I'm constantly asking time to slow down—especially in these posts. For the most part, time only continues to move even faster. But, this month my prayers seem to have been heard. In last month's post I wrote about Emerson taking her first steps at the age of eight-and-a-half-months, and how difficult that was for me. Well folks, there have been no more steps. It was like she took a couple and decided she wasn't ready….that it was too much for her, too soon (and I'm a little relieved). Just like that, she changed her mind, after spending months obsessed with learning to walk and standing on her own. She decided instead to cling to me for dear life a little bit longer. Babies are so interesting in that way. They are such rudimentary versions of human beings, but at the same time are so wise and intuitive. They know when enormous shifts are occurring in their lives, and they have emotional responses to them.
This developement—or lack thereof, I suppose—has been a blessing and a curse, a concept not the least bit foreign in parent-land. Emerson has become even more affectionate—wanting to snuggle on the couch, lying on top of me in bed, nursing a gabillion times a day, hugging me over and over. But, all of this also means she doesn't want me out of her sight all too much. And that right there is the rub of motherhood—your child's admiration is flattering and heart-warming, but also exhausting and sometimes frustrating.
One of my favorite parts of Emerson's noticeably increasing maturity, is watching her interact with others. It's fascinating to see her "public self" emerge. At home, Emerson feels free to let it all hang out, but out of the house she is almost unflappable. What she cannot tolerate in private, she handles with ease when in public. And her personality really shines with strangers. I about died from cuteness and pride yesterday when I took her to our weekly mama/baby group. She had befriended a new baby the week before, and when she saw the baby this time she reached out and caressed her face so gently (meanwhile, her idea of being gentle with me involves slapping my face repeatedly, poking me in the eyes and pulling my hair). Then, Emerson reached for the other baby's hand and they proceeded to hold hands. And they just held hands. For like minutes. I'm dying just thinking about it. After the hand holding, they hugged. And KISSED. I mean….I just can't….Sigh. Dying.
I am also so in love with the fact that I seem to have given birth to a performer. Emerson's dancing has reached a whole new level. She now sings along to the music while dancing, and in the absence of music she sings her own song to dance to. She has this crazy combination of an ear for music and rhthym in her body. She hears music everywhere—literally dancing to the hypnotic sound of my breast pump, the steady melody of our air filter running, the funny noises I make with my mouth to amuse her. It's insane how many times a day the urge to shake her booty seems to strike her. All I can say is the girl was born with the beat in her soul.