Dear Natalie: Week 16

Dear Natalie,

Today you are 16 weeks old, and it no longer makes sense to give that as your age when people ask.

The progression has happened so quickly. For a very brief time we measured your time on this earth in days (hours, even, in the case of your first visit to the pediatrician). For quite a while I’ve been telling people how many weeks old you are. But now when I do that, I see them doing a quick calculation in their heads: that’s how many months?

So now I say that you are very nearly four months old.

I could say that you are 20,000 diapers old. Don’t bother checking my math, but that’s what it feels like.

Or that you are 1,000 feedings old, and that’s a thrifty estimate. You are definitely more Hall than Helmrath; you love to eat.

You are a hundred thousand smiles old, because that’s what happens when your dad and I see you. Or think about you, or talk about you. It’s probably more like 150,000 when we include your own in the total, my happy girl.

One million cuddles and kisses. One million tears, happy and sad and tired and joyful and yours and mine. One million catches in my throat because when I look at you I am overwhelmed by your you-ness and the galaxy of stars that had to align to bring you here, a whirling constellation that, if changed by just a fraction of a degree, would have resulted in a completely different you.

I don’t know how to tally this time with you, because you are mighty and immeasurable.

And so I say, she’s four months old. That will have to do.

Love always,

Natalie at 16 weeks

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