Saturday, August 16, 2014

Letter to Elly Bean

Elly Bean, as I write you are falling asleep next to me. I used to write letters to your brother when he was tiny too. You are nine months old and today we brought home your own actual bed for the first time, and you have yet to sleep in it. You've been in travel cots, car seats, bouncers, and our bed. At this exact moment, next to me, you're settling, but you've been wiggling and grunting and pulling my hair and holding on to my arm. You love people, and you love me, and that is incredibly sweet to see. Usually at bedtime when we put you in your travel cot you fuss or wail until I come in, and when I lean over you you reach up and grab hold of my hair and pull me to you so that we are face to face, cheek to cheek, my breath in your ear. There you settle, relieved little sighs with each paci suck, and are asleep within minutes. You wanted your mama. You wanted to be close, to be touched.

Your brother is like that too. He needs snuggles and hugs and so I sit with him, scratch his back, stroke his hair, sing him songs about how much I love him or about Jesus. You guys love each other too. He's figured out how to make you laugh and now when you're in your high chair he hides behind you and you twist around as far as you can to find him, and he pops out and you both giggle with delight. He's obsessed with driving his toy car around and he always asks for you to sit behind him. I make sure you don't fall off until he parks at "home" and asks for you to both get off and sit on the lawn, where sit side by side contentedly. He calls you "baby Ollie."

You're asleep now, little eyelashes on soft cheeks. Around here they say "kaya boneka", or "like a doll", but when we visited Solo last week one woman gasped and said you were like a little angel. You're still delighted with other people, and just generally joyful, with  a smile like sunshine and enormous blue eyes. It's hard not to laugh when you're laughing. When we're walking on the road people fly by on motorcycles they call out, "hallo Elly!" Everyone knows you, even if they don't know us, and whenever the neighbor ladies get a chance to hold you, they run next door to show you off to their friends.

You're moving in to solid foods and generally want to eat everything in sight, and make your displeasure known when I won't let you! You generally need an outfit change after eating anything solid, though, and between that and the constant drooling, we go through at least three outfits a day. All that drool and still no teeth, though! You also seem to want to skip crawling. You absolutely hate laying down and are desperate to get around, but seem to think that crawling is beneath you and thus you will go straight to walking. For real, I wouldn't be surprised if you walked first! You found the volume button over the last few weeks and constantly amaze your father with your ear-splitting shriek that can move to peaceful silence instantly if you are distracted.

It's kind of a crazy stage of life that you entered into, with our family in major transition, between cultures, language learning. I'm trying to parent two kiddos in the middle of it, and so often I feel like I have no idea how to be a good mother. I don't have it all together, baby girl. Not in the least. But in the middle of it, I want you to know that you are a delight. You soften my heart when I hold you and you wrap your arms around my neck and nuzzle in your head on my shoulder. Mama loves you, baby girl. So much.

1 comment:

Corinna Mazzotta said...

Such a precious thing for Elly to read when she's older!
Oh and you're doing a great job Mama! :-)When the going gets touhg, remember that you are the PERFECT mother for Judah and Elly. God made you and you alone their mum & no-one else can do that job the way you can. Hugs xx