Tag Archives: Letters to My Children

March Letters to my Son | Personal Photos

Dear Ben,

This is my twelfth letter to you, as we are coming to the end of your first year. You have come into yourself in so many ways, for a baby anyway, and your personality is just precious to me. I love your crazy, shrieking laugh. I love your clunky movements with your big hands, and your face when you concentrate, mouth slightly open.

I am happy that you’re growing up — I’m especially happy to see you feeding yourself, and playing with Elodie, and finding ways to explore and entertain yourself. But I am starting to feel that twinge of sadness and fear about you growing older — that your babyhood is slipping away from me at a speed entirely out of my control, and that I haven’t savored it enough while it’s lasted. I think that to myself, and then, then — you curl up with your bottle, or you get that sleepy heaviness that comes on when babies think they can skip their morning nap and just keep going through lunch. And then I can savor it, and look forward to the fun details about what comes next. The walking! (you’re really almost there now, taking a couple of steps on your own here and there, without really doing it just yet) The waving! (you’re occasionally waving bye to me in the mornings) The sippy cup drinking! (you’re doing great with the moderated flow ones, but the free-flow sippy cups leave you a soaked mess)

You’re Elodie’s best friend, she tells us so, and you love her so much. You ‘get’ her and she ‘gets’ you. She can make you laugh in ways that I can’t understand, from taps on your belly or games of peek-a-boo. I can’t wait to see you grow up together.

Next week, you will actually turn one year old. I just need to keep reminding myself. And, I need to bake you a cake. And, I need to get in a few more of those sleepy snuggles in.

love, Mom

February Letters to My Son | Personal Photos

The 2013 “letters to our children” blog circle is over, but since Ben was only born in April 2013, I wanted to continue through a full year of letters to my son. 

Dear Ben,

Oh, I love you! I’m afraid I’ve butchered your poor hair over the last thirty days. Your first haircut, at my hands, was a hilarious endeavor, one that resulted in a very funny little line across your forehead, and chunks missing all over your head. But, you’re lighter, and it isn’t wisping all over the place now, so it can’t be all bad.

You are up to 7 teeth that have broken through (four on top, three on bottom), and you’re suddenly a little man — eating lots of table food, feeding yourself with your fingers, drinking cow’s milk (we started you a month early when it occurred to us that your diet looks a lot more like Elodie’s did when she was around 13-14 months old). We have started to switch you over to sippy cups vs bottles, slowly, and you are doing great with the transition. You love to eat, you are impatient for your meals, and you are fast.

You’re fast on the ground, too, whether you’re speed-crawling after Elodie, or just jetting off to a corner to make mischief with the boxes we’re unpacking. In the last month, we’ve had our life properly delivered to us (with the sea freight shipment), so our house has been busy for the last two weeks. A whole world of toys has opened up to you now, and you are loving it. It’s a joy to see you play with Elodie’s old toys, with your Christmas presents, to read books. And yes, you investigate all of the empty cardboard boxes, and you gnaw on just about everything. Your poor wooden crib has stood defenseless (without teething rails) for so long, and in about two nights’ time you left your literal marks all over it. It’s wonderful to have all of our things again, though one of your favorite games is still to play peek-a-boo behind the curtain of our sliding glass door.

Our family is still figuring out its rhythm with this move, with my new job and your dad’s, and we are probably not spending enough time together on weeknights to satisfy any of us. I even left you for a whole week, for a trip to Sydney. To make up for things a bit, and to get you some semblance of non-Elodie socialization (you two will be weirdos together, since she’s teaching you everything she knows), we’ve started taking you to classes at a Gymboree nearby on weekends. I’ve accompanied you at the two we’ve been to so far, and your favorite parts are (1) walking with and slapping the air log; (2) shaking the noisemaker toys; (3) picking up wiffle balls; (4) staring at bubbles; (5) waiting for the clown to pop up. I don’t think you’re too into our attempts to get you walking, but I think you’re only one or two months away from it.

