Month three — Henry

Dear Henry,

Today you turned three months old. In the past week, two people have exclaimed about your size and told me that you aren’t a newborn anymore. Sometimes I rejoice at this thought. More often, I want to cry. I am thrilled that you are here, growing and thriving. But I also know that you are probably my last baby, that I cannot risk another loss, and in a few more months you will be crawling away from me, and then walking away.

Growing up

Maybe it will be more than a few months. You are a snuggler. I always hear how siblings are so different, and now I finally get to see this for myself. Unlike Eleanor, who learned to roll away from me as quickly as she could, you prefer to watch the world from my arms or my lap. You also love it when I lay on the couch so that you can doze across my chest. Your girth is starting to make this a bit suffocating for me, but you’re so sweet that I haven’t ended this practice yet.

Actual size

One other problem with your snuggling is that you startle very easily. As I held you in my arms a few nights ago while watching the Olympics, I let out a small “Whew!” when a skier nearly crashed. You had been close to nodding off, and at this noise, your body went rigid. By the time I looked down, you had turned strawberry red and were screaming silently. Your mouth was agape, and your eyes were squeezed shut, but no sound would come out. Eventually, you took a few desperate breaths and let out a cry to rival a smoke alarm. You do this sometimes — the silent scream — and it is very difficult to bring you back to a resting state afterward.


A song will sometimes do the trick. You sure do love my singing. A bit of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” and you’re a noodle in my arms. Someday you will realize that my singing talent is just a notch above that of a howling dog. Not yet, though, thank goodness.

Sisterly love

I sometimes think about the sort of parents you are getting. When Eleanor was born, your dad and I were so young and eager, ready to mold a future president or entrepreneur. By the time I was pregnant with you, my only dream for you was that you be born alive. It’s not that I want any less for you, just that I don’t take the future for granted anymore. I hope that what I lack in zeal is made up for by my heaps of patience and gratitude. And we’ll get to the dreams someday.