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Grown Up Story Time

17 Jan

Dear Little Man,

I am a runner. Not a fast one or a long-distance one, but I do love to run. It’s very cathartic to me — it helps me clear my mind and it helps to get rid of my jitters when I have too much energy. But mostly running lets me get “out of my head” for a little bit, as they say — I’d probably lose my sanity if I stopped doing it.

I think about your letters a lot when I run. I actually started running after you were born. I ran on and off in high school, but never very seriously. I still had great metabolism then, so exercise was more for something to do than something to keep me healthy. But along with the 30 pounds I gained during pregnancy, I also gained a  new respect for the whole exercise thing.

During the school year, I run at the gym. It’s free since I’m a student and the facility is relatively new so I like to take advantage of the nice equipment, not to mention the convenience. But during the summer (or freakishly warm winter days, like the past few), I run around The Lake, less than a mile from my apartment.

I love The Lake. The view is beautiful and the path is a lovely figure-eight shape, perfect for running laps that won’t bore you to tears (like tracks…I really don’t like tracks. It’s one of my ever-so-charming quirks).

I’m never alone when I run around The Lake. The only running mate I actually bring along with me is my iPod, but other people are always walking around The Lake. Old couples walk hand-in-hand, mothers power-walk with their babies in strollers, people walk their dogs, and other seasoned athletes (literally) run laps around me…it’s always buzzing with activity, and I love activity.

But one of the other things I love about all of these people, is that they bring out the writer in me. As I run (ahem, jog) past an old man with the cane, I wonder what his life has been like. Has he ever been in love? What is the best adventure he’s ever been on? Has he ever gone overseas? Did he used to be a runner? Does he have any regrets, does he want any do-overs? Is he going home to anyone? Does he have any kids or grandkids? Does he tell old war stories or yell at kids to get off his lawn?

I do the same thing when I see the dog-walkers and stroller-joggers and elderly hand-holders. Where have they been? What have they seen? Who do they love? Who do they miss? What is their story?

Because — something to know about me — I am of the mind that everyone has a story. Everyone has an adventure. Everyone has a turning point. Everyone has a pivotal moment. Everyone has lots of pivotal moments. Even the people who think they lead uneventful lives probably have a tale worth listening to.

These letters are part of my story. They’re part of yours too. Our stories will be forever intertwined, though yours will take on a more…independent tone as you get older. They won’t relate to me or The B’s, they’ll relate to you and your experiences with other aspects of your life.

But never forget…every story deserves to be told. Not everybody writes theirs down and not everybody wants to share. It’s understandable, but stories get lost that way. I’ve always been a sucker for listening to them — all I did as a kid was ask people to tell me about their lives (a future psych major if I’ve ever seen one) — and now, as a writer, I”m a sucker for telling them.

I will always remember something my dad (Pop Pop 3) told me back when I was 13 or 14. We were visiting my Grandma Lou. She was in her early 90’s though you’d never be able to tell it from her looks and spunk. My dad was on his way out to pick up some lunch to bring back and he asked me if I wanted to ride with him or stay to keep my grandmother company. I loved my Grandma Lou, but I had no idea what to talk to her about (I was sooo tired of hearing about her bad knees), but since she was so elderly, I treated every visit with her like it was my last one. Because…well..it might have been.

As I  hesitated with my answer, my dad noticed and he said, “You know, she’s in her 90’s. She’s not going to be around much longer. And once she’s gone, all of her stories will be too. You should hear them while you can.”

He was right. So I stayed. I asked about her childhood. I asked about where she grew up. I asked her about how she met and fell in love with my grandpa, who I never got to meet. I asked her to tell that story a lot over the next couple of years (she didn’t die until I was 16 and she was 95). I love love stories, and she had the perfect, old fashioned tale to tell about ending up with my Grandpa Bernie. I’m glad I asked her because now, I have that story to pass on. It’s a good one. It shouldn’t have been missed.

So when I’m older and I’m walking around the local lake with my cane (or holding the hand of my old, wrinkly husband) and I’m passed by some young jogger, I’ll smile and think of all of the wonderful stories I’ve accumulated over the years. Unless I’m senile. Then I’ll wonder where I am, how I got there and who is the strange man holding my hand.

Either way, you’ve given me an incredible story to tell. I hope you end up with my curiosity to know the stories of others. I hope you always remember that yours is worth telling, too…

Because even if you don’t, J and I are thinking about turning it into a book anyway :)

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My Son Was Adopted…Now What?

