You and your brother both – in my humble opinion – could turn the world on with your smiles. One thing is for certain, you turn my world on with smiles and coos and all sorts of exploratory noises — even in the wee small hours of the morning. Especially in the wee small hours of the morning. I had no idea those hours could bring me so much joy while stumbling to get my first cup of coffee.
Don’t worry, I have yet to drop you.
I promised in my last letter post that I would start individual letters this month. I was having trouble deciding which letter to write first, so I left it up to chance and drew your name out of a jar. Next time, Jackson will be first.
The day you turned seven months old, we all flew to Nashville. All things considered, you both were great, however, you do have a little drama when attempting to go to sleep in anything other than a sleep suit. The passengers were patient with you. It’s difficult not to be when you look at them and grin. The funny thing about your going to sleep pattern is you tend to waver between crying and laughing so it makes for a rousing ten minutes one way or another.
You adjusted well to travel. I am pleased about that since this weekend we head to Washington DC and at the end of the month we head to Chicago. In Nashville we saw Annie and Robert. Your Uncle Robert dressed up like the Easter Bunny just for you. Your Daddy and I thought this might traumatize you, but as you can see, it did not.
We went to Ryman Auditorium where you proceeded to test your voice. Literally. You were not crying, just vocalizing, happily. After all, the acoustics are second only to the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. You also ate your first sweet potato fry, which you found quite tasty. Somehow I knew you would. You, my boy, are an eater.
I suppose in these letters I should document all of the things you can do — sit-up, grab toys, laugh hysterically when I tickle you under the chin, grab your spoon and try to feed yourself and you can almost give yourself a bottle — and any minute, I believe you will be crawling.
According to all the books I don’t read, you’re right on schedule.
I love how you grab my arm when I carry you, and how you nuzzle into me when I am giving you a bottle. You make these noises that I know will not be there forever, so I try to memorize the soundtrack and hold it in my heart. When you’re a teenager driving me nuts; I know there are little things that will always make you my baby. I want to remember those things when I am – in the words of my Mawmaw – “seeing red” – this was her term for “I’m ready to kill you, Tige.” Your KK’s version of this was just to call me Teressa Louise; loudly.
When I scream James Philip, you might want to run.
You are currently in a phase that I would call “pupby” or “babpy” — you are a cross between a puppy and a baby. I put you down on the floor with all of your “chew toys” and you take turns grabbing them and shoving them in your mouth. I wish I could say I sanitized them every night, but I don’t, so I am hoping for the best. I’m told your immune system needs germs.
One of the things I love most right now is watching you and your brother interact. You tend to roll on top of him and grab him. Neither one of you seem to mind the entanglement.
As expressive as your face is, you cannot hide anything. One day you and your brother are going to do something and when I ask who did it; I imagine it will go something like this:
Jackson, who did this? I will ask.
Not sure, Mama. He will reply without giving anything away.
James, who did this? I will ask.
Umm… not sure, Mama. You will reply trying not to give anything away.
Are you really not sure, James?
We were just playing, Mama and it broke! Jackson was chasing me and it was an accident, I promise. You will blurt out, unable to contain yourself.
I will smile and Jackson will say, James! Why do you always tell?
Because everything is written on your face my sweet boy. Everything. I love you to the moon and back and back.