This month has been packed with firsts that I hope to never forget. I have a perpetual calendar that I write things on, like your first word, mama, and the first time you took a few steps before crashing into my lap. Next year when those dates come back around, I'll see that July 30th 2008 you got up on both knees to crawl for real instead of the army scoot you've been perfecting. I'll document all of your milestones for sure, but this month there was so much more that I want to remember besides.
I don't want to forget how we share a piece of chocolate sometimes in the afternoon. I put a square of whatever chocolate grandma has around the house in my lips and you try to bite the corner that sticks out. My little baby bird has to give her mama a kiss if she wants to have a taste. I have no idea how you still manage to get chocolate all over your face, a candy goatee framing that perfect smile of yours.
I want to always hang on to the nights that you would get a second wind. You would practice your hollering all day and with your pipes all warmed up you'd play a very loud game of come catch me Papa. A game that has you yell and scream and laugh until Papa crawls over and you try to scamper away but you only manage to tumble over onto a pillow. Then you laugh even louder and send Papa hiding behind the pillow and the game turns into the loudest game of peek-a-boo in history.
You are very good at playing with everyone. You know when you are supposed to laugh even though you don't get the joke and you can always get any one's attention back on you if we dare take a minute to talk to someone else in the room. You also know how to tear your diaper off if I don't put it on backwards. You tear one side half way open, look to see if I have seen what you've done, then finish the job as fast as you can.
I know this won't last forever, but I wish it would: I love when you stare at me when you are sitting in the shopping cart and when I look into your eyes you give me the most genuine smile one person has ever given another. You smile like you know how much I love you. You smile like you have to show all the love in the world in one facial expression.
Here's something I don't have a picture of, my most special time with you in the morning: I bring you in the shower with me now. I hold you in my arms for the first minute and let you hold your hand in the stream of water, then set you down with some toys while I wash my hair. You do just fine in there, then I stop the drain and let you splash in the bath while I towel off. If I don't set you down fast enough though, you fall asleep, just conk right out without warning on my shoulder. It's hard to describe the special feeling of having your tiny wet body snuggled up to me, your arms wrapped as far around my neck as they can reach.