The boy is about to turn 11 months old which is awfully close to a full year which is definitely toddler-not-baby realm which means we stop counting in months and start counting in years which means driving and college and marriage are all just around the corner. And maybe, just maybe, our house will be baby-proofed by then.

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It is, as they say, time to stop and smell the roses. Time to appreciate this stage of life because it is a sweet, fleeting feeling and not only will the moment pass, but so too will concrete memories of it.

Which is the point of this blog. To zero in on details of a blurring present, to put them in context, and to preserve them for future use.

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So what stands out 11 months in?

Food is fun. He rips apart bread, Hulk-style and grins like a maniac. He’s perfecting his pincher grip, chasing slippery Palisade peaches across the tray and skillfully separating the foods he prefers from the foods that are dog bait. He sucks applesauce from a squeeze pouch, then sticks his finger in the nipple and (inadvertently?) flicks the excess goo in my direction.

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He likes things with wheels–at the Children’s Museum where the bigger kids rip the rolling cart away from her curious hands and yell “mine!” and at home where the vacuum, the stroller, and rolling toys ignored for months are now seen in a suddenly new light. He plays with these things as he makes his favorite new sound, the lip-flapping “brrrrrmmmm” you typically associate with engine power. Baby onomatopoeia that supplements his movement and gives it a sound.

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The books. The way he’ll grab one from the shelf, roll over on his back, and hold it up expectantly. It’s so endearing I will (and have) read the same book 100 times.

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The increasing moments of connection. How he’ll rest his foot against my knee while he eats in his high chair. How he’ll smile when I bring him something he wants. The way he opens his mouth and moves his face close when he wants a kiss (or, in one case, to bite my nose).

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There are a million details, a million moments I want to remember and I only have space in my head and in writing for a few.

They are the things that make the sacrifices seem trivial. That make counting years or months or days seem irrelevant. 11 months is nothing, and yet, it’s a lifetime. The details fade, but the feelings remain. Like new love, or the first days in a foreign place, it’s dizzying, life-affirming, unforgettable.

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