(Same intro as the last time I wrote a six-month letter to a child of mine: nanobots, jetpacks, brief change of narrative, etc.)

:::

Dear Dylan,

I was recently looking at a journal entry I wrote in 2006 when your brother was six months old, and I had to smile at the similarities. Your staccato chortling laugh, the fact that you can roll around like a potato bug but aren’t quite sitting on your own yet, your sudden ravenous appetite and subsequent full-bodied embracement of solid baby foods, your penchant for howling in anger right before your naptimes — these are all things I noted about your brother when he was the same age you are now.

There are familiar moments and yet this experience of taking care of you, my baby boy, is so different than it was the first time around. Sometimes I feel a little wistful that you aren’t the only child in our house, that you don’t get 100% of our attention, that your parents aren’t quite so steeped in a marveling, slightly terrified sense of being in unrecognizable territory.

I don’t think you mind these things, though. I don’t think you mind one bit that your brother is a constant in your life, a presence who brings noise and chaos and laughter to the entire household. (Dylan, your face lights up like the sun when you see Riley, and I cannot tell you the joy that brings to my heart.) I don’t think you mind that your parents feel more experienced, are a little less panicked and unsure and a little more laid-back about taking care of you. You are awfully accommodating, Dylan, just a deliciously agreeable good-humored baby for the most part. Well, except for the napping thing.

I sing this goofy song to you that goes “Who’s that tiiiiny little sucto, who’s that tiiiiny little sucto, who’s that tiiiiny little sucto, who’s that tiny little suuuucto?” Sucto is short for suctopus, which is how we sometimes refer to you (a grabby-tentacle’d baby who furiously glugs down milk by the seeming gallon-loads), although your official nicknames are The Tinytopus, Tiny D, and D-Back, ANYWAY. When I sing this to you your face gets all beamy and your mouth opens wide and your little legs bicycle around joyously, and if I ever wondered whether you truly recognize this little song you made it crystal clear last weekend when I was putting you in your carseat and started humming the Tiny Little Sucto tune and you whipped your head to me around instantly and smiled bright as anything, a full-bodied grin that practically dropped me to my knees, it was so wonderful.

A few days ago you were rolling around on the carpeted family room floor and ended up bonking your head into the entertainment center, hard enough that you were nearly hysterical when your dad ran in and swooped you up. You were squealing into his shoulder like a devastated little piglet, and I practically elbowed your dad in the gut in my rush to take you in my own arms. As soon you raised your tear-stained face and saw me, you reached a hand out to me, and I folded you into my body and you burrowed into my chest and sobbed for a bit, until you felt better. I could do that for you, I could give you comfort, and it was indescribable, that feeling.

Please note I am not saying I enjoyed your painful head-bonk, and I hope we can all avoid such accidents in the future. (But oh, your little body clinging to mine. The way you seemed to soak up something you needed from me.)

You like to make a lot of loud sounds a lot of the time, and sometimes they sound like “GA GA GA GA” and sometimes “AYAH!” and maybe my favorite, a buzzing “BMMMMM” noise you make with your lips pressed firmly together and your cheeks all squirrely and sly-looking. You are insanely curious about everything and we have to be careful to constantly move things out of your reach because your hands have the grip of a pipe wrench. You don’t sleep all the way through the night but I often find that I enjoy those wee-hour moments when the house is silent and you are nestled with me in the rocking chair drinking a bottle while your right hand holds my right thumb and your left hand pats wonderingly up and down my left arm. You like to raise your eyebrows while you’re smiling, and it is simply a pro move, my son, a devastatingly flirty expression that I am sure you will hone and perfect to a deadly art form when you are older.

Right now your hair is reddish, your eyes are grey-blue, and you have perfectly rosy cheeks. I think you are a spectacularly good-looking baby, even with the constant waterfalls of drool coming from your cupid’s-bow mouth. (You have three teeth already!)

The first several weeks after you were born were really hard for me. I was tired, overwhelmed, and more than a little desperate-feeling, and I won’t lie, I wished for the time to go by more quickly, for you to grow up and not need so much from us. It’s hard to believe I ever felt that way, when now all I wish for is that time would slow down, that I could enjoy your babyhood for as long as I want, instead of the cruel truth of days slipping by faster and faster, every moment taking you just a bit away from me. The entire act of parenthood is a path of loss, Dylan, where the whole point is for you to grow up and away, and we will know we did at least a few things right when you carve out your own life completely separate from ours. I know how this time is such a sweet shutter-flash, and my heart, my little one, it will be over so soon. I am trying to hold on to it all, even as it constantly changes.

