Daddy and I on our way to Montreal – you with Zoe and Neil. So busy a couple of weeks. For you most of all. On the 4th your first tooth broke through, just a nub, but there for real and yesterday, at Elizabeth Richardson’s wedding, you stood in the beautiful blue and yellow knit dress Aunt Sam made you rock steady for – I think- about 15 seconds, like you’d been doing it all your life. And that’s just the last couple of days. So many things please you – animals (especially dogs), birds, a paperback book, a toy, taking a bath, walking. When most excited, you bounce and flap your hands, saying “ah, ah, ah,” with your eyes so wide open it’s a wonder the squirrel or truck or toy you’re looking at doesn’t get drawn right in. You’ve got so many different expressions now: one of my favorites is when we’re walking, you holding on to my fingers, or when you’re in the stroller, you lean your head way back and grin with delight at the unexpected perspective. When we’re standing, what I see first is your cheeks, like little rolls, rising up to your eyes in what I know, but can’t see, is a smile, and then you tip back, asking to have your neck tickled. Your quizzical look when you’ve dropped something, say over the side of your excersaucer – just on the edge of knowing exactly how objects actually behave but still with the remnants of believing, or not understanding enough not to believe, that objects can go anywhere. A sly smile – you draw your lips in, so your mouth is just a line, turned up at one edge and smiling out of the corner of one averted eye.

You love to touch faces, pull hair, grab noses (if there aren’t any – preferred – glasses on those noses), teeth, lips and you pull with impressive (that is to say sometimes painful) strength. But you also touch with a gentleness unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, especially when you’re nursing and your soft, soft, cool, compact, sweet hands brush against my bare skin.

When we’re together for the day we usually go to the park, where you love to watch the bigger kids and play in the sand. You really try to talk to people, turning square towards them, looking right at them and calling. When bigger kids, as they sometimes do, respond, you’re delighted. If not, you look momentarily disappointed and move on.

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