You have been here, in the outside world, for six months.
You have one of the most pleasant personalities I have ever encountered in a baby. You smile easily, and you are a shameless flirt.
You are *lunging* for things these days — not scooting, not crawling, but laying on your belly and pushing, hard, with your feet. You are fast, too, you little bugger. I have cracked out the playpen — a tool I didn’t employ with your sisters. I had to; it’s the only way I can keep you safe and still get things done. You don’t seem to mind too much, but I’m sure that will change as you become even *more* mobile.
It feels like you have been with us longer than these six months. Mostly in a good way.
Sometimes it feels longer because of late nights. Sometimes it feels longer because of long days.
I swear, sometimes you get up at 2 a.m. just to have a cuddle with me. You will fuss in your crib until I come get you, change your diaper, and plop down on the couch with you and a comforter. After an ounce or two of a bottle, you are snoring in my arms. Dude, it is super adorable, but at 2 a.m., I have to admit, I would like to be sleeping.
The long days are because you are absolutely determined not to go to bed until your big sisters do. Even when you doze off at 7 or 7:30, you pop awake — sometimes in an outraged fashion — an hour later. You want to be a part of bath and bed time with your sisters, darn it all!
But it seems you have always been a part of this family. We have been expecting you, I guess, our third baby to raise, our second son. It’s a weird feeling sometimes, and hard to explain.
When you are parents of a still baby, and you go on to have more babies, you know that no baby is a replacement for the lost child.
And yet, somehow, you and Gabriel are conflated in my mind. Sometimes you wake up in an unfamiliar setting — because our social calendar doesn’t always conform to your nap schedule — and you look around, a little confused, a little pissed off. I think, “Well, ya should have come along first.” But that of course wouldn’t have worked out so well. Because it didn’t.
It’s like you are our family’s missing piece. I knew, after Kate, that we weren’t done, that we didn’t feel done. You complete us; as soon as I knew I was pregnant with you, I knew you would be my last baby. Which is why I’m so glad things worked out. To put it mildly.
Of course, that feeling — that we weren’t done — is going to always be true, in some way. You are our missing piece, and yet, we still miss a piece of our family.
This is garbled and confusing and it doesn’t quite get to the root of what I am trying to say. So let me just leave it at this:
We are so happy you are here. You fit with us. You are living large: literally, at almost 20 pounds, and figuratively, with two big sisters who make you belly laugh and who want to feed you (as long as it doesn’t interfere with play time too much). Your daddy and I love nothing more than to kiss your cheeks and have you fall asleep in our arms. You are amazing and beautiful and I’m glad we have been given the gift of you.