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Sunday, February 27, 2011
::Sagan's Monthly Newsletter, February 2011::

Dear Sagan,

You’re making it harder and harder to write these letters. Primarily, you’ve become so much more fun, so much more interesting, that I don’t want to rip myself away from you – even to let you play by yourself in your crib! – to spend time writing. Also, you’re so much more “into” (and I mean that figuratively and literally) what I’m doing during the day that your desire to “help” means I need to do things like laundry and dishes while you’re napping. And after you go to bed? I’m bushed, and I just want to go to bed.

Early this month, you stayed with Pitter and Gran for a whole weekend while Dad and I went to Austin. He had a conference to go to, and I had an entire day of nothing. I had coffee, played around online, napped, watched cable, and I never had you far from my thoughts. Pitter even took over Daily Sagan duties for me, showing off the amazing “play board” Gran made for you.

We had some snow, several times, and you weren't particularly into it. We didn't get photos of you outdoors, but please let this "after" photo suffice:

Josh moved out of his apartment to live with Pitter and Gran while he gets chemo for his testicular cancer, and he seems to be responding all right. His cancer, more importantly, is dying, based on blood tests, so we’re very glad about that. The day he moved out, he came along and watched you while we cleaned, and you exhausted him! But, to use his exact words, “I always save enough energy to pick you up, Sagan.” You are his best treatment; even when he’s tired and hurting from chemo, you can unfailingly make him smile.

Every day, your fantastic peals of laughter come to me, either from your bath, where you and dad splash, explore facets of the tub spigot, sing, and puzzle over the buoyant properties of different items, or from your high chair when you giggle about how I steal your puffs from you. You love peek-a-boo, and tickling still gets you every time. There’s this cusp of exhaustion you experience at around 8:00 PM every night, and you balance between finding everything either hilarious or tragic. The quivering lip coupled with the laugh... Greatness.

We’ve started signing with you, and the ones I find myself showing you most often are “dog,” “star,” “light,” and “more.” The day you sign back to me will be more fulfilling than a classroom of passing TAKS scores!

Your musical interest has grown; you “sing” along to music in the car or as you’re going to sleep, and you even try to match the wail of sirens as they pass by the house (which, on Westmoreland, is frequent)! You’re even more in love with your music table and your walker, and every time your walker’s songs come on, you look over to me and bob your head with me. And clapping! You’ve become a clapper! It’s the best, cutest thing; as you hear music, or are particularly delighted by something, you’ll clap! Yay!

You get fascinated by smiling faces. One day, your Einstein t-shirt faked you out and you started trying to talk and giggle to him:

By far, your favorite thing is being outside. When you get fussy, I only need to take you outside and plunk you down in the grass, and you’ll be in heaven for hours. The weather’s getting perfect for this, and whether it’s the park, the yard, camping, or Pitter and Gran’s patio, you’re golden.

One day, after I changed your diaper and you hung out on your changing table (with me at your side, because dang, boy, you’ll be trying to climb off that thing in no time!), your dad came up, and he and I put our arms around each other and kissed. You watched, smiling, and when we looked at you, you smacked your lips. You knew we were kissing, and you showed us.

You’ve become such a curious, delightable, and affectionate kid. I continue to not know whether your traits are “baby” or specifically “Sagan.” When you’re near people you love, you either hit them (choruses of “Gentle, Sagan, gentle!” quickly follow) or nudge your head against them. When you so clearly show love back, when you nuzzle your head against me, that ember of love I have for you, the one that’s with me even when we’re apart, explodes into a shower of light. And I’m so pleased, too, when you do the same to other people, knowing that you have so much love around you and within you. Seeing others love you is the greatest empathy ever.

You are my favorite person in the world.


Dislikes: having your face wiped after a meal, waking up alone, being sleepy
Likes: Club crackers, yogurt, tortillas, napping on the big pillow in the living room, pointing at stuff, emptying containers of all contents,
Things you can do: crawl like lightning, grip a puff and shove it in your mouth if you initially miss, point to things, offer food to others
What a beautiful child!
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