Paloma,

Today you are seven months old.

I do indeed have a problem with odd numbers. Where did six go? Hell, where'd five four three one pregnancy my life as a single San Franciscan on a bicycle go?

Sometimes I feel like you blew it all to hell. All if it. Ripped through the sky like a comet burning through the atmosphere, like one red hot rock falling from the sky, like there's not a thing in the Universe that could stop you. You were coming. The End.

Prepare, Earthlings.

You are eating through life at a pace I can barely maintain. Those toys? Played. Solved. Devoured. I'll take the scissors, the cardboard box, THIS DOG KIBBLE FEELS AWESOME IN MY HANDS. Crawling? Check. Done. Been there. It's for babies. Where's the walking at?

Yes. You crawl!

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You chose perfect timing for crawling. Right as I started to pack up our apartment you solved the crawling stitch and were all up in my moving business. Like, yo mom, I'm standing over here holding on to this precarious stack of boxes squealing with delight at my skillz. And ZOMG this blue bin why is it not more than fifteen pounds so that I can pull up on it too and maybe climb over it ZOMG WHHYYY????!

Indeed, Baby.

You went right from crawling to pulling up. And sometimes letting go.

I knew we were in big trouble earlier in the month when you hadn't quite figured out crawling but were so determined to get from A to B that you had started eyeing the distance and then THROWING yourself across it.

Papá thought I should not catch you to teach you that lesson. I thought otherwise.

I read about babies taking up other forms of locomotion before they can crawl, but TOSSING THEIR BODIES IN THE AIR was not on that list.

You may not look much like my father, but I think, as it turns out, you are very much like him.

I've been told that it's usually the boys that master moving this early in life because the girls are too busy socializing and chatting to be bothered with it, so it's looking like you're a tomboy, one that will be eating bugs and chasing down the chickens in the backyard.

FINE WITH ME. I didn't want a talker, anyhow. All that noise.

I tend to be sarcastic, and I'm sure this has that undertone, but in all seriousness, my Dove, I love you to pieces. All of you.

I'm so glad you're here. I don't think I can tell you often enough.



I think seven is the month I finally admit these letters aren't for you. Yes, your name followed by a comma is at the top, but at the end of year when I print these all out and bind them into a book it won't be a gift to you, but one for me as a testament to a year of mothering.

Not only will you not being reading by month twelve, but seriously, no one wants to hear this shit until it's too late. And then it's too late. That's the trick, see, you have no idea what's going on until suddenly you're so deep in it you can't help but love the one you're with.

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I have horrendous moments when I have to sit down and admit that I hate being a mom right then. It doesn't happen too often, and it's not being your mother I object to - I'm so glad you're my daughter - but being a mother is the toughest job on Earth: one that never ends, one that doesn't go away, one you can't put down, or interview for another. There are no sick days and there are no pity parties in Motherhood.

It is really, really hard.

But the flip side of this coin are the moments when I can barely contain how proud I am of you and me and everything we are.



On Friday I noticed that you'd started turning to look at me when I talk to you and every time you do it, I'm so surprised that you're actually paying attention to me that I can't help but stop talking and laugh out loud. And then I noticed that you crawl over to objects, pick them up, and turn back to look at me. And then I realized that when you smile, it's a real smile, one that says, I'm enjoying this and I want you to join me.

Avec plaisir.

Happy Seventh Monthday, kiddo. You're kicking my ass.

Love,
Mama

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