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DEAR BIET

Posted on: Saturday


Dear Biet,

Next week you will be 17 months old. Before I had babies, I used to think it that it was ridiculous to measure your children's ages in months. I would think, "if she's one and a half, why not just say one and a half?? What is all of this 13, 14, 15 month mumbo jumbo??" Now it all makes sense, which is what often happens with time and experience and wisdom. You are not the same baby that you were a few months ago. Actually, you are no longer a baby at all.

Biet, my wild-haired feisty little girl with crystal blue eyes and big smiling lips, you are my beauty, my jewel. At nearly 17 months, you are still not walking, though not for lack of ability.  We've seen you walk- many times in fact- when you are sure that there will be someone or something there to catch you if you fall. Usually you don't fall, but sometimes you do. And I think that until "sometimes" becomes "almost never," you will continue to use crawling as your transportation means of choice. My darling, it turns out that you possess great caution. This discretion and prudence will prove to be very useful throughout your life, I'm sure, especially when balanced with your ever budding boisterous ways.

You exercise this caution when you meet new people, and you meet quite a lot of people in New York City. You love being in crowds with the noise and the energy and the faces all around, but when you initially meet someone new, you keep a straight face. You feel them out, make sure they are ok, and then open up. It reminds me of something that my Dad used to say to me growing up: "Whomever you meet, approach them with an equal level of respect and disrespect." It took me a long time to understand what in the world he was talking about.  But I have a feeling that you already know the meaning of his words.

Your favorite foods these days are black beans and quinoa. You like everything in teeny tiny pieces so that you can pinch each bean or grain between your fingers before plopping it in your mouth. This certainly drags out mealtime, but I don't mind.  As of yesterday, your favorite book is no longer Subway, but instead Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. You like it best when Papa reads it and uses his crazy voices.  As he reads, the chuckles rumblings up from your belly get so loud that you look like you might fall over with laughter. Sometimes in between the laughs you even throw in a knee slap for good measure. We have never seen you react like this to a book. It is adorable.

You understand everything that we say, and often speak back in english-spanish-babble enthusiastically. You're learning signs faster than ever before and are eagerly communicating with them too. Your tooth count is seven- four on top, two on bottom- and I'm pretty sure a bunch more are on the horizon.  Your connection to music seems to be truly extraordinary, and only intensifying. You dance to everything, have your favorite records, and seem to have a strong emotional connection to certain songs. You won't sit for dinner without music in the background. You won't begin your day happily until you have heard Papa play an album and pick up his guitar. These days, you're even trying to play along with him. And although most of the time you just end up losing the pick inside of the guitar, you have already learned to strum.  Here we go.

You love to give kisses all of the time- to Mama and Papa and Nico and new friends who you meet in the subway. You blow kisses to passing strangers and to other toddlers. You'll kiss your Little Prince doll- who it turns out is the only stuffed toy that you're not frightened of these days- on the lips and then hug him tightly (perhaps you are practicing for when there is a real baby in the apartment??).  Sometimes when you fall asleep in my arms, you'll even lean over in between snores and smooch my shoulder in your sleep.

I often wonder what you will be like in a few months as a big sister. If you are half as good at being a sister as you are at being a daughter, then my guess is that you'll be the best big sister in the world.

We love you dearly Biet Luna.
Love,
Mama



37 COMMENTS:

  1. this post is soo adorible. nice to hear some private and personal character things about biet! <3

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  2. I totally understand now. By continuing to say, "She's so many months old" it makes it feel like still you have a baby and not a toddler. It's bittersweet when are children grow up.

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    1. You're right! It makes their babyhood last as long as you need it to.

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  3. Beautifully written. I agree with each month there is something new. Some new ability or new characteristic, as they go from baby to toddler to child. I love the picture also!

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    1. Oh Lisa we miss you!!!!

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  4. i love your dad's quote! i'd never heard that before. so wise.

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    1. My Dad is a pretty wise guy.. so many of his stories and words mean so much more to me now that I am a parent too.

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  5. She's too cute, and I love her name. I'm sure that she's going to be a wonderful big sister!

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    1. Oh thank you Marissa!
      Her name seems to be kind of hit or miss with most people- either they love it or they just don't get it. I am so happy to hear that others can recognize the beauty in it as we do. I love my little Biet!

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  6. Lovely, I think recording these special traits of a child is the best part of blogging. She sounds like a delightful and sweet girl- and my son also loves that pigeon bus book (Mo Willems is fantastic)!

    xo Lilly

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    1. Sometimes months will go by and I realize that I haven't recorded all of her developments! She is smarter and stronger everyday, and I want to be sure to memorialize her little triumphs.
      And Mo Willems is fantastic!

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  7. I've just stumbled across your blog and I love the way you write. I also think your daughters name is so beautiful. Xx

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    1. Oh thank you so much Hayley! So glad you found us!

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  8. So glad to have just found your blog. I love the name Biet - is it French? x

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    1. Most people think that its French, but its actually a variation of a Russian name.

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  9. Hi there,
    I happily stumbled across your blog the other day and have been really struck by the beautiful way that you write, strings of ideas and imagery that feel very honest and alive. My husband and I have just quit our unhappy jobs and are going to spend the next year travelling & although we're scared, your words and life are such a nice reminder of the beauty of chance, adventure, serendipity and love, so thank you for this! We are heading to South, Central & North America and seeing such beautiful pictures of your city makes me all the more excited to go! I hope you realise that your writing can mean a lot to so many more people than your post comments reflect (I enjoy many blogs but this is my first ever comment) & that you continue to live such a full & glorious life with your lovely family. Good luck for the rest of your pregnancy!

    Ada xx

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    1. Ada,
      Your comment was such a lovely and affirming and surprise! I can't put to words how touching it is to hear that my experiences and my writing are appreciated like this. You and your husband are so brave and inspiring! Best of luck on this journey. The unexpected and unplanned turns in life have, in my experience, proven to be the most precious.
      I truly appreciate you commenting here,
      Belle

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