Where has the time gone? Your first two months of life were a blur in our tiny Dorchester apartment. You turned three months, four months, five months and six months at the camp on the most beautiful patch of land on this green earth. We celebrated your seven month birthday seaside on the Caribbean island of Utila and your eighth month birthday in the hot springs of Gracias, Honduras. Today, on the eleventh day of January 2016, in the picturesque lakeside town of El Remate, you turned nine months old. Neuve Meses!
Asher, your nine month birthday marks a significant time because it is the time when you are developmentally equivalent to other primates at birth. Since humans don’t have sharp teeth or big claws and we are not particularly strong or fast like other animals, our only saving grace in the Darwinian world of natural selection are our enormous brains. But in order for our large heads to enter this world, we needed to be born nine months “premature” when compared to our closest cousins. Most animals emerge into the world ready to walk, grasp on to their parents and communicate most of their needs. Human babies emerge with only a few instincts to hold them over while their brains develop. The womb is warm, dark and muffles sound, thus being born early allows our brains to experience, interpret and respond to the world outside the womb much earlier in our development than other primates. The extra stimulation primes our brain to learn complexities such as language. Asher, though you were born nine months earlier than other primates, making you completely dependent, you have also experienced a whole lot more.
Asher, at nine months you have mastered the pincer grasp, have five teeth, prefer one handed assisted walking, clack your tongue, and make kissing noises and silly faces knowing that we will copy. You show interest in the eyes and mouths of characters in your books, love playing with doors and brooms, and prefer feeding yourself to being fed. It seems like each day you wake up exponentially more advanced than the day before and I’m afraid soon, I will wake up and you will be moving out!
Spending every minute together, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for months on end means that we have experienced all of your growth thus far as a family. It is important that as you grow up you realize that all of this could only have been made possible by adopting the frugal ethic. Earning more money just means you have more money to spend unless frugality becomes a lived virtue. By choosing to live with less, we have gained what is most valuable. We had four months together in “God’s country” and another four months rubber tramping through foreign lands. Though many people knock our life choices, striving to live with less materially has afforded me ten months off work and your mom has the choice to stay at home for as long as what is best for you.
Asher, on your nine month birthday, you roamed the streets of El Remate looking at all of the chickens, dogs, pigs and horses that roamed around with you. You took a dip in the luke warm Lake Peten Itza and tried your first choco banano. Feliz nueve meses mi nino especial. Time flies when you are having fun which explains why it seems like only yesterday that I helped you into this world.