Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chris, 1984

Precious one, how did I get so lucky? Someone told me today that I was the proudest mother they'd ever met! Well, maybe not the proudest, but certainly, the happiest!

You're so good for me!

Another lucky've been sleeping through the night for a month now, but still, I am always sleepy!

At four months of age, a quick list of the things you're doing:
  • Smiling when you're smiled at
  • Reaching for me and your toys
  • Not crawling yet, but soon will be
  • Grabbing your spoon when you eat (or "suck") your cereal
  • Looking out at the sea from your window when I hold you in the morning
  • You love being sung to
  • You make eye contact with people
  • You don't cry when other people hold you
  • You're growing out of your "snowsuit"
  • You have a firm grip
  • You arch your back and kick your legs when you're excited
  • You reach for me when I come by Cindy's to pick you up
  • You're getting too big for your bathtub
February 4, 1984
It's been raining solid for two weeks now and people are starting to complain of "cabin fever." We get about a storm a day, it seems, but very little snow so far. Looks like the cross country skis will have to wait another year. I've been frantically packing for my trip to Anchorage, trying to get an annual report written. Being a working, single mother has been trying this week. But you're the most significant thing, you come first. When I put you down for your nap this morning, I felt a great sadness, realizing how much I'll miss you next week. It will be so bizarre being away from you. I know you'll REALLY be crawling when I return. (You are now, a little). Play times in the morning are a real treat. I love to watch you play with your toys, love it when yo look up and smile at me.
You're still sleeping so I'll take a quick walk outside for a breath of fresh air.
February 24, 1984
In spite of all this pain, I know what I have to be grateful for -- you, a job that I'm doing my best at, a home that I'm trying to make a good place for us to enjoy.
March 14, 1984
The moon was full tonight and the air was cold, so I stepped outside to breathe in the night. The water was so calm, looking and sounding more like a lake, rather than the sea. You could barely hear the sound of the waves lapping against the rocks. Sometimes when I look at the ocean, and the islands beyond, I think of the happier times I had with your father, especially the kayaking we used to do. He knows a lot about nature, the moon, the tides, the stars. Maybe you'll have a chance to talk with him about these things.
Your motor development amazes me. You were crawling at five and a half months. You steer yourself around so well, it's almost as though you had antennae. The other night when I went into your room to check on you as you were crying, you were standing, supporting yourself on the crib railing. You figure all these things out by yourself, with no help from me. All I have to offer are smiles and hugs, and kisses. I think you'll be walking by the time you're nine months old. You are certainly an interesting little person. I love hearing you laugh. You laugh when I tickle you and make faces at you. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the love I feel for you.
I'm already saving up for piano lessons -- God gave you beautiful hands, with incredible extension. Since you were a tiny, tiny baby, your hands have been expressive. At six and a half months, you respond to your name. You love exploring.
March 17, 1984
I understand that you were quite a hit at Mike and Kathy's last night. They baby-sat while Mom went out to dinner (the first time I've been out without you for a long time). Those crab enchiladas were wonderful! It was a dinner I won't soon forget! At the moment, it's about 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning and you're playing on the floor, having had breakfast. I'm glad you're starting to show more interest in your toys than in my plants and tapes. You're delightful to watch. You're turning into quite an athlete at 6 and a half months and have become an expert crawler. Yesterday at Cindy's, you crawled over to me and pulled yourself up to a standing position using my arms as supports. You just figured out how to take all your toys out of the toy box. And you always turn and smile and look over your shoulder when I call your name. What a smart little guy you are!
March 18, 1984
Little one, may the Lord bless you and keep you in the palm of his hands always, and may he smile upon you.
March 22, 1984
Christopher, sometimes I think that in you, I know what it is to truly love. It is the first time I have ever felt this way. I loved your father once, but the happiness I knew with him is gradually fading. Perhaps you'll have a new daddy someday, someone who will love you as much as I do. You must never think that you were in anyway responsible for the break-up of your father and me. It is really a shame that he is missing out on the joy and delightful moments that you at six and a half months are bringing. I know that in his own way, your father loves you. I sometimes feel incredulous at what a beautiful baby you are. In fact, you're the prettiest baby I've ever seen, and that's not just a proud mother speaking. I hope that someday you'll be proud of me too.
Your motor skills still continue to amaze me. You're way ahead of other babies, who at 4 months are just starting to roll over. Here's a chronology of what's happened so first turned your head at 5 hours of age. You did this when I called out to you, prior to your trip to Anchorage via airlift. (Did you know that you gave us all quite a scare after you were born. You weren't breathing correctly and turned blue. The cord was wrapped around your neck. The doctors in Sitka labored over you for several hours prior to making the decision to airlift you to Anchorage to Providence Hospital. You had improved immensely by the time the medical team got here -- they just wanted to be on the safe side, and sent you to Anchorage anyway. You were in intensive care for 2 days, then you were home-free. Dr. Hunter, the Sitka doctor who delivered you, said that the cause of the breathing difficulties isn't really known. In any case, you've been fine, except for a few colds. I still get a little anxious when I hear you cough. One thing you proved right after you were born is that you are strong and have a lust for life. May you always be this way.
Sitka will always hold a mystique for me. It is certainly a place that you will want to come back to. I have a kind of ritual in that everyday. I hold you before our living room window which looks out onto the sea. Sometimes, when it's sunny, we pause for a while on the path near our house, and I watch with delight as you observe your surroundings. There is a certain spirituality in this place. I think that God can be heard in the wind and be seen through the power of the sea and tides.

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