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Monday, November 2, 2009

7 months

Dear Asa,

You are seven months old now and quite the seasoned traveler. With a four day road trip and international travel conquered, we thought we’d tackle a cross country move. Eleven states, six days, five hotel rooms and one enormous U-Haul later, we are here in the Pacific Northwest. I am more than a little impressed with us all.

What brought us all that way? From Upstate New York all the way to Southern Oregon? Simple. It was family. Not until starting my own did I realize the importance – even the necessity – of having friends and family around you. It takes a tribe… Our beautiful home in the Catskills was the stuff of adventures. We braved blizzards and hiked mountains, built fires and tended garden. We had a wood stove and a gourmet kitchen, a claw foot tub and forest of a backyard. I learned how to build a fire and how to properly cut back the blackberries. Your dad pruned the apple trees and learned the differences between ax, maul and hatchet. But most importantly, we made a baby. In hindsight it seems so obvious. We moved to the mountains to have a baby, to bring you into this world in the best possible way for us all. And I wouldn’t change it if I could. Your first earthly home was thousands of miles away from family (except “auntie” Bess and “cousins” Monty and Griff!!) and, by many accounts, we were alone. But there was beauty in this isolation, something full of grace and light. Being alone with you in those first days, weeks months was like a dream. everything fuzzy and beautiful. The time of a newborn is like no other, days and nights washed together, colors bled into each other like mis-washed clothes. Your brand new scent and sounds all around us. Profound newness. Outside, it was spring, with crocus' blooming and snow melting. We were heated by the fire, but truly warmed by the magic that is co-creation. I could not imagine a more perfect place to come into this world. And so it seems New York was for baby making – and Oregon is for baby raising.

Your grandmother has been an invaluable part of this big move – I don’t even know how it could have happened without her. In this last month you have become completely mobile – crawling, scootching and now even cruising along the edge of the couch – and that extra set of hands was more than helpful. It is amazing to watch her with you, my own mother, the same hands that fed and diapered me, loving you with the same tenderness, the same motherly dexterity. And 24 years later, she still has the touch.

Less than a week before we piled into the truck and headed West, you broke your very first teeth. Yes, that’s plural. Two of them came through in the same night, and you certainly let us know about it. I can only imagine that pain, as it’s one of those things that we blessedly don’t remember. After teething tablets, biter biscuits and frozen teething rings, I think you found the most relief from chomping down on your finger while sort of humming and moaning. I imagine the subtle vibration was soothing and making a lot of noise was just an added bonus. Now these two small teeth punctuate your smile. It is astounding how something so small can make such a change. Your gummy grin is no more, replaced now with the beginning of a little boy’s smile. Now your two top teeth are hiding under angry and swollen gums, sure to break through any day now.

Your teeth have been a part of your new favorite activity – eating. Man, can you put it away! I am still surprised when you finish that entire banana, all mashed with rice cereal and formula and even more shocked when you top it off with some avocado AND a bottle. Where can it all go? A hollow leg? A trap door? You are in constant motion, so you must burn through those calories like wildfire. It is not an exaggeration, you are literally moving every moment you are awake. And quite a few when you are sleeping too. You are active, and eager - to say the least. And you love to play in our new living room. With a wide and open layout, you have the run (or crawl) of almost the whole house. Lately I will walk by, busy unpacking, washing diapers or cooking dinner, and you will ask me to come and play with you. “Dadadadaaaadadaa!” You shout. Roughly translated as “Hey mom! Come play on the floor with me, it is awesome!” And you smile so happily that I could not dream of refusing. Down on the ground, a living room away, I bang a toy on the floor boards. Loud and possibly destructive, this is appealing indeed. You waste no time in getting to me, starting out with a rapid crawl from your sitting position. But after a few paces this feels too slow, so you drop to your belly and assume the commando crawl, pushing with your toes and dragging yourself, alarmingly fast, with your forearms. You are on me in seconds. And climbing me like a human jungle gym. Completely upright, your hand on my knee for balance, you fearlessly reach for the toy in my hand. Mine, your eyes say. And pride washes over both our faces.

More teeth are coming soon. Then talking. Walking. And all other manner of minor miracles. As your dad would say, blow my tiny mind. You astound me daily. And I can’t wait for tomorrow.



bess said...


lichen said...

Photos are finally up!



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