I wasn’t sure what life would be like with two children, and while there are surely new challenges and difficult moments, I could never have guessed how wonderful it was really going to be. How much fun we would have together. How you seem like you were always meant to be here. Like we were just waiting for you to arrive.

Dylan, I love you now and forever, more than words can express.

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Anne L.
Anne L.
13 years ago

Aww, that was sweet! What a nice way to remember this time.I have a little girl about a month or so behind D, and the way you write about him makes me really look forward to the next month.

Melanie
13 years ago

You made me cry. That was beautiful, Linda.

Mrs. Breedorf
13 years ago

Aw jeez, tears shamelessly rolling down cheeks here, lady.

Kim
Kim
13 years ago

And that, right there (or “dere” as Riley might say) is why I’m so scared we are missing out on the most important thing a husband and wife can do together.
Gorgeous.

mixette
mixette
13 years ago

Typing through blurry eyes here too. So sweet.

Kelsey
13 years ago

That was just lovely. So much so that I almost found myself wishing my little one wanted to eat and snuggle with me in the middle of the night. Look at that! Your excellent writing had rendered me INSANE.

Kelsey
13 years ago

Oops! Rereading my comment the “lovely” part now sounds sarcastic, but I meant it sincerely. The letter really is lovely.

Meg
Meg
13 years ago

He is so beautiful. What a wonderful tribute to him, Linda. I hope the time passes slowly enough for you to enjoy it as fully as you want to.

Kate
13 years ago

So sweet, and what a memory to have.

There’s a line in the Johnny Depp movie Finding Neverland that says something like “Boys should never be made to go to bed, for they always wake up a day older.” It’s always stuck with me for it is so true. SO true.

Treasure every single moment. My baby will be 3 in 11 days and I don’t know where the time has gone.

oregoncoastgirl
oregoncoastgirl
13 years ago

excellent.

Kristi
13 years ago

Oh so beautiful – the words and the pictures. We have that same book! The feet on it kill me….

Brenda
13 years ago

Wow, that was wonderful, your tribute to your child. It is so great to read about how thankful a parent is about the existence of their little ones despite all the craziness they bring to our lives. Kids – they drive you up the wall, yet, without them, our lives would be so much less rich, less wondrous.

donna
donna
13 years ago

I sooo miss my kids and grandkids at that age. I want them back.
At least you recognize how special the time is, I don’t feel like I did always.

JAB
JAB
13 years ago

Holy crow, 6 months already! Time flies (well, I’m not the one up every night for feedings and diaper changes, so maybe it just flies by for me?). Congrats!

Jo
Jo
13 years ago

Beautifully written, am sitting at my desk in tears (in a good way!)

Merideth
Merideth
13 years ago

Have to admit, that made me a little teary eyed. It brought back a lot of baby memories for me especially since my baby is 7 today, WAH!! The clinging to mama when they are crying and hurt still happens at 7 ( as long as it isn’t in front of the guys)

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
13 years ago

That was so wonderful. I wish I had done something like that for my boy. Today is his first day of school, 1st grade! Your letter to Dylan made me teary eyed remembering when my son was that little.

samantha jo campen
13 years ago

Okay,I’m sobbing over here.

Jeanette
13 years ago

That was so sweet..sometimes I really miss my kids when they were babies!

Amanda O'Brien
13 years ago

So well said.
:)

Amanda
13 years ago

That was beautiful! He will cherish your letters!

Kaire
Kaire
13 years ago

Your boys are so very lucky to know (and more importantly be shown!) they are so loved and wanted. Tearing up here!

nonsoccermom
13 years ago

So sweet. He is such a cute little guy.

FishyGirl
13 years ago

Oh, this makes me miss my baby’s baby days so much and that is saying something, Linda. He’s 21 months and STILL doesn’t sleep through the night so I don’t often feel that way. What a lovely remembrance of this age and stage in his life.

Corey
Corey
13 years ago

I wish I had written something like this when my daughter was tiny. I’m going to start now and hope she forgives her mama.

