August 29, 2013 § Leave a comment
I don’t know how to tell you this.
It’s kind of awkward.
But you deserve to know the truth.
And when my sister-in-law exclaimed, “How didn’t you blog about this!?!” the other night when it came up, I realized she was right. I just didn’t know how to tell you.
So. The chickens. Yes, these chickens.
Well, as my husband would say, we still have them…
I’ll give you a second to think on that one.
The whole story involves book club and kitchen utensils and the bathroom and Alaska laundry, so let’s just not go down that road.
I just thought you should know. End the “what chickens?” charade.
I’m just gonna go.
August 27, 2013 § 1 Comment
So far, as parents to you, dear boy, we only know a few things.
And they are the following:
1.) We witnessed creation and new life firsthand three months ago.
We became intimately aware of how God knits us together and delivers us.
2.) Son, we are now stewards of the most precious in His sight: one of His children. You.
You are His on loan to us, to raise. And we are honored.
3.) You are going to change the world, I am sure of it. The way your eyes are so fierce, so determined, so adamant, set to accomplish what’s before you. As you stand on your toes, with our help, you are already looking ahead to what you will do one day. On your own.
And one last thing.
there’s no one else your dad and I would rather giggle/sit/gaze/walk/play/dance/babble/eat/be a family with.
So much love.
August 22, 2013 § 1 Comment
In a blink.
And the other night while I washed dinner dishes and you held our sleeping son, you softly said, “I love our life.”
Honey, I have to agree.
There is no one else I would rather laugh/cook/drive/walk/eat/clean/sit/watch FNL/dance/organize/camp/joke/hold hands/build a home/raise a baby with.
August 12, 2013 § Leave a comment
So far, you don’t know the name of my son.
Not all of you anyway.
Yes, he does have a name and no, I haven’t forgotten it.
It’s just that, since he was born, I’ve been unsure of what to share here. How much to say. What parts of his life to upload to the internets.
In fact, while I was writing my first post after he joined our family, Kenny and I were torn. What do we share? We want to be smart, protective, and sensitive. But we’re not sure what that looks like.
I remember once discussing with someone how the generation we are bringing into this world doesn’t really have a say as to how and when they end up on the internet. You and me? We jumped on the social media bandwagon on our own terms and in our own time, creating our Facebook profile with care (or, if you’re like me, having your roommate insist on creating it for you, after college, to get you with the program…*ahem, ShanHan. Thanks again!) and tweeting away, blogging about our lives because we were the boss. The content was up to us-how we put ourselves out there, the image of ourselves we wanted to portray.
Our kids? Well, they don’t quite have a voice yet. They can’t speak for themselves. They can’t even say “Facebook” and most of us are probably guarding them, with all of our might, from any screen whatsoever for as long as we can, all while giving them an online presence.
We’re posting their pictures, writing captions for their lives, and displaying their all-around cuteness in embedded videos.
Without asking them.
Don’t get me wrong–there’s no judgment here. I’m not the boss of you. And I totally get it and I’m completely unsure how I feel about it (obviously). They are a huge part of our lives, completely adorable, and how can we not talk about them? It’s taken everything in my power, practically sitting on my hands, to resist posting everything about my boy and inundating your newsfeed with his chubby cheeks. After all, he’s completely amazing and a person who has changed my world and is starting to laugh and WHO WOULDN’T WANT TO SEE A VIDEO OF MY ADORABLE CHILD LAUGHING?
Avoiding it has been almost impossible.
But what about 18 years from now? 20? If/when he wants to become president, are his diaper-only or bathtub baby pictures going to be available to any person in the public who wants to dig them up? Laughing or not, will he wish his mom and dad had used a bit more discretion before posting endlessly about his poop habits, tantrums, or First Birthday Cake Face?
We just didn’t have to think about these things. No one has seen anything I don’t want them to see, from my childhood or otherwise. Personal, private photos and info stay locked away in my mom’s photo trunk until I say so. There is a reason no one but my family has seen the proof of my epic bubble bath tower (it reached the ceiling, ya’ll), at which I was proudly pointing…in the buff. Yes, I had a cute tiny tushy, but I don’t want Joe Shmoe knowing anything about my tush, cute or otherwise.
