Letter: Month Thirty-Five

Dear E,

As I write this long-overdue letter you've finally fallen asleep in the next room here in Korea. You quickly realized that you are quite able of climbing out of the portable crib we brought along for you and I had to keep putting you back to bed over and over. After the eighth time I finally gave up and lay down on the twin bed with you so you could relax. You had gotten used to sleeping in the same room as your cousin Dylan and with him having left for home today you didn't want to be alone. You're usually not one for cuddling but tonight you nestled into my side and stared into my eyes until your blinks became longer and longer and finally you were asleep.

I know I should focus on what happened in September but our trip to Korea is what's on my mind right now (since it's um, still happening and all). It has been great to see you take so much in stride. When I think about how little you still are I'm amazed at how well you're behaving. It's true that you have your struggles, but those are mostly related to you not getting as much sleep as you're used too and that's on us, not you.

But so far you've loved riding around in the car with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Ken, and Dylan and seeing the sights. You especially love all the Buddhist temples we've visited with their brightly painted eaves and lovely statues. At one temple we went to the courtyard was full of people praying by bowing and chanting in unison and you enthusiastically joined much to the delight of everyone who saw you. The sight of your tiny bum in the air as you bowed to the ground cracked me up.

But before we left on our trip some other things happened too. I tried to cram in some end-of-summer fun and so we took you to the state fair and to ride a train up in the canyon. You had a lot of fun at both of those outings.

Your dad and I also left you at home overnight with a sitter for the very first time. We had a last-minute chance to go to a music festival in Las Vegas so your friend Jenna came and stayed with you over the weekend while we were gone. It was so much fun to spend time away with your dad but you were always in the back of my mind. I could practically hear Jenna rolling her eyes at me over the phone when I called a couple times a day to check up on you. But you did wonderfully with her like I thought you would. And when we came back you seemed to have aged at least a month in the two days were away.

Maybe it's because I'm thinking more and more about the baby girl we're going to have in January but you seem to be growing so quickly lately. You pick up new phrases every day and every day you seem to get a bit more adamant about doing things on your own.

When you were a newborn I had a hard time imagining what you would be like as you got older. But now I know you so well that I can see you in my mind's eye at five, at twelve, at thirty...I know there will be ups and downs and plenty of surprises but I'm grateful that I have a front-row seat for the show because I know it's going to be amazing.