Enjoying the firsts

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The four-month mark has been extra exciting for Bea—she’s a […]

McKinley_FirstSwim_8-27-14The four-month mark has been extra exciting for Bea—she’s a whopping 14.2 pounds and 26 inches long; she rolls over like a pro, grabs toys and is fond of sharing her big, gummy smile with anyone who peeks into her stroller.
It’s an exciting time for Andy and me as well. Bea is getting more interested in her surroundings by the day. She’s becoming expressive and interactive, and it’s remarkably rewarding to see the world through her bright little eyes.
It’s funny how normal, everyday experiences and objects offer such wonder to wee ones. A big-eyed reaction or gleeful squeal can make the most mundane things seem remarkable—and immediately turn two otherwise un-melodramatic adults into the shrill, overly proud parents who make people without kids noticeably uncomfortable.
Andy and I blurt out, “OhEmGee—DID YOU JUST SEE THAT?!” at least three times a day. (Actually, Andy doesn’t say “OhEmGee” … I think he’d want me to clarify that.) Our awe usually springs from a totally normal, every-baby-does-this-same-thing-at-the-exact-same-time type of experience.
It’s just that we can’t get enough of the way Bea grabs a toy off her chest, and with a furrowed brow and a determined look in her eye, crams it straight into her mouth. And our evening walks, which have taken us on the same route for five years, are now a highlight of our day because we get to watch Bea look up at the trees and coo emphatically at benches and bushes we forgot existed.
“Everyone come look!” we want to yell. “No other baby has ever loved toys or trees as much as our little Bea!”
Yeah, I know. Our self-absorbed lameness is cringe-worthy. And, sadly, these little things aren’t even our biggest weakness. The real squishy stuff comes when we’re witnessing Bea’s big firsts.
Like Bea’s first time to go swimming, which happened this weekend. She loved it. We loved it. There was a nauseating level of love permeating the chlorine-tinged air.
Over the course of her 30-minute splash session, Bea’s expression shifted from shock to intrigue to excitement. By the end she was smiling, kicking and dipping her chin in the water. It was adorable, people!
Although we’re pretty partial to Bea, this is something a lot of people experience. I know this because I hear parents clamoring about their kids’ most basic accomplishments all the time. “All babies crawl, I know, but did you see that? Our son did it with such purpose, such drive! He went right over that rug with no problem at all!”
We simply can’t contain ourselves. There are just few things more thrilling in life than watching your baby try something new. It makes the world a really exciting place.

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