It’s just something I’ve been thinking about. In a perfect world, I would be a famous author, with bios everywhere and inevitably pictures of my proud family coming up with a search of my name. My son will perhaps end up searchable because he is a part of my clan.
But for now, where is the line? It merits discussion.
After all, the disguise routine will only take us so far. At some point, people will catch on.
August 6, 2013 § Leave a comment
For the first time in months, Kenny played soccer this weekend.
It was on a whim, early in the morning, and surprisingly much more doable than the last time he suggested all of us going, about a week after our son was born. Then, I had nearly choked on my Cheerios.
This time, we rocked it.
Snacks, Ergo, stroller, diaper bag, sunscreen, water, pacifiers. The works.
[Oh wait–all of that is pretty standard wherever we go.
But you get the point.]
With a peck on the cheek, Kenny ran off to warm up upon our arrival while I handled the gear and worried about UV rays. I inventoried our stuff and scoped out the nearest shade, an interested feeling brewing.
After setting up my chair and settling in our boy to watch his dad (see below), I took in the scene and surveyed the team and almost couldn’t contain myself. Suddenly, it hit me–I wasn’t just a spectator wife like I’d been so many times before. I didn’t have my token book to read or magazine to peruse, my camping chair reclined and feet balanced on a stray soccer ball. Instead, I looked at his team and found myself overcome with the need to offer oranges.
Hand over water at the half.
And tell that one guy to watch your mouth, young man. And don’t give me any lip.
And I had to chuckle.
“Ah,” I thought. “There it is.”
Equal parts horrified and delighted, I felt a little bit like a mom. I felt a bit of that instinct.
Some people are gifted with it early on, with or without kids. For others, it kicks in right away once they have their own. And I am not afraid to admit that it’s taken some time. Contrary to what you may think, it doesn’t come naturally for everybody as soon as you have a babe in your arms. At least, not for me.
Maybe it’s taken awhile because, well, I have a mom. And there’s no other mom in our relationship. She’s The Mom. I am The Daughter. I’m not a mom, too. I haven’t been able to reconcile that she’s a mom AND I’m a mom. Not possible.
[And now we’re to that point where you say/type a word enough and it starts to look and sound funny. Mom. What an odd word.]
Perhaps it has to do with all the years of nannying. It’s not unfamiliar to me to wear a kid in an Ergo or go get coffee while pushing a stroller. I’ve done chores with babies on my hip and taken them to their music classes. The Five S’s, car seats, and spit up on my shirt have all come with the territory. To spend my days with a wee one is not foreign to me.
To have that be what I do. It never meant I was a mom.
So really, most of the time I’ve still just feel like me, just with a bit more in the belly, more frequently unwashed hair, and an alter ego hiding beneath the surface. Because to the naked eye,when I’m out in the world solo (which has happened not even a handful of times–we’re working on it), I’m just…me. Strangers at large do not know I have a son. They just see me, no “mom” title involved. But like Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne, I’m really someone else. Just instead of an “S,” I wear a nursing tank and in place of the black cape, I have a Hooter Hider.
And in the sunshine on Sunday, I felt it in small, and kind of humorous, way. Like a mom.
This is who I am now.
A new second nature. The care I give our little one every day has nothing to do with a paycheck and everything to do with this new role, new responsibility of pouring into a part of our family, 24/7.
So that’s what I have to say today.
I am now that woman carrying a First Aid kit, snacks, and extra everything, just without the Mom Jeans.
So watch your mouth.
Mom mom mom.
And in this post, have I equated moms with superheros? Yes, I think I have. And don’t think I’m one bit sorry about it.]
July 23, 2013 § 1 Comment
One tiny desk light shines to my left, illuminating my husband’s computer and keyboard and casting a faint glow my way as I type. I can hear the traffic still flowing down the road through the open window and the fan going in our room, where Kenny is putting our boy down for the night (we hope). Other than that, all is quiet.
Dinner dishes still sit in the sink and our living room looks like a baby swing graveyard littered with piles of secondhand baby clothes to sort, but I’m here.
I have to admit, I’ve been reluctant to come back lately. After all, once you’ve been away from something for so long, something you did so regularly, you feel rusty, disoriented, even stuck.
Where to begin?
I’ve started about 20 posts in my head over the past several weeks and just wished I could telepathically post while nursing or napping, but alas–it could not be. Instead, thoughts more or less stockpiled (or just plain expired) to the point where when I thought about writing, I had a mental traffic jam and could only think of typing,
“Man. Phew. Hi.