You’re smart, physical, and big compared to where I recall Elodie being at this time, ten-to-eleven months old. I wonder how much of that is our own recognition that you are capable, learned from being an experienced parent this time around, compared with actual superiority as a super baby. Maybe it can be both.

Love, Mom

January Letters to My Son | Personal Photos

The 2013 “letters to our children” blog circle is over, but since Ben was only born in April 2013, I wanted to continue through a full year of letters to my son. 

Dear Ben,

Everything has been changing for our family in the last month. We left Houston; you took your first plane ride; we went from cold temperatures to very warm; you spent more time with me and Dad than you have since you were born, as we took a lot of vacation time; we’ve lived out of a suitcase for the entire last month; you’re spending your weekdays with your new nanny in Singapore.

What else could possibly change? Oh, yeah — there’s much more. Practically everything about you, in fact. More teeth, more hair (you need your first trim soon!), you’re getting bigger, you’re tasting more foods, you’re learning new skills. You are changing every day, and your days are usually filled with energy and joy. And whining.

To back up a bit, you experienced your first Christmas. You weren’t too interested in the rituals, but you loved to play with the tissue paper and bags, and you loved spending time as a family. We were terrified that you and your sister would catch the flu from Grandpa, but apart from that, you were free to roam everywhere, and you were surrounded by all of us for days on end.

What have you loved most about our new home? I think that, while you didn’t love to spend time in the stroller at first, you’ve come to really enjoy it when we go out together. You love to pull yourself to sitting straight up in the chair in the front, and snack on whatever we’ll give you in the tray.

Playing at home has been brought to a new level, as you want to stand constantly (not standing up on your own yet though), and there is much banging, shrieking, chewing, and speed-crawling across the room in our small serviced (temporary) apartment. Between you and your sister, there’s no peace in this place!

One week ago, your nanny joined us. We’re so happy that you get along with her; she’s always willing to play with you both, and you love to be held by her. She’s also helping us deal with your ever-growing appetite, by boiling carrots for you, making you rice, and making sure you get some yummy fruits and veggies apart from your jars.

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You’re growing up so beautiful. I guess I shouldn’t use that word since you’re a boy, but I love looking at your soft features, and your long eyelashes. I love your goofy, toothy smile (four teeth totally out, 2 that recently cut through), and that giggle. You’re nine months old. You’ve been out in the world for as long as I was pregnant with you, which is kind of a weird thought. We’re starting to feel impatient for you to be able to walk, though I don’t know why, because then you’ll be unstoppable. I have this weird feeling that you might start to say words before you walk, as you seem to be almost there. I’m happy to say that you seem to call for me, “Mama.”

Love, Mom

December Letters to My Son | Personal Photos

This post is part of an ongoing blog circle with several other woman photographers, writing monthly letters to our children.  Link to the next letter is at the bottom of this post.  It’s been a great way for me to document more intentionally the connection I have with my son, born in April, despite the chaos of our daily lives! This will be the last letter in our blog circle, though I may continue through January, February, and March of 2014 on my own, to make a full year of letters to Ben.

Dear Ben,

“You silly man!”  That’s what Elodie says to you now, as you crawl around our house, because I am always saying it to you as I pick you up and reset you back in a safe spot. Crawling and pulling up all. over. You have entirely too much energy, always getting into things, concentrating and getting frustrated and giggling. You’re eight months old, and such a wild thing.

You’re eating constantly, up to three puree jars/packs each day, plus all of your bottles, and handfuls of easily-dissolved puff snacks. You are just insatiable, in your eating and basically in everything. I dread our incredibly-long flight to our new home, because I have no idea how you will handle being so trapped, forced to sit relatively still in one place for hours and hours on end.

