Luke, you turned three months old yesterday. I missed your two month birthday. I am not sure why – maybe it was because it was the middle of the holidays and we getting ready to go to Sacramento or maybe it was because we were both sad after your first round of shots. I’ve never seen you cry so hard. And so I cried too.
Well once again I am a bit late on getting your monthly update written but this was a tough month for you and me and your dad. You continue to get cuter by the day and you laugh and laugh. Your dad is the best at getting you to laugh. He can just look at you and you’ll start cracking up. Last week we discovered that if your dad said “Howdy Partner” you would laugh as if this was the funniest thing in the world; and so over and over and over your dad said, “Howdy Partner” and you cracked up. It was the sweetest thing ever. I tried it later and you barely cracked a smile so it’s something you and your dad share, which is I suppose the first of many many things you’ll share. And this is something I am so happy about. Your dad is such a great dad and I know he cannot wait for the day he can hand you your first fly rod and start showing you how to fish; how to pick a fantasy football team, how to chop an onion and so many other things he does so well.
You are working on trying to sit up and for a few weeks you were really starting to try out your voice – yelling just to hear yourself yell, shrieking happily and babbling. You have clammed up recently but I hope the babbling comes back because it was so funny to hear.
These are all memories I am glad I am writing down because I have already forgotten so many details of your first few weeks and there are so many sweet things to remember. But this was a tough month too and I want to remember those too. You still struggle with milk proteins and we had to go get your blood drawn, which was sad for both of us. But while we waited in waiting room, a song suddenly started and I could not figure out where it was coming from until I looked into a far corner and there was a hospital volunteer singing with the loveliest voice I’d ever heard. I suppose she was there to have a calming influence on the scared kids and parents waiting for blood draws and it worked. I sat and held you close and we both listened to that gorgeous voice singing some unknown song. It was one of those rare moments in life when you feel like you lucked into something totally unexpected and beautiful. I was once sitting in an airport terminal and a bluegrass band got out their instruments and put on an impromptu show for the other people at the gate and you felt just lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
And then two weeks ago I walked out the door to open the gate and slipped on the ice and dropped you. I won’t go into detail but it was truly the worst moment of my life seeing you fall and hit your head. An overnight trip to the hospital followed and you were put into a neck and body brace and poked full of IV’s and wires and were an absolute champ about all of it. I just sat and held you and cried and cried. Somehow over four months you have come to fill our lives so completely that the very thought, the most fleeting thought of not having you filled me with a sorrow I’d never felt in my life. It was a pain like no other and I hope never to experience it again. I was reminded over and over that night of a line from Annie Lamott’s “Operating Instructions.” something like “If I could have just one crummy tiny wish in this world it would be for my son to outlive me.” I realize this is pretty sad and scary stuff to put into this otherwise light-hearted blog, but it was my first really hard lesson in parenthood and it is lesson I want to remember on those trying days when you are cranky or you don’t want to go to bed or you are screaming your head off in the car. Those are such ridiculously small inconveniences and an easy price to pay for all the other thousands of other happinesses you bring into our lives.
The trip for Christmas was so much fun and you were an absolute champ about traveling. I had been worried about flying with you from nearly the moment I found out I was pregnant. And I know I’ll spend your entire life wondering how you will react to certain situations, but in this one, as we took off from Salt Lake, you were completely passed out sucking on your pacifier and were as good as gold – both ways. You were the baby that everyone complimented us on when we got off the plane. It was as if you assessed the situation and decided you would hold off any breakdowns until we were off the plane. We were so proud.
You smile all the time now. When I walk into your room in the morning, you turn your head – the rest of you still swaddled – and break into this huge grin when you see me. It is so unbelievably sweet and gratifying. You like to stand now also all the time. Lying down is so six weeks ago. You stand in our laps and whip your head around on your newly strong little neck looking around all the time. You are just starting to begin to be able to hold things. You tentatively reach for things and just two days ago you started to pull things into your mouth. This isn’t surprising because you spend a lot of the day trying to stuff your hands into your mouth. This seems to be a source of happiness and constant frustration to you; I really cannot figure out which. And tonight, as if you knew how happy we all were, you laughed and laughed when I stood you on my lap. It was the most wonderful sound.
So yesterday, January 19th was your three month birthday and today, the 20th is the three year anniversary of your parents’ first date. This is pretty important and almost as important, is the fact that today is Inauguration Day. Barack Obama is going to be sworn in as President today and I am sitting here watching the coverage on television. Your Aunt Anne is there and someday she’ll be able to tell you what it was like to be there on the Mall today, this most amazing day. But we are watching it on our couch, which seems fitting since we have watched the entire election on this couch – through my entire pregnancy, election night when your father and I cried and held you close marveling that Obama had actually won. And now it looks like millions of people are converging on the Mall and I have cried many times already watching these thousands of people who are so excited and so happy even in the face of this awful economic crisis we are in, this terrible depression that is closing in on so many lives. But in this moment it seems as if these worries are set aside even for a few hours. The pictures are amazing. There are people as far as you can see. But I am so grateful that you are here with us in this time in history. We have such hope.