15 Jan

After a baby is adopted, a birth mother doesn’t just go home and pick up where she left off. Everything is different then. Nothing is “normal” anymore. The bed where you slept so comfortably is now the place where you spent your first few minutes of labor. The porch where you like to sit on summer days is now the place where you took all of your maternity pictures. All of your Facebook friends with babies seem like they’re rubbing your face in their motherhood. The sun streaming in through the kitchen windows doesn’t make you smile anymore. Everything feels…off.

That’s how I felt. I felt like I was coming home, but I didn’t belong there anymore. I didn’t fit anymore. Everyone was going about their business but my entire perspective had shifted. My world was different from everybody else’s but I was still expected to live in their world with them. My sense of belonging wasn’t the same. I think that’s because I felt like I belonged with you.

After you went home with The B’s, I made a lot of changes. Not because I planned them, but because I realized I had to. I had to change. I had to do something. Anything to distract myself. Anything to keep moving forward, because if I didn’t, I might get stuck in that sad place forever.

Though I planned to keep living with my parents while I “recovered,” I moved onto campus. Since I lived with them while I was pregnant (my first semester at The University), I had yet to get involved in campus-type stuff. Suddenly I realized that I wanted that college experience (and I do mean suddenly). I decided that I wanted to be the college student that everyone else got to be. So that weekend (yes, that suddenly), I moved out of my parent’s three bedroom, two story house into a single room I shared with one girl and a bathroom that I shared with three.

I became a workaholic. I worked at a restaurant as a server at the time, and I dove into it. I picked up shifts, worked late even if I didn’t have to and went out after my shifts with my co-workers just to make it last longer.

I started running. I ran around campus, and once I discovered the university gym, I ran there. Sometimes, I kept a workout journal to log my miles. Sometimes, I just put on my running shoes and took off and didn’t bother to count.

I joined clubs and went to campus concerts and took up snowboarding (and fell down a lot) and signed up to go to Greece the following summer and declared my major and went on midnight trips to Cookout and basically said ‘yes’ to everything. Except drugs of course. Nancy Reagan need not be ashamed.

You know that saying, “You can sleep when you’re dead”? I took that saying to heart. If I was already in bed and someone called asking me to come out, I got up.

I don’t know if this sounds good or bad, but part of the reason why I became so “do or die” that year was because I figured since I gave you up — since I was going to have to live without you — I might as well live. I was going to live as fully as I could. I owed that to you, but I also owed to to me. I owed it to myself to live a wonderful life.

I hated missing you. It always hurt so bad and since I missed you everyday, I hurt everyday. So whenever I would miss you, I tried to think of how happy you were, growing up with your family. Then, I tried to think about me…I would think about me and how I could be happy too.

For quite a while, I felt guilty for giving you up. I felt like I was being selfish and that if I was less selfish, I would have given everything up to raise you myself. But even then — even thinking that — I still knew I loved you. I loved you so much. And the reason I could never bring myself to give everything up to keep you was because it still wouldn’t have been enough. It wouldn’t have been enough to give you the childhood I had, the life you deserved.

But placing you for adoption didn’t give me “freedom.” It was a sacrifice. It hurt. And while the pain has lessened through the years and through my incredible relationship with The B’s (who I truly owe for taking that pain away), I still miss you. Every day.

But instead of hurting when I miss you, I can smile now.

I can smile because I have updated pictures. I can smile because I can think about how I saw you last weekend. I can smile because I can write to you. I can smile because somehow, missing you gave me new life. You went to a loving family to live a beautiful life and though I felt broken and left behind, I was able to put a new me back together. Someone you can be proud of; Someone who will be able to tell you amazing stories of her Grecian adventures or funny stories about her midnight Cookout runs with her dorm buddies.

And at the end of the day, I want to be able to tell you that all of those stories — of adventure or triumphs or just plain silliness — were thanks to you, and my desire to be someone you take pride in. I’m already proud of you. It’s only fair that it goes both ways :)

Recovery happens. Sadness ends. Time heals. Birth mothers get better and adoptive parents can help them. New life is created…in the form of you and, now, in the form of me. That’s why I have hope. That’s why I have never regretted my decision. Because you are happy — and because of that, so am I. We’re survivors, you and me, and we have our whole lives ahead of us to be incredible. I know you will be. So…now what? :)

The “F” Word

14 Jan

As you may have noticed, I get very nostalgic when you hit major milestones: your first laugh, your first words, your first steps, your first birthday, your second birthday, your first big boy bed…the list goes on.

