11 Months: California Girl (at Heart)

You are strong, really strong. Strong enough to bolt across the house, never wanting to miss anything, or to stand up on your own, or to make music with your toys against the old heating grates. You stand up on the couch and wave to passersby. Waving, always waving– once, twice, three times or more in the course of a meal and it’s so adorable. You even started saying “Hi!” in this beautiful sing-song voice.  On our flight home from California, I stood at the front of the plane with you as you waved to each person boarding, getting a smile from even the grumpiest travelers.

Yes, your first flight! You even got your little wings button. We ventured to San Diego to escape Montana winter (if you can even call it that this year, though it is still so grey). You experienced so many new things: the ocean, the zoo, tons of new food (tacos, pho, ramen) California sunshine, swings, and swimming.  We spent your naps walking in Balboa Park or around North Park or up and down the beaches.

Showing  you the ocean–running toward it as it retreated and away as it plowed forth– was like a dream, you squealing the whole time, the both of us laughing. Then we took you swimming at the public pool across the street from our little house in North Park. My expectations were low considering your track record in the bath. But you LOVED it. You smiled and dipped your hands in the water to try and drink it, which I tried to ignore, and we ‘swam’ back and forth as the others dutifully did their laps.

You loved the fact that we didn’t have to spend much time in the car. Some nights we’d walk to dinner and you’d rest on my shoulder, bedtime long gone, as we walked back to our house and watched the sun go down.

Despite its challenges as  you went through some sort of cognitive development that left you (and us) distressed at times, we had a really nice time.

You should know… at 11 months, we have a lot of fun together. You make us smile and laugh every single day, even if there are moments or hours that are very hard. You are JOY.

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