Your sense of joy (continuous, bubbly, contagious, and true joy!) is such a delight to your dad and me. You remind me of your dad in many ways - your looks, your calm demeanor, your pleasant ways. But you also remind me of your great-grandmother Louise - in that you always seem to see the good in people and you have a smile to share.
This time has been bittersweet. I'm very very happy to have you as a baby - I want ten more of you! Well, at least one more! But it's also so hard - time with your dad is almost to nothing, time with Avi has been less, and time for myself is almost none. But still I want to have you as a baby all my life! It is so great having your little smile, your chubby legs, your soft-as-air skin, your little cooing, your sleeping body against my chest... I would pay anything to keep these for my entire life! And of course the last six months have flown by - they are right!
What has also been hard is the mortality-awareness that motherhood brings. This is a note for all my children: When you are young you really don't consider death - or if you do it's a romantic vision or a scary nightmare. But once you've had a child, once your heart has broken open and birthed a heart as big as the space between you and the one that was once growing inside you, then you see death as a very cold real thing. Especially after this year 2012 and the tragedies that it brought close to home and close to my children. In April, my close neighbor and friend gave birth to a baby girl Kaia who died less than 2 days later. Emma and I were pregnant together and I had hopes of our two kids running around the neighborhood playing together. Thinking of the mortality of a baby must be one of the worst things in a parent's mind - and the worst thing when you are pregnant. I feel so much for Emma, her first baby, and her family. And I also realize how blessed I am that God let me keep Mila for this time being, and God grant me the grace to keep you until I die. The second tragedy happened in July when one of Aveah's closest friends, Tessa, was diagnosed with bone cancer. Thankfully, she is still with us, but the cold reality of someone Avi's age possibly having a terminal disease has been very hard for me to imagine and understand. This has been a bittersweet year. I see many reasons to have despair and sorrow, but I have so many more reasons to be grateful and love life!
One little example of how you, Mila, light up my everyday life: I carry you almost everywhere - I love having you close and I think you learn more by being with someone, so when I brush my teeth you are right there watching. Well, you should see your face when I'm brushing my teeth! It's like I am jumping across Niagara Falls! You have this look of sheer amazement and wonder, your jaw drops and your mouth gapes open, like How is she doing that? What is that amazing thing happening right now?! I am in love and totally hypnotized by this splendid action that my mother is doing right before my lucky eyes! And all this just because I am brushing my teeth! Thank you for being this glowing light of love and wonder in my life, little girl!
The day after these pictures were taken you got a fever - your first - 102 degrees. Mommy was a little scared, but you didn't seem too bad. I think it was a teething related fever, as you got your first just a week or so later.
At age 6 months and a few days you broke your left femur. How did this seemingly impossible thing happen? I, your mother, put you in a position on the couch in our motorhome that I thought would make it impossible for you to fall off while I went to buckle your sister into her carseat which was about 10 feet away. I guess you were throwing your legs up and down because you inched off the couch toe-wards and fell on your left knee with all your weight causing a "dent" or minor fracture in your left femur. I about died when the doctor told me you had a broken leg. My heart sank. I felt your pain, I felt like I let you down, I realized your mortality, I summoned my guilt for being a horrible mother, I felt the shame of other people's eyes as I carried you around with a cast on! Oh, it was bad, and I don't wish it on anyone else. But you barely cried! You cried for about 5 minutes when it first happened (which was long for you because you normally only cried for 1-2 minutes tops if you got hurt - so I knew something was wrong, but never guessed a broken bone). Then you would cry when I lifted you out of your car seat until we got it set the next day. But other than that - you barely could even tell your leg hurt.
These x-rays show your chubby legs! I love that! You are so precious and beautiful.