Year 01 | Week 11

Dear Kaylee,

During one of your feedings today, I happened to look down at you and notice you doing something quite astonishing. Astonishing to your father, at least, if no one else. When I looked down at you this afternoon I noticed that you were holding your bottle all by yourself. I was still supporting it, of course, but you had your hands wrapped around it as if you needed no help at all. So, for a moment, I let go. I wanted to see if you really could hold it up by yourself, or if I was just imagining things. And guess what? You did it. You held it all on your own.

That gesture sums up your personality better than any sentence I’ve yet written in this space. That gesture, and the way that you can stand steadily so long as we support you, and the way that you sometimes become bored with stillness. You are longing to get up and go, to be independent and self sufficient. While you certainly seem to love our company, and the company of others, you seem disappointed sometimes that you have to rely on us so heavily. If you could wipe your own bottom right now, you would prefer to do so. If you could get your own bottle, you would.

When you start to crawl, or, if you decide to skip that stage altogether and get right to walking (a development which would not at all surprise us)... when you start to move on your own, I wonder if we’ll ever be able to keep up. The way you look at things, the way you long to be taken to new parts of a room, to experience all the variety that life has to offer—it’s amazing. I only hope that, in between the many expeditions I expect you to make in your life, you will find your way back to us from time to time. I only hope that the little girl so longing to strike out on her own doesn’t forget that she has a family who loves her, whose arms will always be open for her to return to.

This was a tough week at times. We all continued to battle our colds; you and I had a couple of bad moments when feedings weren’t coming quick enough; and we found ourselves in the car for hours on end for what seems like the seventh or eighth weekend in a row. But we made it through and I think that, for the most part, you were the least bothered by it all. You almost always had a smile ready for the person who picked you up. You got lost in the simple joy of repeating the sound, “ah-goo” when we said it to you. And you took everything in stride, both the bumps and the more joyful moments. Many people have said that you look like me, and that’s fine if it’s true, but boy am I glad that you ended up with your mother’s demeanor, with her patience*, and with her smile.

Love, Dad

*Now, if we could only get you and your mother to have patience when food is involved… That would be a real trick!