The Baby Fade

Today is Jamesie's 9-month birthday. I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by, and I really can't believe how much Jamesie has changed in such a short amount of time (and continues to change). It's difficult to think that just 9 short months ago he was just this tiny, delicate newborn who slept his days away. Now he is a rambunctious, wiggly baby who fights his second nap of the day (it's a blessing if I get three). The speedy development of children is a remarkable thing to witness.  

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Jamesie sleeping in his Moses basket when he was just 5 days old.

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Jamesie standing in his crib last week, refusing to sleep.

Jamesie scoots around like a pro these days, and has recently discovered his ability to stand (with the help of his canine friend, Rosie). His hands are on everything, and his favorite toys are his wooden blocks, my sunglasses and empty water bottles (he also likes necklaces).  He has 8 teeth and he bites on everything (including shoulders). He throws things and he has just started clapping his hands together. His voice is developing rapidly everyday - he can say "mama," "dada" "baba (papa)," and he is working on "doggy." Before my eyes he is turning into this little boy, and leaving the baby behind - he's entered the stage I like to call the 'Baby Fade.'

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Jamesie is very much still a baby - he needs his mama, his milk, his naps, and snuggles. Yet... he also needs adventures, playtime, walks outside and solid food. He bounces and screams with excitement, he bangs his fists and wines with frustration. He laughs hysterically at life's smallest joys (riding up on his pa's shoulders, or watching Rosie prance around the yard), and he gets frightened of the smallest things (his toy that blows bubbles in the bathroom, or his aunt and uncle's dog, Leo, jumping off of the couch).  Jamesie's growing awareness of his surroundings and of other people is changing his whole perception of life, allowing his inner kid to creep through.

Jamesie has a huge personality. I can tell already he is going to be quite boisterous and curious and likely a little opinionated. There is this boyish little kid inside of him begging to come out and attack the world, while at the same time the soft little baby inside of him slowly fades away. As big as Jamesie is, and as much of a child he is turning into, he still needs me. He needs reassurance and encouragement; he needs support and a guiding hand; he needs a funny face and a light kiss. The moments in this Baby Fade are fleeting, but the treasures of motherhood are endless.

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Babies and children are so clued in and connected to the people around them. It’s how they learn and how they grow as individuals. When Jamesie is playing on the rug with his toys, I often catch him looking at me, like he’s checking in to make sure I’m still there or that everything is alright and he’s safe. When I say a word to Jamesie I can see him studying my lips, concentrating to mimic my voice. That in and of itself is a huge responsibility – to be someone’s biggest role model. Now, more than ever, I need to be the best role model, and a person that my son will admire. Everything James and I do effects how our son behaves, feels, thinks, acts, etc. In many ways we are all growing up together – does a person ever truly grow up before they have children? I’m not sure, but I do know that I have matured more in these past 9 months than I have in the past 22 years. It's my job to raise my son to be the best possible man, and I can only do that if I am the best possible mother.