Letters to Declan: 11 Months

And this is why it's getting harder to take photos...

And this is why it's getting harder to take photos...

Dear Declan,

I feel like your days as a cuddly chubby baby are dwindling. I can see traces of the toddler you're becoming in your expressions and sounds and bursts of energy and laughter.

You are more talkative than ever, babbling and giggling as you play by yourself. Sometimes you look at me and wrinkle your brow, pointing with your finger, making noises that seem perfectly understandable to you. It makes me excited to have real conversations with you about the world you seem so intent on discovering.

We've hit the bare days of winter, where cold weather seeps into our bones, and your toes are chilled no matter how much I rub them and cover them with socks. You seem oblivious to the cold floor, as you continue your butt-scooting-ways of getting across the room.

The past few weeks, you've gone on a few playdates with friends and cousins. And you've started crying and protesting whenever I hand you over to the nursery worker on Sunday mornings - thank you for the guilt trip. I try to tell myself you get over it as soon as I leave. I swallow the lump in my throat, trying to ignore the fact that almost every day, I'm handing you over to someone else to look after you while I go to work.

If I thought my constant presence was vital to your happiness and success in life, I'd give up my job in an instant. But I know for this season, God has called me to this jack-of-all-trades role, as a nursing mom who loves to cuddle with her baby, and as a registered nurse mothering teenagers who desperately need hope in their lives. And I truly believe that what I learn in my separate roles makes me better in both of them.

So I hope you understand why I'm working and spending time away from you every day. You're so lucky to have a fabulous babysitter and family members who adore you. Thank you for being such an easy baby for them, and for still preferring me above everyone else.

You're my favorite little guy,

Mom

For more letters to Declan, click here.