Sunday, December 23, 2012

seven months

Overdue as usual, but so it goes... It's Nell's seven month post!

She gets called Nelson, Nelbert, Nelberta, Nellen, and even, most recently, Nellwick.

And occasionally, we call her Donald Trump.  Her hair is pretty long on top, with not much underneath, you see.  In fact, she had her first haircut already, a little before she turned six months old I think.  Just a trim of some of the longest wisps that were hanging over her ears.

Nell at seven months weighs about 21 pounds, and while a few of her 9 month size clothes still fit her, she is mostly wearing 12 month stuff.

She has the most infectious laugh imaginable.

She can make anybody in this house smile.

Her babbles are contagious, too, and she loves it when people 'say' back to her whatever she is 'saying.'

This girl loves bath time.

And looooves being naked.

When I pull off her clothes and her diaper and carry her downstairs to the kitchen sink, her entire body contracts and thrashes with joy and delight at the fun of being naked and the prospect of the bath to come.  It's so cute... indescribably cute, really.

Nell can roll over... she has rolled over... but she rarely chooses to roll over.

{She prefers to fuss when placed on her tummy.}

She is a lover of people and a lover of music, and she always gets so excited when I walk into the music room, knowing that it means she'll get to hear some violin music and see my students and their parents.

Nell is getting a little will of her own these days, and I know it's only a taste of what is no doubt to come.  She makes it quite known if she wants something she sees, and if she can't have it, or something she has needs to be taken away from her, she is pretty furious!  Gone are the days when out of sight meant out of mind, or when a simple distraction could cure those momentary frustrations.

 She loves the Christmas lights in our house, and is particularly taken with the ones winding up our stair banister.

She loves drinking water, and after giving her sips out of my own water glass frequently for the past month or so, I recently bought her her first sippy cup.  She hasn't quite gotten the hang of it yet, but she loves the idea of it nonetheless.

No solid foods yet.  She seems to be doing just fine without 'em for now.


Dear Ellen,

Someday you will hear about the very, very sad shootings that took place earlier this month in Newtown, Connecticut.  To you, it will be history, something that happened when you were too little to be aware of any of it.

To me, your mother, it was a day when I snuck into the room where you napped to check on you a little more often, a day when I hugged you extra tightly and held you extra close when you woke up.

I don't think there was a mother in America not brought to tears that day, thinking of the mothers who sent their children off to school that morning, expecting them home in time for a snack, maybe a Christmas cookie.

A mother shouldn't have to bury her child.

Certainly shouldn't have to spend the night knowing her child lies cold in a crime scene, waiting to be positively identified.

Shouldn't have to be overcome with the grief of knowing her child's last moments were one of terror and confusion, ones of fear and pain.

Oh Nell, the world is full of darkness.

But when you were born, we gave you a name that means "light."

You're sitting at my feet right now, wearing a pretty red dress and playing with your stacking cups.  And the joy of being your mama fills my heart to the brim, but I also feel on my shoulders the responsibility of raising you to be a light in this dark world.

While it's especially terrible to have such crimes against humanity perpetrated near Christmas time, the Advent season is also an especially fitting time to remember that we believe that all creation will be restored someday.  There's hope in knowing that, amidst the darkness of pain and suffering, a long time ago a baby came into this world to begin to make things right again.


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