 

Did I mention that we’re moving? We’re having a hard time telling you and your sister in a way that you’ll understand, especially because there are so many things for you to think about here in Houston. We have Christmas coming up, so all this moving stuff seems like an afterthought — just something to use the fun presents you’ll be getting, and not really an end in itself. But we are moving. Next month will find us half the world away from here, and I am really struggling to picture what our new life could possibly look like. Where will you crawl? (everywhere, that should be the least of my worries). Who will watch you during the day? (a much more substantive worry). How many diapers can we smuggle over in our sea freight shipment? (I hope I can push the limits with this one, rather than buy expensive imported Pampers in Singapore). It’s just a bit too much for me, when all I really want to be doing right now is drinking some cocoa and watching you play sweetly with your sister on the floor.

Love, Mom

Now you can click through to Davina’s letter to her child  here

November Letters to my Son | Personal Photos

This post is part of an ongoing blog circle with several other woman photographers, writing monthly letters to our children.  Link to the next letter is at the bottom of this post.  It’s been a great way for me to document more intentionally the connection I have with my son, born in April, despite the chaos of our daily lives!

Dear Ben,

You have exploded with new skills and personality over the last month.  Seriously — one day, you couldn’t sit up on your own without flopping forwards, mouth to toes; then, suddenly, you were army crawling across our bed.  About 12 seconds later (okay, a few days), you were crawling “for real,” on hands and knees.  And you haven’t stopped!  You crawl all over our house, which has reignited my passion for keeping our hardwood floors clean.  I’ve been vacuuming on a daily basis and I still catch you with dust bunnies being slowly raised to your mouth.  That’s another thing you’re doing lately: putting absolutely everything in your mouth.  Your two baby teeth on bottom are in and you are a drool machine.  You also love to eat, you’re eating two to three meals (fruit and veggie purees) per day.  Oh, and you’ve mastered the sitting up thing, too, even pulling yourself up to sitting.  I’m starting to get a little worried — the last couple of days you’ve been earnestly trying to pull yourself up to stand.  I don’t think it’s physically possible with your wobbly little self just yet, so I’m hoping I have at least another month or two before we’re there.  You’re only seven months old!  Slow down, speed racer!

You got to experience your first Halloween, though all this meant for you was the traditional skeleton pajamas, and getting squeezed into a too-small banana costume at daycare for a few minutes for the party.  We’ve spent lots of time with Nana and Grandpa this month, between Halloween, your first night away from us overnight, your Uncle Robert’s visit, and your baptism this last week.  At your baptism, we were also treated with a visit from your auntie and Grandpa.  You seem to enjoy being around everyone (you especially like your new godfather), but no one compares with Elodie.  You. love. Elodie.  You watch her, you smile at each other, you even almost play together.  That’s not to say you’re never mad at each other, but it is just so wonderful to be your parents when we see you acting sweetly connected.  Earlier this month, she was big into tickling you wildly.  She later moved onto singing for you, and now she likes to jump with you in your jumperoo, and she even tries to read to you sometimes.

Another tradition you may not be aware of, is our annual Christmas card photo-taking torture time.  This tradition began with Elodie’s first Christmas and we are going strong, having completed the third year, and your first.  This is a super fun time in which Mom wrestles with you and E to try to get you to sit still and pose adorably while taking your photo to use in a Christmas card.  It worked out, and you of course behaved very nicely.

Some other random notes from this month, in no particular order:  footie pajamas have been your friend as it’s gotten very cold overnight in our drafty old house; you’ve spit up on our down comforter approximately 12 times now; we said goodbye to Penny this month, as we had to find her a new home before our move (Roger will be next); we think your first word will be “bottle” because you keep saying “buh” happily.  I was away from you for the longest I’ve ever been, a work trip that took me to North Carolina for 5 nights.  You had surgery — ear tubes — last week (and you recovered very quickly, of course).  You still fall asleep in the swing before we transfer you to your crib most nights.  You are still a mama’s boy, and I still love it.

Love, Mom

Thanks for reading!  Now you can click through to the next blog in our circle, Kristy’s letter to her daughter!