But it’s not just you. I get nostalgic about big milestones in my life too. When you’re younger there aren’t “milestones” as much as there are “days that just won’t get here fast enough.” Time is an unimportant concept when you’re little, except when it’s not going fast enough. The only problem is that time never really slows down after that. Then suddenly you’re where I am: starting your last first day of school.

Yes, I’m aware of how silly that sounds.

But today — January 13, 2013 — is my last first day of school. I graduate from college in May and then…who knows what could happen? (Hint: Jobs and grad school, that’s what).

But before grad school happens, I’m going to see what I can do with my writing. J and I talked about turning our open adoption into a book for future birth mothers and adoptive mothers. We want to give both of our perspectives on the experience so that those women might get some insight and reference into what “openness” can mean and how wonderful it can be. When The B’s and I first started out, we used to joke about how we didn’t know what we’re doing because “there’s no book on this.” We’re going to see if we can change that :)

But grad school is on my agenda, even if it’s a a year or so in the future. And there it is, that scary but enticing F-word — the Future. I don’t know what it holds. I don’t know what I’m in for. No one my age really does. We’re all excited for what’s next but terrified of what it might be. We have dreams of careers and new cities and big opportunities. We have fears of getting stuck or being uncertain or not achieving what we set out to do. We want to make the most of our lives but sometimes, we’re not sure where to start. The journey is the undeniable fun part of growing up but every now and then, it’s almost as if we’re kids again — we just can’t wait to get there (and be settled) already.

My last first day of school is having quite the effect on me…more so than I anticipated. On one hand, the thought of having homework and doing research and studying for finals is such an unwelcome thought. On the other hand, I have no idea what I’m going to do without it come August. I’ve been in school my entire life. It’s what I know. But after May, I’m going a year without it (or more if I don’t get into grad school right away…did I mention that the future can be terrifying?). Some lucky college grads already have post-graduation plans, but aside from a trip to Europe with your Aunt S and my work on your (our) book, I’ve got nothin’.

In some ways, not having plans for post-graduation is the gutsiest thing I’ve ever done. So as much as it scares me, it also makes me a little proud of myself. And that’s where the excitement kicks in. Because when you don’t have plans, you can go anywhere. You can do anything. The freedom is intoxicating because you realize you have the world at your feet and there’s no “plan” that’s going to keep you away from chasing whatever passions you have. All you need is the ambition and determination and confidence to take it on. Luckily, I’m not lacking in any of those categories.

So yes — today is my last first day of college. And when May finally comes, I’m going to cry, and come August, I’m going to miss it. But today, I’ve still got four glorious months of college-life left. It may be my last first day of school but it’s not my last “first.” I’ve still got many, many more of those to go — as do all of my fellow May grads.

As do you :) See, that’s one of the wonderful things about having a child — you get to relive those firsts all over again.

The One with the Lucky Baby

19 Nov

Dear Little Man,

One of my favorite TV shows when I was growing up (and now) is called Friends. Recently I got my hands on the DVD seasons (it ended in 2004) and I’m re-watching them all. It’s a funny sitcom-type show about six friends (three boys, three girls) who go through all of their ups and downs together, but no matter what, they are always there for one another.

Now — following that description — it is a sweet show with some truly tender, genuine moments…but mostly it’s just really, really funny. It will probably be way outdated by the time you’re old enough to appreciate it (or old enough to be allowed to watch it) but I think you should check it out at some point. If you turn out to be anything like me, you’ll certainly relate to the humor :)

Now in the first season of Friends, there’s a weird dynamic between Ross (one of the main characters) and his ex-wife Carol. As it turns out, Carol’s romantic interests were not…how should I put this…male-oriented. However, before Carol discovered this, she and Ross created a baby boy. By the time the baby was born, Carol was with her new life partner, Susan.

But Susan and Ross didn’t get along so well, especially when it came to the baby. Ross was technically the father, but Susan wanted the baby to recognize her as a parent as well. She and Ross would argue all the time about who would get to see the baby more and hold the baby more and love the baby more. Finally, at the hospital on the day that the baby was born, Ross’s friend Phoebe was listening to Ross and Susan fight over this little guy, when Phoebe said this:

“When I was growing up, my dad left and my mother died and my stepfather went to jail, so I barely had enough pieces of parents to make one whole one. But here’s this little baby who has three whole parents who care about it so much, they’re fighting over who gets to love it the most, and it’s not even born yet. It’s the luckiest baby in the whole world.”

