Dear Ophelia, It is nearly 10'oclock and you have been asleep for hours but tonight I can't stop thinking about you. I can't stop thinking about how quickly you've become my favorite person, how I can't look at pictures of you without grinning from ear to ear, how much you've brought your dad and me together and cemented us as a family. Sometimes I feel like these blog entries are getting redundant. I imagine you reading them one day and saying to me with a sigh, "Seriously, Mom? Couldn't you think of anything else to write other than how much you love me?" Maybe I write it over and over because at times it's a little difficult to process how deeply I love you. Maybe it's difficult to fathom that I am even capable of being so consumed by my love for another person. Or maybe, and I think this is the big one, it's that it is difficult to voice in any way just how much I have to lose. You represent not only the most precious thing in my life but the most precious thing in many people's lives. Certainly in your dad's, grandparents etc. And I am responsible for protecting you, loving you, teaching you, inspiring you and providing for you. Sometimes, just sometimes, it feels like a job that someone else would be better at.

Ophelia, you are amazing in so many ways. You are funny as hell, you are gregarious and charming, you are smart as a whip and you are deliriously beautiful. One thing you are not (at least at the time of this posting) is very physical. You turned 9 months old the other day and you are still not crawling. Truthfully, I'm not even sure you want to crawl. For the first six months of your life you would scream as if someone was sticking pins in you whenever we tried to give you some "tummy time". To this day it is still not your favorite thing. When I took you in for your regular check up a few weeks ago the doctor said that although you are still within the normal range for crawling time, you should be able to get from your tummy to sitting position by now which you cannot yet do. I walked out of there feeling guilty as hell and determined to give you your prescribed 30 minutes of tummy time every day whether you liked it or not. And for the most part, that's what we've been doing. And you've improved by leaps and bounds, scooting around the kitchen like a pro. My guilt, however, stubbornly remains. Not to mention the nagging urge to compare you to other children. And then of course I feel even more guilty for the comparison. And dear daughter, that comparison is a bitch. It is the thief of joy (to quote some wise person from Pinterest). I have decided for your sake and for mine, that I will not compare you to "the norm" any more. In the time that I've been dwelling on your less than stellar physical strength I have almost missed some of the precious and hilarious things you've been working on instead. The other day I noticed you opening up a book, staring at the pages and babbling a string of nonsense, as if you are actually reading. I've caught you doing this several times since. You're brilliant. End of story. Then tonight you amazed me by reaching for the book over and over each time I asked "Ophelia, where is your book?" So you see, my darling, your mother has the tendency to be blinded by comparison. But I'm working on it. And I will make a promise to you now that by the time you are reading this, it will shock you beyond belief that I ever worried you were less than average.

Thank you for keeping me in check, sweetheart.