Emerson turned 8-months-old on Saturday. Her advancing age never ceases to take me by surprise, nor do her emerging skills cease to amaze me. Typical first-time mama, right? I'm really loving the stage we're in right now, notwithstanding the terrible teething woes and complete lack of sleep on account of said woes. Alex and I have been saying a lot lately, "we really lucked out with this baby!" That statement is not at all meant to imply that we've had an easy time, or that she doesn't challenge us in numerous ways…..or that I never find myself wanting to scream. But, she is a good baby. Overly picky and demanding, at times? Yes. Stubborn as they come? Sure. A long list of emotional needs? Mmm hmm. (Wait, this is starting to sound an awful lot like me….). But, she is a good baby. She goes with the flow, adapting to being isolated indoors in the middle of nowhere with only her mama for days (or weeks) on end to suddenly finding her house filled with nine loud, intense family members to having no fear when she meets a dog for the first time (oh, how she loves her auntie's doggy!) to cuddling up to my family with full trust because she somehow senses that they are important to me.
I feel so proud of the person Emerson is becoming—the person she is, and has been. She's been tracking about two to three months ahead of the curve in reaching all of her milestones since birth, and I've never found myself shocked by it or felt like it's an overly big deal (other than feeling unprepared for each new stage). It just seems to make sense, like of course Emerson would do something like that. She is my little old soul. She doesn't have time to be a baby, she's got plans. And I can't wait to see what those plans are.
So, the big news last month was that Emerson started to crawl and stand up at 6-months-old. She has now begun her decent into the world of walking—again, not at all surprised, but must you really begin to walk at 8-months-old, Emerson?! She has made several attempts to stand without holding onto anything and adorably surfs our furniture (walking from one end to the other while holding on). I am trying, in earnest, to enjoy these last days before she begins to walk, because I know it will be
The incredible thing about moving into yet another new phase with Emerson, is to watch her become confidently independent yet able to express her love for me more intensely. So, while it's sometimes sad to see her not need me for long stretches of time, she makes up for it in the maturity of her love (enormous kisses, long cuddles, lying on top of my body as she nurses). I think we both need these "check-ins" with each other in order to allow our relationship and dependence/independence to evolve.
One other thing that is quickly changing is Emerson's awareness. I started making a list of my personal faults that I'd love to take to a therapist and say, "here, please help me get rid of these before I permanently scar my child!" From the small to the large, I am constantly noticing my behavior now….mostly, because Emerson is noticing. She is my audience when I am having a bad day, lose my temper, accidentally (or sometimes intentionally) swear, go to the bathroom, blow my nose, interact with my husband, on and on and on. And she wants to learn. But, what do I want to teach her? Certainly not everything I'm doing! We all want better for our children, and though I know Emerson already has it a heck of a lot better than I did, I want better than the better she's already receiving from me. Some of this speaks to the abyss that is my personal background and my fear of recreating any of it at all, and some of it is the mere fact that I cannot stop swearing altogether nor can I stop losing my cool when Emerson digs her hands into a pile of poop.
Happy 8-months, baby girl!
Belated Christmas photos: