Goofy Minds Think Alike

18 Feb

Dear Little Man,

As I told you last week, you are always and forever my Valentine. However, with my schooling and The B’s constant desire to have you around (what’s up with that, right?), getting together on Valentine’s Day can be a little challenging.

But wait!

You see, J and I have honed our method of communication for the days we wish we could spend together but unfortunately can’t. It goes like this:

My Valentines

 

 

Picture swapping! This photo was sent to me Valentine’s Day afternoon. So in my always classy, naturally sophisticated way, I responded like this:

 

Back At Ya

 

 

See? We totally got to hang out on Valentine’s Day! You loved my photo, by the way. Apparently when J showed it to you, you said, “Nay-Nay come to Liam’s house?”

Nay-Nay definitely wants to come to Liam’s house, I can promise you that. You are incredibly photogenic, but this mama loves to see that beautiful face in person too. But thanks to J, you still got to be my Valentine and until I get to hold my Little Man in my arms again (for the 10 seconds that you’ll let me), that is more than enough for me :)

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15 Feb

Dear Little Man,

The boyfriend and I were featured today on Confessions of a Love Addict, a blog written by one of my very best friends.

Who says that displays of love have to end after Valentines Day? I certainly love you all year ’round :)

Check it out!

This week’s Falling in Love on Fridays comes from one of my very best, dearest friends, Renee. We became friends 7 years ago while in high school and she quickly named herself (or maybe I named her?) my protege. But in the years that have passed, she’s definitely not in my shadows — she shines brightly all on her own. In fact, she’s rather radiant — both inside and out. She’s not only a talented writer, an insatiable explorer and truly a lover at heart (though she’s stubborn about it) — but she’s a courageous birth mom and incredible friend, too. She writes letters to her son Liam on her blog Letters to Little Man. Her posts almost always make me cry (that’s a lie, they always do) and the photos of her adorable tot are just… addicting. I feel lucky to call her one of my favorites and thankful she’s…

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To My Favorite Valentine

14 Feb

Dear Little Man,

Today is Valentine’s Day! I know that doesn’t mean much to you yet, so I’ll tell you a little bit about it.

Today is all about love. Love for your family, for your friends, for someone special. It’s about celebrating the people in your life that cherish you, and that you cherish back. It’s about loving yourself for who you are. It’s about realizing how much love you are surrounded by, period. Again, I know this doesn’t mean much to a two-and-a-half year old, but I find it to be very convenient since I am crazy, madly, head-over-heels in love with you.

When most people think of Valentine’s Day, they think of romantic love (which is definitely lots of fun!). You won’t have to worry about this until you’re at least 45, so don’t worry about it too much yet. But today E and J may have something special planned or they may swap cards and cute little gifts. Somewhere right now, a girl is getting chocolates in a heart-shaped box and a guy is planning a romantic evening. As you get older, things like this are what Valentine’s Day will be about.

I, however, like to think of Valentine’s Day as how I said it earlier: “It’s about celebrating the people in your life that cherish you, and that you cherish back.” I don’t save my all of love for one person (although if there was a list, you’d be at the top!), I like to give it freely to everyone important to me – my mom and dad, my beautiful friends, The Boyfriend, The B’s.

In a way Valentine’s Day is like Thanksgiving for me – it makes me realize how many people love me and care about me. It’s a day when I realize how wide my support system is and how lucky I am to have everyone in it. I have some of the best friends in the world, friends who have known you since you were just an 8-week old ultrasound picture, who love you almost as much as I do. I have a wonderful Boyfriend who makes me feel special, who loves hanging out with you. I have parents who never fail to take care of me when I need it, who want to take care of you too. We have all of this support because we have love.

So on this lovely Valentine’s Day, I want you to know that if you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day the way I do, you are going to have the world’s biggest support system to be thankful for. You will have The B’s who already love you beyond words. You have J and E’s parents who love you to pieces and feel so lucky to have you. You have my parents you brag about you endlessly and have their home wallpapered with photos of you. You have my friends who ask to tag along on every visit I take to see you and swarm my house whenever you come to town. You have your awesome big brother who loves teaching you things and playing with you. You have everyone you’ve touched along the your journey from me to the B’s.

