Saturday, March 3, 2012
One of the incredible treasures of having Sara Bela in my life is that she transforms days that might have slipped by unnoticed, immersed as I can be in my routine of work or the everyday, into joyful, revelatory days full of awe. Yesterday was a demoralizing day at work, as I had been furiously working to achieve a not-entirely-reasonable deadline on a project that I had hoped would go differently. I came home, drained, to witness that Sara Bela was sitting upright on her own! And with that, a day I was looking forward to coming to an end became a day I savored and for which I was thankful. It was shocking, as for the last few months she could sit upright for a few moments on her own, but would topple over as soon as she was distracted by something to right and left. She could "tripod" herself in a sitting position, with her arms on the ground or on something to support herself -- and sometimes I would nestle her between cushions so she could have both hands free to explore (and, of course, suck on) various objects that she is fascinated with. It's been a good position for her, as she could drop whatever it was she was playing with without it falling too far out of reach. It somehow felt sudden, a sudden leap forward (I wanted to write 'great leap forward', oy vey), even though in retrospect she's been building up to it. But I had never seen her use her arms, held out from her body, to balance herself. And she was staying up for longer than I would have expected! The one thing I wish I wrote about more was the joy she gives me. Not just when she has learned something new, but how fun it is to be with her -- engaged, interested, always learning and working so hard to figure out what's going on with the world, her body, and the people around her. Hannah and I like to say that we like fun, and Sara Bela most definitely likes fun -- when she's in the mood to play, she laughs gleefully at new games (making sounds, repeated patterns of bouncing, kisses, dancing, etc.) or songs. And I can't express how wonderful it is when she smiles so broadly when she first sees us after we're away or when she wakes up in the morning. When she's well-rested, she is so engaged and present in every moment that it inspires me to be right there with her -- I feel like she's not just a great baby (she is quite excellent at being a great baby) but a great person that I am so glad to spend time with.