That quote had me riveted. Of course, years ago when I first saw this episode it didn’t mean much to me, but now that I’m older…and now that I have you…I have a new appreciation for what Phoebe said. While no one has ever fought over who gets to love you the most — I think The B’s and I (along with my family and friends) share that job incredibly well — I hope that one day, you feel like the luckiest kid in the world. The baby in Friends (who they ended up naming Ben, by the way) had the love of three parents. But you have four — two moms, two dads, not to mention four sets of grandparents, and I don’t even want to go into how many aunts, uncles and cousins you have.

But I can tell you right now that, just like Baby Ben, we were all madly in love with you before you were even born. And our love grows as you do…it just keeps getting bigger and bigger every single day.

 

Adoption is Everywhere

13 Nov

Dear Little Man,

I’m going to share a secret of mine with you. That secret is that I dream about being pregnant again someday.

In my actual dreams, I’m generally terrified of pregnancy and, in dream world, I find myself thinking, “I’m pregnant again? Oh my, I wonder if The B’s will raise this one for me, like they did Liam…” So, so, so weird. I’m generally thrilled to wake up and realize it was a dream because I has such a difficult time going through with placing you…I’m not sure I could do it again.

But during my waking hours, sometimes I think about having a baby when I’m ready for one. I love you so very much…in that “beyond words” kind of way…and I hope to be able to someday have a little half-brother or -sister for you to meet, that I can love just as much. I never thought I wanted kids, but once I discovered I was carrying you, I realized that I wanted nothing more than to be the best mother I possibly could. Hopefully I will be able to be that mother someday. Hopefully you think I am that mother today.

Yesterday evening, Miss Manhattan (one of your many aunts, a fellow blogger with a wonderful site, and one of my oldest friends) sent me a link to a blog called Arielle Elise. This blog is mostly (beautiful!) photography, but this particular post was about a couple going through an adoption in Uganda.

In my many talks/discussions/speeches given at Bethany functions, I have heard a few stories of international adoption, though most of the ones I’ve heard have been from Asia. Though I don’t know much about international adoption (I am studying it!), I still love that adoption spreads its influence so widely. The love that adoption encompasses can span oceans…how beautiful is that?

The couple featured in the Arielle Elise post are twenty-somethings, married for 5+ years and in the process of adopting their own Little Man from Africa. Their photos are all about them and love and how love creates family (oh how I can attest to that!) Their blog, This Beautiful Truth, follows an incredible, emotional journey through adoption and their daily lives. Like one of my favorite bloggers, Infertility Awakening, these journeys fascinate me. People who have the hearts and souls for adoption never fail to astound me with their openness and their love. I always find them to be very brave, courageous people who have decided to open their hearts and look on the bright side of life…just like The B’s!

I love sharing stories of people like this, mostly because I feel that somehow, we’re all connected through this adoption experience. Birth mothers, adoptive families, adopted children…though we’re all different a spread far and wide, I somehow feel like we’re all connected at the core. I get to share our story and other couples and birth mothers get to share theirs and together, we form this network, this collaboration of people who want nothing more than to love their children and families as much as humanly possible.

And I understand. Though I am the birth mother rather than the adoptive mother, I think I get it, or part of it at least. I understand that longing to be a mother, to create a family, to want to share your love with a child you have the privilege of calling your own. Though I certainly can’t empathize with the frustrating, upsetting, sometimes devastating effects of infertility, I think I realize the desire that drives it. The desire to hear someone call you “mom.” It sounds like a small thing, but it means something so much bigger to so many people.

And that’s why I still have my dream. My dream of being “mom.” That’s why. someday, I’d like to give you those half-sibling(s) that call me “mother.” It’s a small thing, but that tiny act of love can fill a heart to the point of bursting. I would know. That’s what I feel every time you call me “Nay-Nay.” It may not be “mom” outright, but I cherish it as though it were. Because though you may not call me your mother, I will forever call you my son and I will be proud. That’s just how love works.

So enjoy this tiny piece of your expansive network, Little Man. I hope you enjoy reading the stories of this family as much as I enjoy telling the stories of my own little boy, my shining star, my bright light at the end of all of my dark tunnels.