Btw, that last pic totally reminds me of the pics Dooce posts of her dog, Chuck. :-)

Maria
13 years ago

Oh man. This makes me want to write letters to upcoming Mr. Man and my chipmunk. (He’s a little younger than Riley and I think they’ll be the same age distance apart that Dylan and Riley are.)

This made me unbelievably woobly, and excited (and nervous) about the baby. I remember how hard those first weeks were and I can’t imagine doing it with a toddler in the house. But parenting has taught me that you just do shit. You can’t stop or pause.

A path of loss… That was just beautiful. I love your way with words, lady!

Also, that kid blows my mind. How can he be that cute?!?!

wealhtheow
wealhtheow
13 years ago

Tears are flowing! Like you, I can’t wait to meet the little boy who’s emerging, but oh, I will miss my sweet baby!! Right before she died, my best friend’s mom told me “The days are long but the years are short.” I repeat that like a mantra during the bad times and the good times. My kiddo isn’t even ten months old and already I cannot believe how quickly time is zooming past.

Krissa
Krissa
13 years ago

Crying, at work. I don’t even have children yet, but this made me want to call home. Even with my life carved and separate from my parents, I still want them here. And that, to me, is a mark of them having done at least a few things right.

Kelli
Kelli
13 years ago

You are an excellent writer and Mom. And Dylan is a lucky, adorable little boy.

Bethany
Bethany
13 years ago

Beautiful! I loved this entry.

Jessica
Jessica
13 years ago

I am pregnant with my second boy while my first is in school right now (pre-k he’ll be four this week)..

and I want to thank you for this so much. I’ve been worried, scared about this baby..if I would love him as much as I love my first boy (which is more than anything on this world) if this baby would fit in our lives which seems to have a rhythm and flow that works for everyone..

Reading this makes me feel like it will all work out..like we will be ok..like there is room in our hearts and lives for this little boy kicking furiously inside of me now.

Thank you so much, this is why blogs need to be written so that we can share these moments with other people, connect across countries and worlds.

Your family is beautiful..and so is your writing.

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

Totally crying. At work. But it’s all worth it! Your sentiments were just beautiful. Dylan is lucky to have a Mama like you!

And Riley too, of course….

k....
13 years ago

Beautiful post and baby!

Ashley
13 years ago

Sigh…that was lovely.

She Likes Purple
13 years ago

This is beautiful. I’m bookmarking it to read it when my own kiddo turns six months old. An exact year from now, actually.

And your hair looks fantastic, by the way.

Amy
Amy
13 years ago

Lovely!

Anonymous New York
13 years ago

Such a great post! Those boys are lucky to have a wonderful mom who keeps these heartfelt memories.

Jolie
13 years ago

it might be because I’m pms, but dang it. made me cry.

Andrea
13 years ago

Sitting here 33 weeks large with my firstborn kicking away on the inside, I can’t tell you how much these kinds of posts mean to me, because instead of hearing ‘your life will never be the same,’ I hear ‘your life will never be more filled with joy.’

Julie
13 years ago

That’s just beautiful. And what a treasure for Dylan to be able to go back and read some day!

Dan
Dan
13 years ago

When you think your writing couldn’t get any better you throw that one out!

You made me cry. I have a 7 month old and my wife along with your writing has sucked me into your blog. So I had to comment on the feelings you captured. It couldn’t have been done any better.

Leah
13 years ago

You guys make a great pair of chums tucked into a great little family. I love you guys.

Karen
Karen
13 years ago

Aww, that’s so lovely. *tears*

Kristen
Kristen
13 years ago

That was beautiful. And the pictures make my ovaries ache with jealousy!

Lindsay
Lindsay
13 years ago

Oh, add me to the crying list (and turn the baby fever knob up to eleven).

trackback
13 years ago

[…] Her most recent post about Dylan at 6 months has got me all teary-eyed and really excited about Patter’s arrival. (Except for the first few weeks. Those will probably sux rox big time, just as they did for her.) […]

Maria
13 years ago

That was beautiful, and so is he. :)

Cassie
13 years ago

What a beautiful letter and an awesome tribute to Dylan. I’m sitting here at my desk actually crying a little bit! My little boy will be 4 months soon and I’m so excited for the months to come, yet everything seems to be going by way too fast.

Andrea
13 years ago

Am crying now. Sobbing, actually. Beautiful. And once again, you nailed it.

:::::::::::: wife mom maniac ::::::::::::

Such a cute picture of you two, and touching sweet sweet words. Glad I stopped by here :)