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Modern Perspectives, Motherhood, Young Married Mom

April 16, 2012

Dear Jacob XVIII

Dear Jacob,


Just before you were born, I started to wonder what your voice would sound like. I’d seen your body and face from all different angles on the ultrasounds, so I had some idea of those physical features. Your voice was another matter entirely. You had yet to make a peep in this world, and it thrilled me to imagine what that would sound like.


When you were very little and slept in Mommy and Daddy’s room, you made little noises as you feel asleep. One night I think you sighed six times before finally dozing off. Most people emit one sigh maybe, but that wasn’t enough for your little ten-pound body. You were a somewhat noisy nurser, too, and while it embarrassed me in public, at home, it was the sweetest thing I’d ever heard. I wanted to bottle up those sounds and keep them forever. I tried to get your just-waking-up sounds on video, but the camera couldn’t really capture the way I heard you.


It didn’t take long for you to start laughing. When you were just four days old, I was rocking you in our living room. You were cradled in one arm, the other held a book I was reading. It was something like two a.m. and all of a sudden I felt you start to shake. I panicked in the nano-second it took me to turn my eyes from my book to your face. I relaxed when I saw you laughing in your sleep, a smile lighting up your whole face. You laugh a whole lot now, too, and even strangers say it’s infectious.


You are talking later than other kids your age. Part of that, I believe, is because your signing vocabulary is so useful. The other part is that that’s just how you’re doing things. And that’s fine. I love that I know what you want and need from all kinds of non-verbal cues, and I know that you understand what I say. You’ve started to say a few more words lately, your own versions of “flower,” “truck,” “ball,” and so on.  Your pediatrician expects a kind of word explosion in the next six months, and while I like the relative quiet we have at home now, I would love to know what you’re thinking.


The thing is, you already seem to think I know what you’re thinking. In the last week or so, you’ve started to get very emphatic in your storytelling. I’d have a video here if you’d let me take one, but the sight of the camera makes you completely forget whatever you were doing. Instead, your Daddy and I are enjoying how excited you get when you tell us things. You are patient, but enthusiastic. You use your hands and lots of inflection, probably more than necessary. It’s like you need to use the full range of your vocal cords—favoring those tones in the higher register—with each explanation. I love it.


But then, I love you, little boy. Isn’t that what all these letters are really about? I love every part of you, past, present, and future forever and ever. As Abilene says in The Help, “You is smart. You is kind. You is important.” And I love you with all my heart.

Your #1 Storytelling Fan,

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