19 months / by Christina Rosalie

Dear Bean, You sit at my feet making a picture all by yourself with the skinny markers I keep in a jar in my studio. Carefully you uncap each one, recapping it after you have added its color in bright stripes to your page. It is raining out and for a few short moments, we’re both working quietly—contented in the semi dark of the room, rain splattering the glass. This month has been all about times like this with you—times of longer concentration, conversation, and activity.

I love watching you close doors or pick up shoes after I’ve asked you to—a grin always spreading across your face like sweet jam. You spend time drawing now, or looking at books. You bring piles to anyone who will comply: climbing into their lap, saying “buh! buh!” And you’ve started to build with me—block towers ten or twelve blocks high. Of course, you’re favorite part is still knocking them down—but I’m excited that we’re on the cusp of this new kind of play. Construction.

This month you’ve become obsessed with walking in my shoes—literally. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that you can walk in them with such ease—you’ve already shown us a thousand times your natural sense of balance and coordination. I’ve stopped worrying you’ll fall and break your neck every single time you slip into a pair of my shoes—and instead have taken to wishing I could freeze you like this forever: goofy, and adorable, and still so small.

Other things you are obsessed with: stuffing toilet paper down behind me while I’m sitting on the loo. Eating peanut butter and jelly tortilla roll-ups. Climbing up onto the picture window sill. Riding on my shoulders. Visiting the neighbor’s sheep. And playing guitar with Daddy.

Driving home after work today I was thinking about how much I look forward to seeing you at the end of the day. How delighted I am to come in and find you and scoop you up. I love your gutsy little laugh as I tickle your tummy. The way you wrap your arms around my neck. And even the way you blatantly ignore me now, when you’re in the middle of a project.

Like always since you came into our lives, each month seems to go too fast. Yet, like always, the lesson you teach me again and again is to slow down, be present, and enjoy the pure intensity of every moment.