6 Months, New Year

Dear Brenny McDoodle,

Ah yes, the nickname has stuck. Though Kaya has taken to calling you Brenny Claire-Bear and we all often call you simply, Brenny.

Jan 2nd, 2010. A new year. You are six months old and your first full year lies ahead. Happiest New Year to you my love. It will be a monumental one full of firsts, full of energy, full of love.

These letters to you girls tend to be reflective. A chance for me to share with you your milestones, silliness and wonder. But today, at the start of a new year, it is hard to look back. For this is a time to look forward, to set goals and to follow dreams. This, I imagine, is cool with you as this is all you ever do. Look forward. Strive for more. More activity, abilities and milestones. More. Faster. For you want to be a big kid like your sister. Not content to lay on a play mat or sit in a bouncy chair, you want to move! Move, bounce, stand, fly. Anything but stay still. Your crinkled brow, frantic limbs flailing and panicked whine talk for you- ‘BORING’ they exclaim.

Ah yes, your whine. Sounds like a humpback whale having an asthma attack actually. Not pretty.

It occurs whenever you are bored and you get bored fast. Only because you are curious and love to learn. You crave new sites and sounds, devouring knowledge like you devour rice cereal. Literally actually. Because all new knowledge is acquired through your mouth. Whether it be toys, socks, toes, noses, books or remote controls. Everything, EVERYTHING, is grabbed and goes directly in your mouth. Like a magnet to metal. Like mud to a pig. Like teenage girls to cute, though not necessarily talented, boy bands.

If there is nothing around to put in your mouth, you fidget. You drum your fingers, scratch your nails, and rub your feet together. Even while nursing, you are not still. Your free arm is in constant motion, strumming along like I am one giant banjo to be played. While Kaya and I had more of a meditative nursing session, ours is more like a jam session. Oh my girl, how I adore rockin out with you everyday.

Ummm, speaking of jam, you have A LOT of toe jam. Sorry, but you do. Like, A LOT. Darned monkey toes…

You also have the most delicious ears that a person can have. Yes, ears. They are soft and bendy and I chow down on them every chance I get. Usually you let me, if only because you sense the joy it brings me. But you would prefer neck smoochies. Those make you giggle. Or just a simple hug. You stretch those arms around me as much as little, pudgy, 6-month-old arms can go and you grasp on tight, strong. Also delicious. Also savoured.

Every day I stand in awe of your inquisitive mind. Seeing your eyes follow me and daddy and especially Kaya ready to vault forth and do too, whatever adventure we are embarking on. Watching your fingers grasp, reach, lunge to something, anything, near and new.  As is so often the case, my kids are teaching me about life. And your first lesson to me reminds me of the innate value curiosity brings. 13 years ago I was graduating college when I came upon this Mark Twain quote:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover.

I wrote it in my journal immediately and in the years since have used, posted and memorized it through my travels, entrepreneurship and motherhood. Just this past Christmas, your first, you, Kaya and Daddy surprised me with a necklace engraved with just that, ‘Explore. Dream. Discover’ So you see, this is a quality I have always valued. What you have done, and your sister too, is remind me that we can and should explore, dream and discover in the everyday. We do not have to become bogged down in the routine of things because there is always, ALWAYS, something new to be felt, appreciated, noticed. And I have no doubt that if there is something to be noticed, you will see it. Then grab on. Devour its deliciousness. And be ready for the next marvel that lies ahead.

So keep it up Brenny, keep it up. Explore. Dream. Discover.

For always.

Your ever loving Mommy

“Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.”    -Samuel Johnson


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