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Letters to Dean: Month Two

Well Dean, we did it! Or, I should say, YOU did it! You made it through this second month of life—weeks four through eight—which so many fellow mothers (and plenty so-called parenting experts your mama stalks online) say are some of the hardest of infancy.

Son, I’m not going to lie: They WERE hard. You kept your dad and I busy pacing the floors as we bounced you and rocked you and walked you … anything we could to stop you from being fussy. The light in the clouds came at the end of the month, when you went from eating, sleeping and crying to eating, sleeping and crying much less as your alertness to your surroundings and willingness to play made themselves more and more apparent each day.

There were days this month where I struggled, frustrated by your need to be held all day long. You have to understand it’s because it is hard for adults to shift their mindset upon becoming parents. To stop themselves from their day-to-day, selfish way of thinking, where accomplishments pile up in the form of laundered clothes, clean dishes and empty inboxes. For those of us new to this “mom” and “dad” gig, it takes a while to realize our children give us a change in perspective we never knew we needed. For me, that change came this month. Once I stopped thinking in terms of checklists (your mama lives for a good checklist!), I could focus on how few remaining days I have left in my maternity leave to focus solely on YOU. And only then could I embrace the fact that rocking you for another hour … or two … or three…was all I really needed to get done today. Not my hair, not my make-up, not answering emails or vacuuming the rug.

Here’s where I want to tell you that despite your dad and I’s hiccups in learning to parent so far, we now live—LIVE—to see that gummy smile of yours. We will act a fool for that grin. Sing you 12 verses of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”. Blow raspberries on your belly all the live long day. Do an Irish jig if we must. Because that grin of yours you flash so often is a gift you’ve given us this month to get us through those bouts of fussiness and lack of sleep.

We know it’s just a glimpse at what else you have in store for us — future first laugh, first word, first step — that are the rewards to come in being your parents. And Dean, we can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next month.

Each month I write a letter to my darling son. If you’d like to read more, check out the “Letters to Dean” category of the blog.