When did I love you less? Never.
How many times have I stretched a baby sock over a freshly lotioned, plump pink baby calf? With four older sisters, Rebekah, you know it was many, many, many times.
I would circle my finger around inside your little sock. It gapped so drastically. Rubbing the tiny knob of your ankle, watching your soft skin roll and wrinkle as I easily slipped the sock back off, I would kiss your long thin toes as they curled onto and gripped my finger.
A long, skinny 5lbs and 10oz, I usually dressed you in long-sleeved, footed outfits or in many layers, not because I was ever ashamed of you; please know that it was never that, but because I wanted to protect you from any raised eyebrows, from whispers of concern, from tight-lipped smiles, from critical eyes. People can be cruel.
Your wide eyes were glazed with fatigue at times, not always, but even once a week was too much. You fought sleep sometimes, even when we knew you were exhausted.
You will never know how many hours your dad would patiently rock you, slowly massaging, warmly snuggling, securely pressing you into his safe chest. Hours and hours, leaving his hand in your crib with you because you would wake if he tried to sneak away. Your strong, delicate fingers wrapped tightly around his thick finger, but he cannot deny that he was the one who was wrapped.
You slap my face with your chubby hands, throw your head back smiling, then head butt me as you pull my head toward you, slobbering all over my face as you cover me with the messiest, sweetest kisses.
In two days, you will be 9 months old, and this morning while I watched you laugh as you splashed water onto your fat face in the bathtub, I decided I needed to weigh you again.
Whoa…19.1 lbs of glorious chub, I was elated to see that. But just so we are clear–this scale has never weighed, and could never weigh, my love for you or your worth as a baby.
You are so curious about Audrey’s kitten Carly, and she is curious to know you too.
Morning babies, playing hard.
YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY GIRL!!