Saturday, March 3, 2012
Sitting up is hard to do
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.