You are already 4 months old. I haven't really noticed how much you've changed because it happens a little bit at a time, but you have grown so much. You are still quite tiny compared to some babies but all of your newborn sleepers are getting too tight in the feet, so you must be growing. Yesterday when I gave you a bath I noticed what a chubby little tummy you have gotten as well.
You are just beginning to hold onto objects and put them into your mouth. You have managed to get a toy spider in there to suck on, much to your sister's dismay I might add. You try to grab at everything in reach, including breasts and hair. And there is a constant stream of drool coming out of you these days. It takes less than an hour for you to soak all the way through a bib and into your top as well, and that's when you aren't spitting up.
You continue to be very chatty and talk to us all the time. Your happy sounds are something like nnndluuuurb, with the emphasis on the second syllable, and ngggle. You just start laughing this week. It's the cutest sound in the whole entire world. Your daddy would startle you, and you would blink and throw your head back, and then after a slight pause you would burst into giggles; sharp little hiccups of delight. After we scraped our gooey selves off of the floor he did it over and over and over again, just to hear you laugh. You have no idea what power you wield.
Little boys of 11 or so stop to greet you at the playground, competing for a chance to make you smile. Older guys shed in an instant their cool detached tough guy persona when they see you coming. You have a way of drawing people into their more real selves. Just by being there you help them to stop pretending. Of course this may be a gift that all babies bring, but I happen to think that you are special.
You get stronger by the second. As long as someone will hold your hands to keep you from falling over, you can stand now, and you like to do it a lot. Your eyes get even bigger and you let us know how cool you think you are with your vigorous noises. Rolling over from front to back is old hat now. You are starting to yell at the way you find yourself stuck on your back after accomplishing that particular maneuver. Soon enough you'll be able to go the other way, and then diaper changes will never be the same again.
Your back is strong, you can hold yourself out straight from the waste when I lay you across my shoulder. You lift your head as high as you can and kick your feet in glee as you look down at the world from such a great height.
Your favorite thing right now is the swing, and you will happily stay in it for ages while I get things done. Hooray for swings. Even though I was awake with you all last night, what was that all about by the way, I thought it was gas and then you yelled and yelled until I nursed you, and then I think I nursed you for the rest of the night without stopping, I feel blessed that you have come. I am trying to suck in every moment, the way you smell, the way your soft warm head feels against my lips and cheeks, the way you snuffle and sigh and settle in to me when I pick you up. Babyhood is gone so quickly, soon enough you will be among the others pestering me with questions, challenging my authority, spreading toys all over the house and laughing and yelling with the rest of them. I hope the time of gurgles and sighs, and nursing, cuddles doesn't disappear too fast.
At the same time that I am treasuring this time with you my heart is bleeding for the other babies out there. Babies that are lost before they are born, babies that have no mother. I want to hold them all in my arms next to you. After the Girl was born I turned inward, I focused only on our little family and the people immediately around us. I was afraid to think of anything larger or more frightening, I closed my heart for a time to suffering, because I couldn't make sense of it, and the thought of it scared me. I am still afraid of suffering, but since you have been here it's as though a door of my heart has swung wide again, to embrace every child I encounter. I read adoption stories of babies whose parents have died. I look at the pictures of children who have been shuffled around from home to home because they haven't got parents who can raise them, I hear of babies discarded at their birth, and I let them into my heart. I weep for them, but not without hope. Before you it would have been mostly in despair, and now it is with the hope that something can be done.
Something about you, and your passage through me into life has left an indelible stamp upon my spirit, and I am grateful for it because I still feel joy and life resonating in me because of it, because of the way you helped me to surrender, to let go of control, and to trust G-d a little bit more than I have been able to before. It isn't logical, but there it is anyway, and every day you smile at me and it stops me in my tracks and I feel newly blessed all over again.