You are now six months old. I can't believe that half a year has passed already! It seems like such a short amount of time, and yet it encompasses your entire life to date. It is truly amazing to think about how much you have changed since you entered this world just six short months ago. You have grown from a tiny, relatively unresponsive bundle of cuteness into a sweet, funny, and engaging little boy. Your eyes, once unfocused, are now bright and alert, taking in the world around you. Your movements, once seemingly random and uncoordinated, are becoming more focused and intentional. You reach for things now, grasp them and study them - and then invariably try to eat them. You are so keen to interact with everyone and everything that you encounter.
You have changed so much in the past month alone. You have been sitting up unassisted for the past couple of weeks. I was so surprised and proud of you when you did it for the first time! I was sitting behind you in your bedroom, holding you up while you played with your toys. You reached forward to grab something, and then just sat straight up by yourself! I started clapping and cheering you on, and you just looked at me as if to say, "What? So I'm sitting up. You do it all the time - what's the big deal?" Daddy works from home, so he was able to come in and share this "first" with you too. He was (and always is) so proud of you my little Darling. We both are.
You have graduated from a diet of breast milk only to one that so far consists of rice cereal, sweet potatoes, peas and butternut squash. I introduce a new food to you every 4 or 5 days. You LOVE to eat! You didn't quite know what to make of your first bite, which was of a homemade sweet potato puree. It didn't take you long though to decide that food was the best thing since, well, milk. After a few bites, you started to literally vibrate with excitement every time the spoon approached your mouth. Two weeks later, you are still doing this! It is the cutest thing. I put you in your highchair while I prepare your food. As soon as you see me take your little bowl out of the cupboard, you smile and start to bounce. You bang the table between bites, as if to say, "Come on Mom, hurry up!" You even seemed to enjoy peas, although you were a bit put off by the grainy texture. Sorry kid. It's a result of the food being homemade, rather than coming from a jar. You'll get used to it.
You have made great progress in the nap department. You have finally started to sleep other than in my arms! I admit, this development is very bittersweet. I know that it is necessary, as I will be going back to work soon, and will not be here to hold you while you slumber. I didn't want you to have to suffer through the transition while at daycare, without me being there to comfort you and help you adjust. So, I had to force the issue. While I am relieved and proud that you are doing so well, I am also sad. I love holding you while you sleep. It is one of my very favorite things to do in this world. I now often find myself staring at your sweet face on the video monitor, wishing that you still needed me to hold you, if only for a little while longer. I know that this is better for you, and of course that's ultimately all that matters. I will get used to it. I will never stop missing those moments with you though.
I imagine that I will feel something very similar on many occasions in the years to come. I am torn between two very powerful emotions when it comes to you, my love. On the one hand, I want time to stop - or at least slow to a snail's pace. I love everything about this time in our lives, and I don't want it to end. I don't want to go back to go back to work, and leave you to the care of strangers. I don't want you to stop needing me. I don't want you to stop being my sweet little baby boy. I don't want you to grow up.
On the other hand, I can't wait to watch you grow up! I am so looking forward to raising you my Darling. I can't wait until you can talk to me. I am excited to hear the sound of your voice, and to know and share your thoughts, dreams, hopes and fears. I am looking forward to building sand castles with you, teaching you how to ride a bike, baking cookies with you, and helping you with your homework. I can't wait to meet the man that you will become.
Ultimately, it is this latter wish that trumps all else. I want you to grow up. I want to be the best mother that I can be to you in that process, and to help you become the best (and happiest) possible version of yourself.
I can't tell what the future holds, my sweet Bug, but I can promise you this. I will always be there beside you, ready to take your hand. I will always put your interests above all else. I will always strive to be the best mother that I can. And I will always, always love you my Darling. More than anything. No matter what.