Paloma,

Today you are nine months old. Nine in, nine out.



When I last sat down to write you a letter you were screaming like a banshee. Banshee. I had to look that word up to be sure it was properly describing the level of terror you can achieve. Your scream is the definition of blood-curdling. I looked that one up too. Yep, there you are, all pen and inked on the page.

You were screaming and cluster-feeding, but it wasn't until you hit the hibernation portion of the growth spurt that I had the palm to forehead moment.

Duh.

You came out on the other side doing all sorts of new tricks and yes, yes, you began to sprout a tooth.

Not teeth.

Tooth.

One. At. A. Time.

Now there are two. Two cute teeth peeking about halfway out of your gums. And I think there are two more ready to cut any minute.

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This month hasn't been a spurt; it's been a marathon. A long, forward-moving run through life. You've sailed over hurdle after hurdle and they just keep coming at you. I doubt anything will impress more than your first year of life. Nothing moves as fast, gets as far, grows so quickly. Not a thing.



You can scream, yes, and cry, but you also laugh. I suppose every mother loves their baby's sounds, but I think your cry and your laugh are the prettiest sounds on Earth. Silver bells tinkling. Rainbows and butterflies. And, hell, maybe unicorn or two. I kid you not. That is how your laugh sounds to me.

You didn't laugh, not even a tiny giggle, through that whole growth spurt, and the only reason I know that for sure is because towards the end of it all your Papá took you in the other room to give me a break and he got you to laugh. Something with Jacques and the ball and you were busting a gut.

My heart exploded into a million tiny pieces.

I was at once relieved and broken by that sound. It embodied all that had been missing from those last few days: Joy. But there it was again, bright and bold as ever and I was so glad to hear it.



The other night I was my usual exhausted self but you were in a good mood, so I joined you.

You were banging on the body and door of the dryer (the sound is better than pots and pans, for sure) and I chimed in on the washer. I guess I thought it might startle you; instead, you thought it was the funniest thing you'd ever seen, so together we made a loud ruckus, you laughing so hard you finally peed on me.

We stripped all our clothes off in the cold of the laundry room, tossed them in the washer, ran naked through the house, still giggling, and jumped into the shower. You played with the water while I soaped you up, we wrapped up in still-warm towels fresh from the dryer, and snuggled into bed.

Granted not every moment of our lives is streaked with fairy dust but we can sure as hell aim for the equivalent.



Happy Ninth Monthday.

Love,
Mama

p.s. You give the best hugs.

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