Monthly Mara Letter: Month 17

Dear Mara,

You turned 17-months old today.  I’m afraid to blink or turn around for fear that I’ll turn back and you’ll be 17-YEARS old.  You’re my reminder that life happens very fast, moments are fleeting, childhood is precious, and that cooked rice is much, much better tucked inside furniture crevices.

This month has brought with it your new ability to string two words together in something that almost resonates as conversational English.  You’re starting to say things like: “All gone!” and “Thank you!”

One of the huge highlights for not only you, but the rest of your immediate family is that you’re finally sleeping through the night.  And in your own room!  For the first 16-months of your life you slept with your mom and me.  Your mom transitioned you to a bed in your own room last week.  I think for the first few nights you would wake up, cry out, and your mom would spend the rest of the night in your room with you.  And now, ever since then, you sleep through the night in your very own room.  It wasn’t until a couple days ago that I really took notice of this new and welcome change in our house.

IMG_5597“Wasn’t there once a small, loud, crying, writhing and wailing thing that nestled in close proximity and 

used to keep us awake every night for over a year?”

“Yes, dear.  That was our second child.  She’s been sleeping in her own room for two weeks now.”

“Oh.  How nice.”

Part of our evening ritual before putting you to bed is to take you into your sister’s room to say goodnight.  Many years ago I covered your sister’s ceiling with little glow in the dark stars.  While I’m usually reading a Harry Potter book to your sister at the time, we’ll turn out the lights momentarily so you can see the stars on her ceiling. And with this you indulge us all in a “WHOA!”  You apparently get a kick out of glow in the dark stars.  I promise you I will get you your own stars for your room.

And when you wake up in the morning, you’re programmed to usually be in a good mood, and to be very observant of your surroundings.  You like to look and point at everything for which you have a name – BOOK - BIRD – FAN – BABY!  You’ve also become quite astute at standard animal noises.  You know “meow,” “woof,” “moo,” and little noises like a chirp for a bird, hiss for a snake and a smacking sound for a fish.

IMG_3451You’ve taken a keen interest in dogs these days.  When I get home from work, I like to take you outside and we’ll just hang out and play or talk in the front yard.  There are always folks out walking their dogs, so when you see one, you like to rush over to the sidewalk or to the edge of the driveway and excitedly point, wave, look back at me and say “WOOF! WOOF!”  And I’ll acknowledge you and say, “yeah, that’s a woof!”  And you’ll maintain your genuine enthusiasm until the woof has passed by with his owner.  And then you’ll either blow a kiss or say, “bye bye” while waving.

And something that I’ve taken for granted and am guilty of not noticing are the airplanes.  You apparently have a thing for airplanes.  You notice them. You hear them before anyone else.  And you can look up and excitedly spot an airplane 4 miles up in the sky and say, “whoa!” and “plane!”  It’s really cute and bewildering at the same time.  Like I said, I guess I’ve just taken airplanes for granted.  And maybe they’re just a novel concept for you – but maybe they’re not.  Maybe you have a natural affinity for planes and flight.

And shoes.  You definitely have a natural affinity for shoes.  It’s ridiculous.  Cute, but ridiculous.

I love you more that you can imagine.  I love every fleeting moment and am blessed to have you in my life to remind me that life is so precious and short.  Now Please stop growing up so fast.

I love you, Sugar.