a letter to bear

Dearest Bear,

One year ago today I was eight months pregnant right smack in the heat of a North Carolina summer. I knew I had a tiny little person growing inside of me that I’d soon meet, but I had no idea how madly I would fall in love with that tiny little person. Today, Bear you are eleven months old. You’re funny, cuddly, giggly, sweet, and smiley, and Daddy and I love you more than we ever thought possible.

You have a whopping six teeth already, and have been done with the mashed baby food for awhile. In fact, you’re currently not happy eating in your high chair and tend to eat a lot more when I can put your food on the coffee table and let you eat, play, eat, play, then repeat. You’re transitioning from bottles to sippies, and some days you insist on drinking your milk from a bottle, and some days only a sippy will do. I can’t lie – Daddy and I are really excited that we only have one more month of the formula buying for you! You’re walking holding onto our hands and are experimenting with standing on your own for short periods of time. You’re still doing your flop-scoot, though you do crawl with your knees under you when you’re not in a rush to get somewhere. Then again, it seems like you’re always in a rush to get somewhere what with keeping up with Bug and all!

Daddy says you’re a little instigator and like figuring out how you can take toys from Bug, but I think you’re just being an eleven month old who is easily distracted. Then again, Daddy knows all about the little brother instigator business, so maybe he’s right. 🙂 Speaking of Daddy, you are definitely in a Daddy phase right now. You love him with all of your little 17-pound self, and you love to squeal at him until you get his attention. When he does smile at you, you break out with a grin so big I’m sure it’s going to bust right off your face and you do your famous shimmey-shake with glee. You’re also still looking quite a bit like your Daddy and your Papa, which I don’t foresee changing anytime soon. Of course, I’m a little partial to your Daddy’s looks – so I’m okay with that.

Although you’re still very young, I think you may have picked up your Daddy’s musical gene as well. Music has the capacity to soothe you instantly, and you can’t seem to help but to do a little dance when you hear music. The dance usually involves a little bit of a booty bounce, then you bob your head to the beat and look like you’re saying, “That’s my jam!

As you grow, you’re becoming more vocal about your big brother. You love spending time with him and are dying to keep up with him – you even crawl to his door and try to open it when he’s taking a nap! You’re also quickly learning to screech when he takes a toy from you or has something you desire. While I’m grateful you’re learning to stick up for yourself and definitely think Bug needs to learn to be less bossy, I look forward to the day when you can use your words and notsomuch these high pitched squeals. In the past month, you’ve found your inner water baby and have started to genuinely enjoy swimming with Bug and me. Your favorite things are to splash your hands and to sit on the edge of the pool and kick your feet. You don’t seem to understand that you’re not able to swim yet, so I have to keep a tight hold on you, or you’ll take right off! Crazy kid.

I think some of my favorite memories of you this past month are the one on one time Daddy and I have gotten with you (I guess that makes it two on one, huh?). When I lay you and Bug down for naps at noon, you usually wake up first and I get about 15 minutes to spend with and focus on you. On Fridays, Daddy and I get to both just pour into and play with you. Those moments are so precious to me because it’s so important that you know how much we love you. You are uniquely you, and we love you for the person God has created you to be. We don’t love you because you’re cute or because you’re sweet – we love you because you’re you. And you’re ours. You’re God’s gift to us sweet Bear, and we pray to be wise stewards of that gift. We love you so much, happy eleven months!

Love always,

Daddy and Mommy

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