Letter to a son - 9 months

Dear Milo,

You are nine months old now and you are everywhere. The world has opened up to you as if someone has raised the blinds and let the sun stream in. It's all worth a look: dust bunny, shiny trash can, the grain on the wood rocking chair, the coffee. Especially the coffee. I totally understand. Every morning, when we sit down with that first cup of coffee, we sometimes have to give you your own mug so you don't harass us with insistent and desparate whining. Good thing you haven't noticed there's nothing in your mug yet. How long before you pick up on this scam?

When I pick you up from your crib in the morning, you strain to catch a look at everything, to check out what has changed since 7 pm last night. You're wriggly and curious, as if worried that something exciting might escape notice if you stop casing the joint for a second. It's a deep pleasure to hold onto something so full of life, curiosity, excitement and love. Because in your explorations, you always include your father and me. You beam us a smile, touch our faces, poke our ribs with your toes during the morning snuggle, tug on hair, try to eat our noses.

And you are everywhere in our lives too. The other night, after you went to sleep, your dad and I comtemplated your empty high chair and missed you. We looked at that chair and it rang with the echo of your ferocious eating, dolphin squeals and the quiet gagging noise you make when we try to feed you beets. We contemplated the thought that this tiny person will all too quickly grow up, have hard times, grow old and die someday. The mere thought overwhelmed us, tears springing up, hearts bursting with a depth of emotion that has marked us forever. It was clear to me at that moment: I will never again lead a life unencumbered. You are everywhere.


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