The Best Thing My Baby Has Taught Me About Myself (So Far)
Next week, Oliver will be eight months old and I'm really having a hard believing it. Time is zooming by, so I wanted to share a few quick photos my cousin-in-law, (but, like, let's just call her my cousin cuz family is family), Jonna, took of us on Christmas Day. And when I say quick, I mean quick, because it was in the single digits outside and we still had to hit the cemetery to say hi to my dad before going back to my grandparents's for Christmas Dinner.
Babies have a wonderful (and sometimes frustrating) way of forcing us to slow down and notice things. Usually, our focus is on them and their various milestones: rolling over, sitting up, crawling, etc. All of that is very fun. But I wanted to take a step back to notice something about myself in relation to my baby.
I've seen that I will try all sorts of things to get a smile out of our little dude. He has such a good one that I want to see it as much as I can. We were being sweaty and tired and busy on an airplane by ourselves a few months ago and our very patient row-mate happened to be a grandpa who described Oliver's smile as "disarming." I loved that because it is exactly what I knew it was but hadn't found a word for it: big and welcoming and grin-inducing all around.
I spend so much time with Oliver that I have a pretty good sense of how to coax out at least smirks, and can often get big belly laughs out of him, too. The best way to get them is when we play together. Most recently, showing him monkey sounds and armpit scratches has been particularly entertaining for us both.
And the thing is, I have become so unafraid to be silly, to get down on my hands and knees with him, to dance circles around his high hair, to blow raspberries on his belly, and to pretend like I'm sniffing his "stinky" feet. I've realized that the times in my life when I was most unhappy were when I was either too self-obsessed or too cool to play.
So we play. All the time. Every day. I'm so glad that even if our days can be somewhat chaotic and never the same, they ALWAYS involve some level of play. Raz really brought that out in me when we met, and this little family we're building has added it to my job description. I'm beyond grateful for that.