The baby is hot on my heels, so I’ve only got a minute, but I just stole away while he wasn’t looking and mentally and emotionally sprinted here to check in.
There’s been plenty going on amidst the biggest transition I’ve ever been through and I want to tell you all about it. But I can’t, not really. It would take too long. And don’t even ask for pictures. But in summary, I’ve been to Alaska and back with an infant, successfully braved Mommy & Me yoga, started cooking again, lost all water weight (i.e. excuses) and am now left with the dreaded “baby weight,” and have managed to read, from cover to cover, a magazine. There’s probably more, but when I try to recount anything, I only hear the testing sound from the Emergency Broadcast System in my head.
Don’t even get me started on processing our birth story and the passing of our beloved family cat, Zoya. There just isn’t time.
But I miss you. And promise to be back more often. With better things to talk about than baby weight and magazines.
SO in short, this post is more me writing about writing, which isn’t my favorite, but helps me recalibrate. I couldn’t jump in any other way as if no time had passed. I’m linear to a fault, I guess. But as I’ve gotten more used to smelling like baby and eating dinner at 9pm, I could feel myself getting closer to being back here. I just needed to get past the shock of “WHAT JUST HAPPENED!?!?” and who I was in this new life to understanding and managing the new normal in my days before thinking about sitting down at the computer again. For fun.
And the clock has now struck 11pm, the baby is officially asleep (and has been, for the record, so don’t look at me like that), and I know I will regret staying up even a minute later, so I’m gonna go. But I’ll be back. Soon. For fun.
June 25, 2013 § 6 Comments
It’s tough, deciding how to best introduce someone who’s changed your life forever.
The whole novel of how we met? Chain of events, all of the emotions, and our first introduction right there on my chest?
Maybe. But I have yet to really process that myself, everything leading up to our eyes locking for the first time, so I’m not quite sure what I’m sharing and what I’m holding sacred.
I think that is what happens with life-changing things. Surreal and traumatic, wondrous and seemingly defying the possible.
What words fit?
This has been my dilemma. I haven’t known how to come to this space…a mom.
[Though other things have hindered my ability to post, of course. Sometimes, when you’re choosing between brushing your teeth and jumping on the blog, you just have to BRUSH YOUR TEETH BECAUSE HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN!?!?]
Hence we are now a month in (CRAZYTOWN) and you’re just now hearing from me.
Trust me, it’s been killing me, too.
Because you are overdue to meet the little one who has single-handedly overturned our prior sense of “normal” and brought us chaos, laughter, 3am, and lots of laundry.
Yes, we finally welcomed our little BOY into the world on the best Memorial Day there ever was.
And yes, if you’re counting, he was one day shy of 42 weeks.
We like to take our time, thankyouverymuch.
And I will say this: turns out he and I made a pretty good team during the whole labor and delivery thing. Even though my bathrobe-clad self had barely shuffled into the birthing center before I spit the words “drugs” and “get this baby out” into the lap of the nurse checking us in (to which she nodded sympathetically and still slid the paperwork over the counter for me to sign when I wish it would have been a narcotic), this kid and I went unmedicated and through five hours of pushing. In a squat.
My husband is the rockstar of all rockstars who sped through red lights and matched me breath for breath and whose gaze I trusted completely.
There’s a series I could write about him, BTW.
We had a first-rate team of midwives and nurses, women we hugged and thanked and wanted to call friends. The Lord truly gifted us with the right ladies who spoke my language and offered encouragement, sympathy, and Jello.
Ex. When I was feeling nauseous on top of having contractions and being in the most indescribable discomfort, one of the nurses sincerely agreed, “I know. It’s just not fair.” Ice water.
Team Group Health Midwifery 4Eva.
But those are just details.
It’s a story I’m both fond and proud of, the miracle of welcoming our new family member, but one that seems so distant from the story I’m now living.
So give it time.
Right now I’m wrapping my mind around what to wear every day (“what body do I have now?” and “can I nurse in that?”) and how to hold him while making a cup of coffee and why don’t I remember any lullabies and I can have wine again and making it out of the house with shoes on and can I get a smile that’s not from gas and can I get this published while he’s asleep?
AND he’s up.