You’re six months old now and really loving life. These are happy days. Days I treasure and will look back on and smile. I wish you could remember them, so you could hold these happy memories too. Instead they are my precious memories, but hopefully this piece will help you imagine them.
We are living in Hillcrest, South Africa. We came here when you were 11 weeks old so your Gogo and African family could know you. We spent two months living in Gogo’s house. When you were nearly five months we moved to a small cottage on the property of our good friends. They have two children (and a third on the way) who adore you. They come and play with you nearly every day. Your summer has been spent having dinner in the backyard with them and swimming in the kiddies pool during the day.
You are sitting very nicely, rolling very intentionally and so so close to crawling. You push up on your hands and feet and I know one day soon you will launch off.
You love drinking milk and feed often. You also normally have two meals a day – one of veggies and one of fruit and you will start having diary soon.
You are very stubborn and you know exactly what you want. About a month ago you decided you wouldn’t sleep in your own bed, that you would only sleep with us. About a week ago your decided you wouldn’t let us feed you anymore and that you would only feed yourself. You are very good at putting food in your mouth, chewing and eating it all by yourself. It can be a bit messy though, so you normally just wear your nappy and sit up in your high chair. But you especially want to eat whatever is on our plates and you reach out to grab it with such determination that we can’t stop you.
Your daddy and I share parenting. We both try to spend as much time with you as we can. You are very lucky. Sometimes you stay at home with both of us, sometimes with daddy only, sometimes with me. Sometimes, when we are both working or busy, your aunty Nompilo comes and looks after you.
Once a week, you and I do a Mums and Babes class together. We do two hours of games and songs. You have lots of fun. Last time we went you went for a drive in your own car! At the end of class you normally fall asleep and I have a cup of tea with the other mums. We also do a yoga class together once a week. You are very good at yoga, you like to copy all the poses.
On Sundays we all go to Grace, Love, Truth Church in Kloof. You have lots of friends at church, especially Abby and Sandile’s kids – Naomi and Grace. Your daddy is the Worship Pastor at church – he leads all the music. You know all the songs, because he practices the piano while holding you close in the carrier. You find this very soothing and normally snuggle in and go to sleep.
You have a wonderful temperament. You are always smiling and friends with everyone. You seem to really love life and you don’t want to miss a thing. You are sometimes too excited by life to sleep. You are very active and rarely sit still anymore. Everyone knows that you are full of Joy, just like your name. So many people say you are the most beautiful girl they’ve seen.
You were born in Australia and we think you will grow up in Australia. We decided to take a break from life in Australia so you can have a time in South Africa. I am working part time running an events and communications business and for Engineers Without Borders in Australia. Your dad is nearly finished writing his second book and is always busy organising the music for church.
We’ve already been on many adventures with you. When you were six weeks old we went on a family road trip to Canberra. You’ve been to four weddings. And when you were two weeks old you went to your great grandma’s funeral. When you were eight weeks old we packed up our rental unit in Surrey Hills. We were very busy packing, moving and cleaning. You were so well behaved, you just chilled out on your play mat from Great Aunty Robyn and watched us all fuss around you. You’ve come a long way since then, but you still like your play mat. We often take it outside and play in the garden.
You are very social. Everyone plays with you. When we go to a café someone always holds you while we eat.
A lot has happened in your short little life time, since we became a family of three. The three of us have lots of time together and those times are full of your giggles and smiles. I wish you could remember this time, because these are happy days.
Six months old and growing so fast. You are the light of our lives.