In the past two weeks, life around our house has changed drastically. The Monday before you turned 9 months old, you suddenly went from sitting by the couch looking longingly after the dog to actually moving towards the dog on your hands, and a knee and foot combo... a fact that delighted your father and surprised the heck out of Henry.
Within a week, your crawl went from a quirky move that got the job done to efficient and lightening fast. I set you down in the living room the other day, while I ran to my room to grab my flip flops so we could go to the mail box. By the time I returned, a mere 10 seconds later, you had made your way into the kitchen and were inches away from your new found favorite destination: Henry's water bowl. So far, you've managed to thwart your father and I's best defenses and actually got your hands on (and in) it a few times. You delight in the huge mess it creates when you try to pull up on it and it dumps water on your lap.
Henry has not been as equally enthralled with all your new tricks, needless to say. But he is a loving, patient furry big brother, who will let you climb over his legs and get in a few hair grabs before he will to lick you from head to toe and then retreat to higher ground. Heaven help the poor dog when you learn how to pull yourself up into his big chair.
And while your crawling has really taken off in the last few weeks, you do not seem content to master just one skill at a time. You are pulling up on anything over 3 inches tall: the couch, my legs, the hearth, the tv stand, the bookcase, your toys. If Henry would let you, you'd pull up on him, too. Within the past week, you've figured out how to do it with walls and the cabinet doors in the kitchen. Not only are you pulling yourself up: you stand up and let go, wildly waving your hands around as your little hips look like they are hula-hooping minus the hoop, as you try to find your balance. This video was taken over a week ago, when you first started. You can do this for 20-25 seconds at a time now.
Baby boy, you are a sweet, outgoing little guy. Your absolute favorite place in the world is church. You smile and squeal, flirt with the little old ladies in the pew behind, and blow raspberries throughout the whole service. You squealed and pumped your little legs all the way up the aisle last week as we made our way up for communion. I couldn't see your face, but based on the reaction of the people looking at us, you were either very excited to go see your dad or you just wanted to let everyone know how great you think life is. Being the product of two introverted parents, we weren't quite expecting you to be such a social butterfly right from the go...but it seems that you are. The world seems equally enthralled with you, too. You are quick to smile and love to laugh.
Luke, my sweet boy, you are growing so fast these days and your personality is such an amazing gift to discover each day. Being with you each day has gotten easier and more rewarding in ways I was not expecting. The first 6 months of being your mother was a hard, hard job. I loved you very much and that helped make the days a little easier, but mostly it was just a lot of work without immediate rewards. I didn't always feel like I was adjusting well to this new phase of my life, this new job of motherhood. There were days when I really questioned if I could be a stay at home mom...not because I missed my career, but because I felt like I was becoming a bad version of myself. Lack of sleep, feelings of isolation, and just the sheer magnitude of the effort involved in keeping you alive, healthy, and happy...it took a lot out of me. But those days seem so far away now. The farther away we get from the 6 month mark, the better I feel. I still get frustrated with being at home alone, and you have certainly pushed me to my breaking point with naps in the past week...but it happens less and less frequently these days. And for that, I am so thankful.
I love you baby boy, and I will tell it to you in person when I see your smiling face that is patiently waiting for me to come rescue you from your crib right now.