Hi Little –
This weekend, you went on your first actual road trip. It was a trip to Upstate New York (6 hours away) to your Grandma Lynn and Grandpa Tom’s place. Your Great-Grandfather, Gene Wheeler, passed away, and the entire Wheeler side of your family were there. You met so many people, and were an absolute champ. Everyone loved you (and I’m not being all “mommish” about it. Everyone fawned over you!), and said what a good baby you were.
We did, however, have a really horrible ride home. Usually it takes 6 hours to come back, but this trip was 9 hours due to a car accident on the interstate (everyone appeared to be ok) and gridlock through the NY/MA border. The silver lining is your body waited a day to pop your first tooth! It could have come yesterday (which would have been the worst possible outcome for everyone involved), but instead you waited until today. I know it’s luck, but kiddo – I can’t thank you enough for that.
So at 7 and a half months, you are DAYS before you crawl (you are SO friggin close! You perch up on your hands and knees, but then don’t know what to do after!), you walk if I hold you up, you babble adorably (and accidentally have said “Dada”, “Mama” and “HI!”, but we’re not counting that as your first word. We’re holding for for something that would net us 15+ points in Scrabble) and are only two pounds shy of Cousin Calvin.
Currently, you weigh 18+ pounds, are over 27″ long, and have one hair over your left ear that is freakishly long. The rest of your hair is just trying desperately to keep up with your expanding skull and head shape.
Lastly, as you’ll find out, but hopefully not until you’re MUCH older, that when you attend funerals and weddings, things come into perspective in a different way than before. People tend to reflect on the meanings of relationships and family at times like these. It’s important to know that family means different things to different people. For your dad, it’s the literal sense of the word- extended family, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins- and me & you. For me, it also encompasses the people who stepped up when my parents divorced when I was a kid. We are going to do our best to give you a solid familial foundation, and all the traditions that come with family: holiday dinners, gatherings, and yes – presents. But the idea of family will always include your dad and me, and the rest of it might have to be adjusted based on your experiences as you get older. You might not have a big family, the type of family people talk about at holiday functions with 15 cousins and a huge extended family. As it stands now, you have the following:
Me and your dad.
Our siblings/in laws: Matt, Heather, Dale, and Elizabeth
Our parents/step parents: Charlie, Tom, Lynn, Priscilla, Kelly and Dennis (who passed away in 2009)
And two cousins: Connor and Liberty (Heather’s children)
But you’ll always have us, and whatever family we can provide, which will include blood relatives, as well as people who I have known and trusted for more than 20 years, and others along the way. These include Uncle Razz, Uncle Dan and Aunt Lindsay (and by proxy, Cousin Calvin). Then there is Tante Eva and Onkel Matt, Maura & Steve, and Adam & Danielle. Hopefully, you’ll love and trust them all in your own way, too.