Dear Natalie: Week 17

Dear Natalie,

At 17 weeks old, you’re a lot of fun. Although there are pros and cons to every age (oh, how I miss multiple two-hour naps every day!), every time we reach a new milestone it’s official: this age is my favorite.

There’s a lot to love about four months old.

Your easy smile, the conspiratorial grin you flash your dad when he asks you if you’re tired. The intensity in your eyes as you stare at the cats. The Herculean effort you put into trying to sit on your own, spending most of your semi-reclined time attempting to do baby sit-ups.

Your strength is a constant source of amazement for us these days. Not only are you so, so close to being able to sit, you love to stand. You need us for balance, but not to support your weight. You plant your feet flat on the floor, lock your knees, and you are completely upright, gazing at us calmly as if to say, “I got this.”

But you don’t, of course, not quite. If we let go you’d topple to the floor like a wobbly marshmallow tower.

(Thank goodness. We haven’t baby-proofed a darn thing in the house.)

That’s your personality, though: larger than life, strong and sparkly with a hint of the independent streak to come. And it’s wondrous to watch it develop, taking shape like the faint outlines of a polaroid.

Your dad and I were talking the other day about alternate names we had considered for you, and how absolutely none of them seem right anymore. When you were brand new that wasn’t so much the case, and it seemed like some of our other names would’ve worked just as well.

But not anymore. You are Natalie, you are you, and there’s no one else you could be. And at four months old, it’s obvious. And it’s amazing.

This age is my favorite.

Love always,


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