That would be YOU, in case you were wondering ;)

Mama’s Makin’ a Change

30 Jul

This summer, I’ve been interning. It’s one of those lovely things you do to try to integrate yourself from college-world to real-world (not MTV style. Also while, we’re on the subject, never watch The Real World. Ever.)

During this wonderful, amazing, incredible experience of interning, I’ve been doing a lot of research — one of the many tasks I’ve been given. And the cool thing about this research is that a lot of it is researching blogs. Lots of parenting blogs to be exact. It’s been eye opening, let me tell you. Everyone has a different style. Everyone has a different voice.  Lots of people have some seriously cool photos. Some people have interesting advice while others have humorous anecdotes. But all of the blogs are about the people who write them, the people they love and the people who read them.

That last sentence probably shouldn’t be an earth-shattering realization. But it kind of was (no judging my slow uptake…you may seem on top of things at the age of two, but you probably inherited it). So, after coming to my not-so-novel conclusion, I’ve decided that I’m going to be adding something to your letters — a little bit more of me.

I started these letters because I didn’t want you to go through a single day wondering whether or not I loved you. It’s a common birth mom fear…that as you grow, our choice will seem less like a sacrifice (which it is…wow, let me tell you) and more like “giving up.” And the last thing I would ever want you — my sweet, gorgeous, incredible baby boy — to think is that I gave up on you. I never have and I never, ever will. I love you entirely too much. While you may no longer be literally linked to me, my lifeline is intertwined with yours; what hurts you, hurts me and what makes you smile, makes me the happiest girl in the world.

But I also want you to know me. And every now and then, I just want to talk to you about what’s going on and what I’m doing and how I feel and why it makes me think of you, or how I wish you were here to see something I really want to show you. But I generally don’t, because I think to myself, “That’s not the point of the letters. These are about him, not you.”

But then I realized you are 50% me, and that maybe one day — if I’m lucky — you’d really want to know me.

I also realized that I am the writer, and you are who I love and the people who read about us are the people that love and adore us both (well, maybe just you. You’re more photogenic and you’ve got the whole “I’m-a-baby-and-therefore-automatically-adorable” thing going for you). And since these are my letters to you, I can put in them whatever I’d like. And what I’d like is for you to really know me, as deeply and as much as you can, because that’s how I plan on knowing you: wholly, completely, entirely, truly.

So just a heads up, you’re going to get to know me very well. I’m determined. I’m also very talkative and thoroughly enjoy talking to people who have yet to develop the ability to tell me to shush.

A.k.a you :)

I love you. Thinking of you always.

Why yes, I’d love to hold you :) anytime.

We’re so gonna be BFFs. I can tell.

You got a kick out of spraying me with water. It was adorable. Also, when did you learn how to aim accurately?

Have No Fear

23 Apr

There are not many times when I wish I was a little kid again. I am enjoying “emerging adulthood” as they call people my age. The independence, the self-sufficiency, the in-between state where you get to be on your own but don’t have too many responsibilities just yet. The only time I tend to wish for childhood is when I am assigned my “college homework.” I miss elementary school homework more than you know.

But today I thought of you and I realized that there is another time when I wish I was little. It’s when I’m scared.

You are a fearless little guy. You run head first into everything: new experiences, new places, new things. You love all things new – they’re exciting to you. There is nothing scary to my Little Man because you’re just ready to take it all on. Right now, that is scary to me because there are certain things you should be afraid of, like climbing on top of counters or jumping in swimming pools. Those things could actually hurt you (since you don’t know how to properly balance or swim yet) and I really would rather you be afraid of those sometimes.

But as I thought of you and your fearlessness today, I realized I wished I was like that too. I wish I was just like my little boy. Running head first, throwing caution to wind, taking a chance, and all of the other clichés that basically say, “Don’t be afraid to jump.”

You see, as you get older and you learn and experience more things, sometimes you become afraid. Afraid of getting hurt, afraid of being sad, afraid of losing things. In that blissful period of childhood that you are experiencing now, none of those things matter. Pain is temporary, sadness is curable and the things you lose are all but forgotten after a few days. But us adults don’t tend to see things that way. As we get older, we learn that we are fragile, breakable. And the pain may be temporary, but even so, we’re afraid of being left with the memory of it.

