At nine months old, our Little Lo is determined and busy, eager for activity and action, and resistant to quiet snuggles. I watch this third child of mine, and am constantly reflecting on how different her babyhood is than either of her two siblings.
Smith was obviously an only child for the first two and a half years. Those were quiet days spent building block structures, coloring, taking slow strolls. There was zero screen time, a tremendous effort around 'intentionality' with everything we ate and the life we were creating for him. I look back on my early years of motherhood with equal parts nostalgia and humor at just how much I sweated and basked in all those details.
Roo was the most easy going baby (certainly not a great indicator for the force of a girl she's grown to be!).She was along for the ride, and I spent much of her first year with her nestled in a carrier as I attended to her brother's interests and needs. I was busier, more sleep deprived, and more relaxed on screen time and store bought snacks. Roo would watch and delight in her brother as he constructed elaborate train tracks, but he was a quiet toddler with a great attention span for solo projects, and so our home was still a quiet place.
And now there is Lo, born into a family with two wild, wonderful school age kids who are anything but quiet. They scream and jump and fight and play every minute of every day. She is shuffled along for the constant school drop offs and pick-ups and birthday parties and outings, and she is NOT happy to be along for the ride, this girl wants IN.
She was our earliest crawler at just over 7 months, she is fussy and grumpy when her siblings are away at school and literally lights up at the sight of them. She loves noise and shouting, Roo is one of the loudest 4 year olds I know, but Lo is never bothered by the insanity. I will catch myself yelling at the older kids with little Lo in my arms and worry about this poor baby witnessing all this craziness, only to find her beaming like it's the best show in town.
I have written almost as much on this blog about my own childhood as my childrens', and so it goes without saying that I cannot relate at all to this life my baby is living. I was an only child, raised mostly by my mother... Lo is the youngest of a big and busy family. I cannot wait to see who this tough little baby will turn out to be. She is so loved. Her brother and sister adore her in a way I wasn't even prepared for, and when baby Lo was in the hospital and gray from drugs and pain, seeing and hearing Smith and Roo was the only thing that calmed her. Something I will never forget.
These pictures were taken today, and we are nearing three weeks since Lo had major surgery on her lung. A surgery I have been both waiting for and dreading for a year and a half. I can't say how much the experience of having something seriously wrong with my baby has changed me, except to say that it has been equally transformative as motherhood itself. It is why I couldn't write in this space, it is why I haven't really breathed or felt myself in all these months that now stretch towards years. There is more to say, but I'm not ready, and I also think this baby deserves an introduction not colored by my fears, which I can barely afford her, even now. There are still follow up appointments, and there is still not a single hour that passes that I don't think about my baby's lung... but I am here, writing. So I guess I am feeling good, hopeful, and grateful. Our baby is strong and joyful and determined, and this whole family loves her fiercely.