Cohen’s six months old today, happy and alert. We took advantage of the fall weather and strolled to a nearby park to celebrate. For a couple of months now I’ve been tempted to put him in the swing. I was curious to see his reaction and have fun with him in a new way. And this was just the occasion! The moment I set him in there, he slowly fell forward where his mouth quickly found the lip of the swing. It was like a “whoops!” that quickly turned into a pleasant surprise as he began licking and chewing on it. As I pushed him, he stopped licking and chewing and looked up at me with a twinkle in his eyes and a huge grin on his face. Like, “Why have you been holding out on me, mom?”  I think he enjoyed the celebration.

Cohen’s so big and talented compared to how he used to be. Like his smile. This one is not stingy with his smiles. You don’t even have to work for one. No, he gives them out freely. I think that’s why he has so many friends. My friend says his smile is like the emoticon smile. Sometimes I think he wishes his face were bigger so he could be more smile. I think my heart smiles the way his face smiles when he smiles at me.

He’s grown so watchful and attentive. If there was a staring contest, Cohen would be the World Champion. His deep blue, steely eyes peer into your soul. He’s only a baby but I’ve gotten self-conscious before. Wondering what he sees…  And if he’ll keep it our secret or tell his friends.

Cohen’s arms and hands mostly have wills of their own. They usually erratically float above him or dart from side to side in front of his face. But a couple weeks ago he gained a smidge of control. He’ll steadily hold his hands in front of his face, orbiting them around like they’re the Hubble telescope. He’s mesmerized, so much so that I would give more than a penny for his thoughts. He’s entertained by them for a whole 15 minutes (yay, I got the laundry folded!). His hands are like little stars. And so soft. 

He’s also discovered that he can fit his whole fist in his mouth. The entire thing, like a lion with a bone. It’s funny and disgusting and impressive all at the same time. Some babies are happy with a thumb or two fingers. Cohen is occasionally, too, but he prefers it all. Why leave any one finger out? He sucks his hand like we dipped it in honey or chocolate or whatever his favorite thing will be. And if his hand doesn’t do the job, his big toe is next in line.

He’s discovered and amused by water bottles (especially with water swooshing around inside), his reflection, gazing out the window and daddy. He’s turning onto his tummy and spinning round like a clock. One of our new favorite games to play I’ve named “Blankie Boo.”  I lay Cohen on his back. I kneel at his feet and throw the blankie high up and over him. I wave the blankie like a parachute as it slowly floats down and lands on top of him. Then I sweep it down his face to his feet. He giggles with delight. He raises his clumsy, uncoordinated arms to get a touch of the blankie, kicking his legs like crazy all the while. I wonder which one of us has more fun.

Cohen’s so beautiful. I often feel such a desperate love and protectiveness that my chest tightens and I have to say, again, “God, look, I’m trying to keep my sticky little fingers off the controls here. Cohen is yours and he’s your gift to us. Thank you. Help me be the mommy Cohen needs.”  May my husband and I steward this gift well as we enjoy every moment together — learning, growing and self-discovering.

Beacon Insurance

Josi Seibert

Josi was born and raised a Nebraska girl. As many Cornhuskers did, she grew up on a farm in a small rural community. Upon graduating from Nebraska Wesleyan University, she exchanged cornfields for skyscrapers as she moved to Chicago to attend Moody Theological Seminary. It was there that she met her beloved husband, Ryan, and grew an interest in cross-cultural relationships as she worked with international students, refugee families, and lived in one of the most diverse communities in the country. She and her husband moved to Ghana, West Africa in September 2013 with a team of friends to start a business. In 2015 they resettled back in Chicago to welcome their first child and are currently working with World Relief, helping resettle refugees and find them employment. You're invited to keep in step with them as they live, work, learn and play: