An Open Letter To My Daughter Susannah:
Zu. You are nine months old, as of yesterday. Also, as of yesterday, you inspired multiple people to consider having a baby. (Actually, that's been the case since you entered this world. You're kinda the poster child for Awesome Baby.)
And now, you're entering the competition for Awesome Child. You have many things going for you; sleep habits (nonstop), eating preferences (all of them), and general ability to jive with nearly any scenario. But my favorite thing you do is beam. You beam all day long, just like a sunbeam.
We shove you into the backseat of the car for a six hour drive to Cincy: through the rearview mirror, you chew on a giraffe and beam at us.
I stick you into a pile of toys and books and lovies while I clean and write and convince your sister to pee into the potty: you occasionally clear your throat (in a polite "ahem, in case you're wondering where/how the baby is"), and then you beam at us.
Your big sis bodyslams you under the guise of saying hello: you grab fistfuls of her hair, scream a velociraptor-esque no thank you into her face...and then you beam at her.
But yesterday, you out-Zuzu'd yourself. It was the Fourth of July, your first Fourth. It was also a day that reached a whopping 106 degrees. We saw a bunch of friends, and dragged you around in your sweaty finery. You wilted pleasantly at people, even snuggling up to a few.
Your real stellar moment, however, came at 9pm. Well past your 7:30pm bedtime. Like the negligent parents that we are, we kept you (and your over-sugared sister) up to watch the fireworks at Winnemac Park. (A truly spectacular series of displays set off- to the best of my knowledge- by completely random people, whenever they felt like it.)
You, clad in jammies and my noise-cancelling headphones, were appropriately awed by the first round of fireworks. You applauded the second. By the third, you were snoring like a kitten against my shoulder. By the fourth, while your sister alternated between dancing around her friend's wagon and reading a book, you were snuggled on the blanket, peacefully sucking your thumb.
Every day, it seems, is simply the best day of your life, evereverever. You remind me of this when you arrive in my bed for a 6am snuggle (and/or nursing session, playtime with Dad's face, or appointment to meow at the cats). You remind me of this when I plop you- covered in carrots and pasta sauce and Ritz crackers- into a bath, whereupon you promptly remember that you love bathtime, ohmigod, THANK YOU!
And you remind me of this when I feel your sweaty baby curls against my cheek, and you reach up to pat my shoulder every now and then. Just making sure that I'm still there.
Thank you for showing me that life with two kids is terrific. And exhausting. And messy, loud, chaotic, hilarious, and covered in blueberries.
And thanks for reminding me that, even though you're cutting a tooth and I probably won't shower today, it's easily the best day of my life.