I am writing you this letter nearly a week late… having spent the last week frantically chasing shadows and your laughter. You are seven months old now.
This last month has been busy for you, filled with first experiences and new skills. You are easily feeding yourself, and drinking from a sippy cup on your own. You love cheese right now, and also bananas. You would live on those two foods exclusively if I let you. Mainly, you have decided that you have no use for bottles, nor for anyone else feeding you. You are determined to do it yourself.
You are also learning to crawl right now. You are working very hard at it, scooting around forward and backward on your belly, and rocking back and forth on your hands and knees. As soon as you put the two together, there will be no stopping you, and I think you know it.
You know quite a few words now. In addition to “Mama”, “Dada”/”Daddy”, you say “cat”, “hi”, “dog”, “yum”, and “bye-bye”. You have been very cautious with your words, often mouthing them for days, then whispering them the first few times you say them. You are very tentative with them, but love to talk, and the result is a happy stream of babble.
We took our first big road trip as a family this last month, driving down the California coast to Tucson for your Great-Grandfather’s 100th birthday. You two hit it off famously, and I daresay you are both very fond of each other. He is definitely high on your list of favorite people right now.
When we got back, the three of us adopted a puppy. We named her Sadie. And while it makes for a somewhat chaotic household right now, she will be a good friend to all of us, and the two of you adore each other. The three of us often walk to the park during the day so that you can play on the swings. I hope I never forget the joy on your face every time I push you in the swing, each pendulum forward punctuated by a smile, and followed by a cascade of laughter.
Last weekend we went hiking and to a puppet show — your first. You were the youngest kid there, and I was a little apprehensive, but you seemed to love the puppets with their funny voices and jerky movements. I can tell there will be more puppet shows in your future.
What I want you to know about yourself most of all this month is how much fun you are having with life. You wake up talking and laughing most days, and it (usually) continues until bedtime. Whenever we go places, you smile at people or babble at them, and are delighted when they play along. You are fascinated by what I call your “physics experiments”: dropping things, stacking things, and knocking things over. Cause and effect is big for you right now. You are independent, determined, and seem to really enjoy every minute in which you can interact with the world; whether that is playing with your cousins or with other babies at the library, piling up your toys in the living room, watching your dog run, or making a stranger laugh. I feel very lucky to know someone who approaches the world as a wonderful place in which to play, and I hope you never lose that quality, because it makes my days magical.
I love you always, Spoon.