This morning at 8:45, while searching for activities to keep Natalie entertained in the time between waking up and nap 1, I put on our iTunes "Natalie" mix and we started dancing. Somewhere between Florence + the Machine's "Shake it Out" and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's "40 Day Dream" I was overcome with emotion. My 8-month-old baby was holding on to me tight, exposing her four front teeth every time she giggled and squealed, scrunching her nose in delight every time we shook it out together.
I feel like I've been waiting for this a long time. I loved the idea of my baby long before she was ever born. Upon her birth I loved her existence. As she develops into her own little person, though, I feel a much deeper love for her as a unique individual -- I love her, not the idea of her, not just the existence of her. I didn't gush emotion in the early days, but I see our collective love growing exponentially (and yes, this includes her love for her father, since she babbles "dada" all day long, intentionally or not).
So, I express gratitude for this random Wednesday morning in September. I am thankful for our healthy, happy baby. It still feels like a miracle. I don't want to take all this good fortune for granted.