Today you are five months old. Five. What? I know. Five. How in the hell are you five months old? One, two, three, four: those I could fathom. But five. I don't know, it sounds terribly old. Or it did. Until I starting typing this out and now it sounds fine. Yes, you're five months old. Next month it will be six. And then seven. Seven! Seven? Maybe I have a hard time with odd numbers.

I'm writing this letter to you on your grandma's older-than-dust PowerBook G4. I had to look down to remember what they used to call these things. I have no idea, I cannot even fathom, what your first computer-type-device will be. I mean, you'll probably use a second generation iPad before anything, but I'm talking about your first device. This is all silly to even be thinking about and has nothing to do with you being five months old, but maybe it's on my mind since we've been staying at your grandparents' house for the last few weeks, taking care of their dogs, and they live just south of Cupertino, home of Apple.

This is the house I grew up in. Right now that doesn't mean anything to you, but one day it will. One day you'll walk into my room, the one we've been sleeping in, and you'll imagine all the ways I existed in that space. None of the furniture in there was mine. The walls I painted over many times, now purple. This still has not much to do with you being five months old, but I think it's all coming up for me since we'll be moving down this way in October.

Your great-grandpa died when you were about five months in the womb and it was terribly disappointing that he didn't get to meet you. We all knew it was coming, but I had hope he'd make it a few more months. I'm grateful he at least knew you were here; that makes me happy. His house is empty now, and it is just the right size for us. We've been all five of us stuffed into a tiny studio apartment that costs more to rent than most people's monthly house payment. I have graduate school to pay for, we have your future to save for, and so it only makes sense to turn his house into our home for a short time, if not for longer.

It is the house his family moved into when they came out to California from New York. They bought this new house, surrounded by orchards for miles; it is the house your grandfather grew up in.

I've never really thought, "Oh, that would be a lovely place to raise a family" because I think those words sound ridiculous. There's no (un)ideal place to raise children. But there are ideal conditions.

Living in Sunnyvale will give us the space for a vegetable and flower garden. Yes, we could figure out an arrangement in San Francisco, but I think we all know how that would go. Plus, CHICKENS. I am so excited to add chickens to our family.

Speaking of family, we'll be much closer to Grandma and Grandpa. And Auntie Mabby comes home from Italy soon, so she'll be around too, I hope. It's conceivable that they could all come over for dinner. Just for dinner. Not for the day. Not a big to-do. Just dinner. Or, maybe I should call it supper, because that's what your great-grandfather called it.

We'll have more room in this house than we'll know what to do with. I'm a bit intimidated. We don't even own a couch. And we'll have a spare bedroom. SPARE BEDROOM. That means house guests. And visitors. And entertaining. And maybe this year we'll host Thanksgiving. That was your great-grandfather's holiday. It would be an honor.

Maybe this has everything to do with you being five months old. Maybe these are all the things that go into raising a child. Maybe.

This last month has been The Month of the High Need Baby. I've decided you're High Need. If nothing else, it makes me feel much better as your mother to know that it's not me, it's you. You are so bright and aware, as I've said before, you seem to have a hard time turning it all off. I feel you.

You prefer to be held, carried, Moby-ed, Ergo-ed, WHATEVER, just HOLD ME MAMA and NOW. I enjoy being still "pregnant" with you; I'll be sad when you're ready to climb down to the earth, but I don't doubt it won't come a day too soon.

The theory is that by front-loading all the attachment, you'll grow into a secure and independent child, then teen, and adult. As hard as it is to imagine the day you'll live your life without our bodies touching, I can think of no greater life than one lived with confidence.

Geolocations aside, this is how you raise a child.

Happy Fifth Monthday.