You are different. I don’t see a child-like fearlessness in you – you know, the kind that will fade as you get older. I see in you the kind of bravery that will persevere throughout your life. You are a “go for it” kind of kid, and I’m so proud of you for it. I would love to believe that you got that from me, and maybe you did, but I have come to the startling conclusion that I get scared sometimes too. I learned a few years ago that I was not, in fact, as invincible as I believed myself to be. Your mommy dearest has a heart that breaks, as it turns out. Saying it that way sounds so “wishy-washy” to me, so I kind of hate admitting it. But being scared isn’t anything I ever want you to be ashamed of, so I will admit it to you. If there’s one thing I don’t like to be, it’s a hypocrite.

So here’s the truth: sometimes, I get scared. I get scared of failing. I get scared of letting people down. I get scared of letting people in. I get scared of broken hearts, having had one before. And though I have learned there are things to be scared of, I have also learned that maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. I once heard that being afraid means you have something or someone to lose, and that can be worth a lot more than the fear itself. And as you may have been able to tell, I survived. I braved the storm. I toughed it out, and though I have changed, I’m better for all of it.

And now, when I get scared, I think of you. I think of my beautiful baby boy and all of the happiness you’ve brought me. I think of The B’s who would let me cry on their shoulders anytime my fears proved correct. I think of your adorable laugh and how you call me Nay-Nay and I find that I’m a little less afraid. You inspire me. After all of my tough-talk, here I sit, admiring my two-year-old for his moxy. It’s one of the many, many ways you make my life better. Hopefully one day we’ll come full circle – your youthful fearlessness will inspire my grown-up fearlessness, so when you grow up and start to doubt, I will be there to hold your hand and remind you of the brave boy you’ve always been. I owe you one, after all :)

There’s a Toddler In My Econ Class

18 Apr

I had a crazy dream about you last night.

You were the same size and the same age, but you could talk and you were wearing glasses. Actually, I’m pretty sure you had an Irish accent. Either way you were talking about politics and I was frantically trying to take notes because I knew I was going to be tested on it. I remember thinking what a horrible mother I would be if I failed a test on material you had taught me. Right about that time, my pen ran out of ink. I didn’t want to interrupt you but you were still talking about politics or the economy or something else important, and I couldn’t take notes anymore. I started to panic a little. Without notes, I wouldn’t be able to remember anything and then I would fail the test and let you down.

After there it gets a little blurry. I vaguely remember going into some sort of kitchen looking for crayons to write with, but then I might have gone outside. Who knows? My dreams have always been wacky – I love to retell them the next day because they’re generally so ridiculous. You can ask any of your Aunts – I have the strangest dreams they’ve ever heard.

Of course, it’s no big mystery that this particular dream may have been tinged with a little bit of end-of-the-semester-exam stress, but I just remember the “missing you” part the most. I remember wondering when you grew up so fast and how you got so much smarter than me (which I fully expect to happen at some point anyways, so it’s alright). But honestly, when we go down to the beach in a couple of weeks, if you start teaching me economic theory, I will probably be too stunned to take notes. Even with crayons.

Surprisingly enough, it’s times like these when I am even more thankful for open adoption. If I decided not to go through with adoption, and I was going through finals right now, I would barely have time to say “hello” and “good-bye” to you, and I would hate that. I’ve been feeling horrible that I’ve fallen behind on your letters – I can’t imagine how horrible I’d feel if I fell behind on spending time with you. Thanks to our situation and the ever wonderful B’s, I know that while I’ve been pulling my hair out for the past two weeks, you’ve been happily watching Sesame Street and going to Discovery Kids. So amidst my exam turmoil, I find myself thankful for where you are, even if it means I miss you like crazy all the time. All I want is for you to be happy, and you are.

And also, as you may have been able to tell from my dream, I want you to be proud of me. So I am going to work extra hard on my finals and hopefully, I’ll pull through with A’s. I have the world’s best inspiration and motivation after all – my handsome Little Man. I love you so very much, and I promise to be there in 20-or-so years to call when you’re nervous about your political science or economic theory final.

Just don’t start teaching it to me until you’ve at least made it through your elementary school years. And make sure I’ve got a pen before you get started.

My Baby Love, Oh Baby Love

15 Apr

The restaurant at my work has a motto. It goes, “Don’t drink the water at This Restaurant.” Not because there is anything wrong with the water – because ever since I started working there, there has been at least one pregnant girl working at the restaurant. Up until one of the other waitresses had her baby about a month ago, we had three pregnant employees. It’s been like that ever since you and I showed up on the scene at That Restaurant. We can only assume it’s something in the water.

