You turned four months old today. The checkout lady at Publix smiled at me today. Got a four year old at home? She asked. I shook my head. She looked puzzled as she held up the number four candle on the conveyor belt. Oh its for my four month old, I replied. She raised her eyebrows. It's his four month birthday! I said. We get cupcakes each month to celebrate. Yep- first time parent. Just like they have "sales clerk in training" stickers on new GAP employees, they should mark on my forehead in big block letters: First Time Parent. I didn't realize for such a monumental task as parenthood, the trainer would be a 15 pound human being who only recently learned he has toes.
And speaking of toes? You love them. When I do yoga in the morning you sit in your bouncer and try to one up me constantly. I stick my foot in the air, you stick yours in your mouth. When I change your diaper, you oblige me by grabbing your feet and pulling them up. We get it baby, you're flexible!
You have gotten so cuddly. From your pillow soft cheeks to your chubby thighs and your feet? Even your feet are pudgy. I love holding you and kissing you. And luckily, you love being kissed. When I kiss you, your eyes light up and you give me huge toothless grins. I love those smiles, but I love your giggles even more. You giggle when I tickle your feet, or press my nose on your chest, or toss you (safely, grandma!) in the air. I live for those laughs. The sound of your laughter erases the pain of labor, the sleepless nights, it makes everything worthwhile.
You are an extrovert. You LOVE people. We went to Murphy's for my birthday and walked over to Paolo's for gelatos. You grinned and chatted up everyone who stopped to smile at you. You chat with nani and nana on the webcam daily and you are expressive! You move your hands, you raise your eyebrows, you stress certain goo goos and raise your voice for emphasis. I would give anything to know what you are saying.
I miss you as I enjoy you because I know you cannot possibly stay this little forever, not that I would even want you to. I want to see your first steps, hear your first words, walk you to Kindergarten, clap in the bleachers as you graduate high school, wave goodbye as you head off to college, cry tears of joy as I hold your children. I want to experience it all with you. But I will miss this. I will miss my baby Waleed.
Sometimes I feel guilty that I'm home. I have a bunch of degrees. I've earned a paycheck since I turned sixteen and it feels strange not to earn one now. But, I reason, I can always go back to work (I hope) but you will not always be this little. Each month is more amazing and awesome than the one before. Thank you for coming into my world Waleed. I can't wait to continue exploring it with you. Such fun we will have. Insh'Allah.