Letter to Zeke: 4 Months

April 17th, 2008 by Rainey

Dear Zeke,
You were four months old on Sunday, April 13th. The night before I came down with a nasty stomach bug and spent most of the night sleeping on the couch when I wasn’t upstairs nursing you. It was the furthest I had ever been from you at night. When you cried your daddy picked you up and hugged you and gently swayed back and forth. “Shhh…Shh…It’s ok.”

For the two weeks leading up to being four months old you hit a rough patch. You were learning to do so many new things during the day. You learned to roll over onto your tummy from your back. You began grabbing your feet. You talked more. You smiled more. You began to giggle when we blew into your belly. It seemed like all the excitement of each new day made it harder and harder for you to sleep at night. You began waking up every two hours, demanding to be nursed. Then it became almost every hour. Your daddy and I became walking zombies at work each day. But you seemed to be adapting!
Last night you went back to your old sleeping habits. You slept for six hours, woke to eat, and then slept for three more and then another hour and a half. It was bliss! We were relieved that you had not permanently turned into a night owl who also refused to take naps in the daytime. We hope this is a turning point for now, though we know that each time you hit a new spurt of growth and development we may have a few sleepless nights. It is a small price to pay to see your eyes light up, hear your giggle, see your smile, and watch you as your grab your feet and try to simultaneously roll over to get to your apple toy. You want to do it all! And all at once!

Three nights ago you moved from the bassinet that had sat at the foot of our bed since you came home from the hospital and you began to sleep in your big boy crib. It was much harder on me than it was you. You seem to enjoy having your own room. And you know that mommy and daddy are only about three feet away still. Two nights ago our monitor stopped working. But it didn’t matter. We were close enough, and I was tuned in enough, that even when you whimpered I still heard you. That is just how it is.

You have been coming to work with me for over two months now. The people in the office love you. You light up when they talk to you and you seem to be bringing new unity and life to our staff. Our secretary’s husband died a few weeks ago. Now, when she comes into work, when her eyes well up with tears, I can bring you downstairs and she holds you and dances with you. You giggle. And things are ok for her for at least a little while. You already bring so much joy to so many people! I tell people you are already learning what it means to be a pastor’s kid: You spend more time at church than at home. But maybe you are learning more than that. You are learning how a church can be an extended family. Caring for you when you are hurting, tired, sick. Loving you. Delighting in you. The first few times you came to worship and sat with your daddy you slept through most of the service. I told people you were the only one I gave permission to to sleep through the sermon. :) Now, you are all eyes and ears. When the preschool choir sang the other week you gurgled and cooed right along with them.
It is hard to work sometimes when you are in the office with me. You want me to play with you and pay attention to you. It was here that you learned how to roll over for the first time. And my office has been rearranged so that there is a baby swing, a pack and play, a play mat, a quilt to play on, and all sorts of toys. I have shoved my desk into a corner and sit there when I get a chance. My priorities, just like my office space, has shifted and changed to make new room.

When your daddy gets home from work you get so excited! The other day you were crying in the bassinet as I finished changing your diaper. You were getting really upset. Then your daddy came in. And all of a sudden you grinned! You began laughing and cooing. Not only do you look like your daddy…it is clear that you are going to love being with him too. And you already do.

This morning we were talking about how much you love to be read to. You are definitely our baby! And we can’t wait to do more with you! We can’t wait to show you the ocean. To hike with you. To play catch outside and take you to a swingset and swing you up and up.

Just like us, your grandparents and great-grandparents love you so much. We have been like our own personal parade of homes, entertaining visitors and admirers for months now. After you were born we took you, when you were a month old, to visit family in South Carolina. You met the people at the church I grew up in that your grandpa is the pastor of. And now you have met your great-grandparents from Ohio too. So much love.

The first four months of your life have flown by. And they have also seemed like a lifetime. Which for you, I guess they have been! We can’t imagine our life without you. And we look forward to each new day. Sometimes each new day seems overwhelming. You are hard work. But we keep going. Because we can’t wait to see what you will do next!

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