The first girl who had a baby after you were born was your Aunt A, another good friend of mine. She is a total sweetheart – super nice, extraordinarily beautiful and now, one of the best moms I know. Luckily she had a little girl the December after you were born) so we didn’t have to fight over the Cutest Boy Title.

Her little girl, Zoie, is one of the happiest babies I have ever met. She loves smiling, she laughs at everything, she loves exploring, and she has no fear, kind of like you. Not to mention that she is beautiful, just like her mother.

So, I just wanted to let you know that your worries are over! You will never have problems with the ladies because your Aunt A and I have it all worked out – you’ve been promised to Zoie since before she was even born. Many a mom has tried to claim you for her daughter since then, and I tell them all that you’re already taken. Aunt A already calls you her son-in-law, and I’m super excited for Zoie to be my daughter-in-law. Even J approves :)

You finally met Zoie last Thanksgiving. You were down for a visit with The B’s and we had just gone to see some ginger bread houses. Aunt A and Zoie drove over to my parents house and you and Zoie played with a little toy kitchen together. You kept taking her pacifier and putting it in your mouth and you called her “baby” since she was smaller than you. She just kind of looked at you and smiled the whole time. We all joked that you were already a solidified couple – already “swapping spit” and calling each other “baby.” Sounds like a legitimate couple to me!

We’re hoping to get the two of you together someday soon and have J take some pictures, if for no other reason than just because it would be the cutest photo shoot ever. Even if you don’t grow up to be with Zoie, we’ll always have the pictures to make all of your other girlfriends jealous. If you find the right girl, she’ll look at the pictures and laugh and say that you and Zoie made a cute couple.

Or you could just marry Zoie and it will never be an issue :)

I love you, baby boy. I hope you’ve had a wonderful day, and I can’t wait to see you in a couple of weeks. I’m counting down!

Our Miniature Mister Mischievous

3 Apr

According to J, you fell out of your crib this morning. Apparently you tried to climb out all by yourself instead of waiting for her to come get you. It didn’t end well – you may be ahead of your time, but you’re about as coordinated as every other two-year old. Which, of course, means not very coordinated. You fell pretty hard and cried.

Of course, in hearing about this, I think of your crib. And right now, in my mind, it’s hundreds of feet off the floor and it’s a minor miracle that you survived a fall of that magnitude. Welcome to the mind of a mother.

But after this, J makes a mention of a toddler bed. I’ll quote her directly, “I am so not ready for the toddler bed.” Now to be honest, I had to Google “toddler beds” because I had no idea what they were. I didn’t even know they were a type of bed until today. Basically they look like regular beds only a little smaller and with half railings along the sides. Actually, they look kind of cool, like a fort only in bed form. Sports Man has really cool bed similar to this – his actually has a tent over it. I sleep in it when I come to visit you. It’s totally cool.

Now J’s aversion to the toddler bed might be partially due to the fact that you can get out of it whenever you want to. While this sounds like a plus when compared to you trying to get out of your crib today, it also means that when you don’t feel like taking a nap, or when you wake up in the middle of the night and decide you’re bored, there is nothing keeping you in your bed or even in your room anymore. And considering your tendency towards the mischievous, freedom like that might be a little too much freedom. I love your independence, but I also don’t have to deal with you stealing Glad ware or climbing on counter tops (which, as much we’d rather you not do that, we still tend to find endearing).

But I think another reason J might not be ready for your toddler bed is because it officially makes you a toddler. And if you’re a toddler, then you’re no longer a baby. And if you’re no longer a baby then that means you’re growing up and I’m not sure if we’re okay with that. We love watching you learn and develop and change, but we also love the days when you weighed 7 lbs and we carried you everywhere. Sometimes it feels as though you were born yesterday, which would make your need for a toddler bed improbable. But I suppose if I have to choose from you falling out of your crib or being an official toddler, I’ll go with your toddler phase. But you see, one of themanyperks of being your mother is that I reserve the right to call you “my baby boy” forever. Which I will. Even when you’re in high school…and college…and when you get married…

Anyhow, I hope you’re feeling okay after your fall today. You’re as tough as they come, so I’m sure you’ve made a full recovery, unlike J who is probably still picturing you crying on the floor. Another point I’d like to make: I really, really love J. She’s the wonderful, beautiful sister I’ve never had and always wanted. And as much as I love your crazy independence (which you totally get from me), I love her just as much. So if your could maybe not give her a premature heart attack, I would really appreciate it :)

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