as far away from your little grabby hands as he can. You stand at the edge of the couch, on tip toe, reaching with all your short arm might. Sometimes, when he’s distracted a moment and forgets his vigilant guard, you swoop in, stealthy and quiet all of the sudden. You snatch at the PB&J, grab, twist and flop to the ground, ready to crawl away at top speed with your prize. The moment when your dad or I take it away is quite possibly the saddest of the day. And those teeth are equally as cute when framed in a frown.
You love, love, LOVE to watch Asa drum. And he loves it too. He sits behind his little blue kit, sticks a-ready as he waits for your to stand yourself up, holding the floor tom. As soon as you’re ready, he begins. At the first bang you are ready and going, bouncing up and down, dancing and squealing along with him. Sometimes Asa even gives you a drumstick and the look on your face as you receive that gift is absolutely wondrous. Like you just can’t believe your luck. You are so thankful as you start to bang away on the drums with him, squealing in delight and brimming with elation.
I have to say that we all thought you’d be walking by now. You pulled yourself up to stand at 6 months, started cruising around 7.5. You love to walk around the house behind the big wheeley car with handles too. Lately you’ve been standing on your own (we call it free standing and I like that because it sounds like some crazy, adventurous, thrill-seeker type sport) but no forward movement. For now, crawling gets you there much faster. And you have Asa to keep up with - who has time for slow, precarious walking? Certainly not you, love, you’ve got places to be!
Your favorite place to be these days, is in the bath with Asa. You both really love that lately. I fill it up just five or six inches and sit right on the other side of the tub as you sit and splash next to your brother. You could sit for ages grabbing at the thin stream of water pouring from the faucet or trying to get your hands on whatever toy Asa has. You laugh and squeak and squeal and chirp and coo your happiness aloud as we play in there. But your cooing doesn’t stop once you’re toweled off. Oh no, you love “talking” these days. Especially with Asa. He’ll get himself right in your face and start with a “Yah-yah-yah-yah-yah-yah” sound. You watch, intent and serious, then crack a huge smile and start in with him, “yayayayayaya!” you shout along side. Then Asa will change it to “Bah-bah-bahbah!” and you follow suit. It's really quite loud, but I can’t get enough of it.
Lew Lew, it’s the cliché of all clichés, but my love you are growing so fast! You are so very….you. It’s simply that. There is a person, a totally unique, new to this world person and she bubbles out a little more every day. With every new sound and every beaming smile she emerges a little more. One day you will be a woman and that thought blows me down, chokes me up a little with pride, anticipation and a slight sadness, if only for the thought of this precious baby leaving, evolving into something else…. For now though, you are my little Lew Lew and I could not love you more. Thank you love, for bringing such joy with you.