Dear Jacob: 11 Months Old.

Yesterday when we were all out for dinner at a family function, someone gave me an early birthday present for you. It seems crazy to me that almost a whole year has gone by – that in just one short month you will leave the world of infancy behind into a world of toddlerhood. I wish you could know how this feels for me but I find it difficult to explain it to even myself most days. I feel excited and happy and sad and all the feelings I think that mothers feel when their first baby turns one. When I helped you open that present yesterday I felt my heart swell and for a moment I thought that maybe it was sadness I was feeling, but then I quickly discovered that it was excitement for you. I’m so excited to see what the next year brings for you, and if it’s anything like the first year I’m sure it will be filled with happiness and love and togetherness.

A lot has changed in the past two months since I’ve written to you. I feel like I woke up one day and all of a sudden you didn’t look like a baby anymore. You looked like a little boy you wanted to run and play and kick the ball around some. You’re such an adventure. I imagine you’ll be like this all of your life – trying new things and getting excited when you see that you’ve done something new. I amazed at how quickly you catch on to things – just a couple weeks ago I started singing The Itsy Bitsy Spider song to you with all the actions and by the next day you were doing the actions along with me – the best you can with the motor skills you’ve already developed – and if i stopped singing for even a second you’d happily continue singing for me….in your own baby language that I know translates right back to “out came the sun and dried up all the rain.”You started babbling away much more in the past month and I wish I could understand everything you are saying so that I can feel what you’re feeling right along with you.

For the second time since you were born I had a moment where I wondered what life would be like if you were gone. Someone at our baby club fed you a huge chunk of melon and it got stuck in your throat. You were fighting to breath and Mama was really scared. A lot of things went through my head during this moment and thankfully someone helped Mama get that piece of fruit out of your throat and you were able to breath again! In that moment, the one i told you about…where i was thinking about life would be like without you – I decided that to have a life without you in it would be pretty sucky. I’d miss you a whole lot.

This morning as I lay in bed awake I wondered why you were still sleeping at 6:45 am. I thought to myself that you were probably tired from the party we went to last night and that you needed the extra sleep. I laid there thinking that I couldn’t wait for you to get up so I could say HAPPY 11 MONTHS Jacob. Finally at about 7am I heard you laughing in your crib and I went in to find you pointing at the various cars and planes and boats on your crib bumper. I stood there for a moment just watching you – amazed by how much you’ve changed in such a short amount of time….and then you looked up and saw that I was there and in that instant…that brief amount of time it took for you to look up at me….my heart melted because I knew what would come next. You plastered the biggest smile on your face and stood up holding onto the crib…you leaned your body against the side of the crib and lifted your arms for me to pick you up…and I did. We went back into Daddy and Mama’s great big bed and we jumped on Daddy until he woke up – and then the three of us just sort of hung out. I love that. I love it when the three of us just hang out.

The world is going to change a lot in the next couple of months. You are going to get to experience a lot of new things like walking and talking and swimming and going to the cottage…and the one I’m really looking forward to going to the zoo for the first time. Mama was supposed to go back to work really soon – too soon – so I decided that I would take a little bit of extra time off to spend with you and Daddy in the summer. I want you to know Jacob that when I go back to work…it’s not because I don’t love you as much, or because I don’t want to spend as much time with you…it’s because I want to provide the best life for us possible and that means right now that both Mama and Daddy have to work. I promise to keep loving you the same way and that our time together will ALWAYS be special and important to me. We have so much to look forward to!

So….my sweet angel Jacob…On the day of your 11 month birthday… I leave you with these words of wisdom….

Never stop taking risks and trying new things. It is what amazes me the most when I watch you.

Toilet water is not a fun place to splash around in. I promise you that bubble baths and swimming pools are a heck of a lot more fun!

Keep waking up with that beautiful smile…every day. One day when you’re older like Mama you might forget some times what a true gift life is.

Cat food…no matter how tasty it might seem right now…well not be so appealing after you try your first birthday cake.

Never stop dreaming, hoping, believing, living.

Keep the faith and be strong in who you are and everything you are becoming.

I love you.

So much more then you could possibly know.

Forever.

Love Mama

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