I put up the Christmas tree yesterday and a flood of memories came rushing back of what I was doing just one year ago. I was 7 months pregnant, feeling good but different in my new body, and wondering what motherhood was going to be like. Now, just 12 months later, I can hardly remember life without Coleman. I find myself living my life through his eyes. Wondering what he is seeing and thinking and caring about. Plus, I can’t get enough of all the signs around us, like his dump truck under the tree, that say, “there’s a little one in the house.”
While last month was a time of discovering new skills, this month seems to be all about trying to refine those skills. Cole, each day you get a little more confident and a little more independent. You crawl easily and getting yourself from crawling to sitting and back again is a piece of cake for you. You pull yourself up on anything and everything and are even brave enough to stand with just one hand holding on or leaning against whatever is propping you up.
You hang out with Dad and like to explore his wheelchair. It’s the best toy we have and lucky for us, it’s always with us! You have figured out that when you hear his chair “click” that it means he is going to move so you let go and sit yourself down on the floor. You definitely think that getting rides with Dad is how everyone should live their lives as you kick your leg to let him know it’s time to start cruising.
Dad has taught you how to share yogurt-covered pretzels with him and you are a pro at biting off the yogurt while you leave the pretzel behind. You two definitely work out your own systems of doing things that surprises me sometimes. We never imagined that your Dad would be able to be as involved in your life and your care as he is and it has been an amazingly wonderful gift to watch you grow together in your relationship. It’s clear that you make a good team.
Coleman, you have decided that being cooped up in your jumparoo isn’t as fun as crawling and climbing so we’re handing it off to your cousin Jack to play with next. This makes it more challenging to have you hang out with Dad while his aide is getting him ready in the mornings because you want to get in his way the whole time. You sit on the floor next to your Dad while he is getting his hair washed or on his lap while he’s brushing his teeth, not letting the aide stand in his regular spot without having to work around you. But I’m grateful that Daddy’s aides are patient with you and let you be a part of that time with your Dad.
You still like your big wooden beads to play with and chase but what you really love to do with them is put them on your finger and crawl around. The bead tap-tap-taps on the floor as you get from one place to the next. You have also learned to throw – including playing your first games of catch. Our neighbor taught you that and you laughed and laughed when you figured out how to toss things back and forth with someone. You think that is the funniest game ever.
We’re working on eating table food more and more and with your four teeth, you are figuring out how to chew more things. I think you get impatient with all the chewing, though and want to eat some baby food to get the meal done.
You loved being in the middle of all the action during Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa Hall’s house. All of our family was there and you crawled around watching and playing with the other kids. That’s where you learned how to push the big trucks along the floor and Grandma even let you take a Tonka truck home with you to play with.
Just like your parents, you love all things Mac. Your favorite toy is Mom’s iPhone. You know how to touch the screen to make things move and we just have to watch to make sure you don’t call someone accidentally.
You love baths and squeal with excitement when I start the water going and take your clothes off. Putting on your diaper and pjs is a totally different experience as you squirm and cry and wrestle with me. I’m usually sweating before we’re done with that fifteen minutes of our day because you put up such a fight, you little turkey!
You have been doing all of your tricks for Grandma and Grandpa Coleman on Skype and I send them videos from my iPhone all the time so they can be a part of everything you are doing even though they live in the Dominican Republic. They love you and miss you so much but are grateful you have your Grandma and Grandpa Hall nearby to help out. We’re thankful that we have parents who are willing to serve the Lord even if it means sacrificing their time with their grandchildren to do it. They are great examples to us.
Coleman, I love that this is your first Christmas and our first with a little munchkin around. The holidays will definitely be different from now on and we can’t wait to live it up with you.
We love you with all of our hearts and feel so blessed and lucky to have you.