Late Summer

There is so much I have experienced but haven’t written down since I last posted here. Let’s get to it.

Ess had four shots (one in each limb) and we confirmed at her regularly scheduled doctor visit that she is a healthy young lady.
She took her first step on September 12, but still prefers crawling. She loves the letter “B” and when we change her she finds the two big “B”s on the wall of her room (they spell BABY) and says “buh.” She finds our belly buttons. She honks my nose and I say “hoooonk” like a fog horn. Then she honks her own. She knows “moon” and says “mooOOon” with the ‘n’ on the end dropped to near silence. She’s getting so much better at sitting in her high chair at meals and eating with us. She saw the beginning of the very rare super moon total solar eclipse! The next one will be when she is 19 years old. 19! I can’t even imagine. Ess still loves planes: she never misses the chance to search for and point at one when she hears it in the sky. As such, when she and Mykala came to visit me over lunch at Eagan today, she marveled at the veritable stream of airplanes lifting off from MSP into the air over our blanket in the park. She dances. She hugs the cat and rests her head on him, delighted to catch him before he trots off.

Oh, and biking. Ess loves being on the bike in the carrier on Mykala’s handlebars. She just LOVES it. I keep thinking I’ve written about this here before, but somehow I’ve managed to just miss getting that down. I actually teared up a bit I was so happy after our first family bike outing. And Ess; you, being you, aren’t interested in the foot stirrups. Instead, you throw your feet onto your mom’s handlebars and point and babble and smile. The other day, we were biking to Emily and Nick’s house, the sun was setting behind us, the day was perfect, and suddenly you threw your big helmeted head skyward and got a huge smile on your face — THERE was your mama! She’s been pedaling you forward the entire time! I’ll leave the symbolism as an exercise for the reader. I love you, and I love summer biking… and the two together are so much more than the sum of their parts. Such special time.

So, slowly, slowly, we are learning to be parents. The amount of non-negotiable, spoken-for time in our days has risen to I bet something like 96% — there simply isn’t that down time we became accustomed to as young adults with few worries. This is a season of our lives, and restricted freedom requires some getting used to. We’re still learning. It helps that Ess exhibits such a zest, such a strong spirit, such a will. We marvel at her leaps and bounds and her changes and growth. We marvel at what it is like to see our traits combined into one little person.

And will is something worth returning to: Ess is learning “no” right now. It is a profound thing to realize that sometimes we can not have what we want, when we want it. As parents, we neither enjoy nor seek out the opportunity to demonstrate this lesson, but we must, usually in the name of safety. The words I find myself using to explain to Ess why I am carrying her away from something (as practice for when she fully understands what we are saying) must be thought through, and even though they use small simple words, the ideas are profound: (1) not now, (2) first, this (3) wait. By learning what (1) and (2) and (3) mean, how to deal with them, how to grow beyond them but knowing when to surrender to them is part of becoming human. So we try to communicate that to Ess, even though she’s only 14 months young. And sometimes, we just need to save her from bumping her head.

We celebrated my mom’s/Nannie’s 60th birthday with a trip to the American Swedish Institute. It was a beautiful house, elevator accessible, which helped with Ess in the stroller; but still she’s not much of a guided tour baby. So, we toured on our own, checking out the home and grounds. Also, Ess does not enjoy shoes or socks, as she is demonstrating in a dormer window at the mansion of the Swedish Institute:


I am lucky, simply very very lucky. There is so much sweetness.

Brief Notes Nearby