And lastly, you have me – no matter where you go or what you do. I am proud of you and I always will be. It is so important to me that you know how much I love you. Which part of the reason I write you these letters – so I can tell you every day. Not just today, which is dedicated to love, but every day I possibly can, whether I’m with you or not.

So Happy Valentine’s Day, my handsome Little Man. I’m so happy to be yours.

You and I on Our First Valentine's Day :)

You and I on Our First Valentine’s Day :)

Happy One Year Anniversary!

11 Feb

Dear Little Man,

A year ago, I had an idea and I didn’t really know what to do with it. I knew that I wanted to tell you things. I knew I wanted to tell you about yourself and your adoption and your beautiful adoptive family. I wanted to tell you about how we all came together. I wanted to tell you about me and my life. But mostly I knew that I loved you and that I loved to write.

Sometimes I would see things and they would make me think of you. I would see a father playing football with his son at the playground across from my apartment and I would think about how you couldn’t even say your own name but you knew how to say “touchdown.” I would see the scar on my cheek (from an unfortunate incident I had with a wooden bench when I was four) and I would think of you and the time you fell on a toy grocery cart that you got for your first birthday. And when I would think of you, I would want to talk to you. I wanted to be able to tell you all of these stories someday. All of the stories of your incredible life — I didn’t want to leave out a single one.

So I talked to a friend who had a blog. And then I did some research. And then I was buying the name “Letters to Little Man.”

And then I wrote you a letter.

That was February 6th of 2012. That was one year and five days ago. Since then I have written you 142 letters that have been read by over 15,000 people. And one day, I hope they will be read by you.

Happy Anniversary, Little Man. I love writing you letters and even when I’m too busy to get them to you right away, I’m always thinking of you. I’m thinking of things I want to tell you. I’m thinking of things I want you to know. I’m thinking of the dimple in your chin and the sound of your laughter. I’m thinking about the moments we’ve shared and the smiles we’ve exchanged. I’m thinking about all of the adventures we have yet to experience that are going to make wonderful memories. I’m thinking of how connected I feel to you even when I don’t get to see you. Even when I miss you.

But out of everything I’ve written you — out of all 142 letters — I still believe that my first letter carried one of the most important messages I could ever share with you: I love you. Love came to mean something entirely new to me after you arrived — you defined it. You embody it. You are love to me. You are love and as long as I have you, I will always have it. Thank you for that gift. Thank you for being you.

Happy One Year :) Here’s to many more years, many more memories, and many, many more letters…

 

One Year Anniversary

Open Adoption Bloggers

24 Jan

Open Adoption Bloggers

Dear Little Man,

Along with our mention on BlogHer, your letters are now part of a wonderful site I found called Open Adoption Bloggers! It’s a collective of people from all over who are involved (or want to be involved) in open adoptions, and our site has been added!

I’ve found other birth mother blogs (eee!), prospective parent blogs, a “roundtable” for discussions, interviews, book reviews…it’s incredible! It’s like a card catalog for adoption blogs: I love all of the info I’ve found, but mostly I just love the access to all of the other open adoption bloggers out there — you really get the 360 degree view of what open adoption is really about and how others have handled it. There’s even a few blogs written by adoptees involved in open adoptions…something you may think about one day.

However — not that I’m biased or anything — I think you and I and The B’s still top the ‘Awesome Open Adoption Chart.’ Either way, stay tuned. I have a feeling we’re about to learn a lot… :)

My Friends Are Married

23 Jan

Dear Little Man,

One day you’re going to reach a magical age. It’s not when you turn 16 and get a license. It’s not when you turn 18 and you can vote. It’s not even when you turn 21 and you can drink (if you so choose. And if you do choose, try the Brews Cruise in Asheville — Beer City USA).

No, this magical age is “magical” because it doesn’t just last for one year. It doesn’t even last for two. It’s at least a solid decade of your life. A solid decade of an age I like to call, Everyone I Know Is Getting Married.

Now, I love weddings. I really, truly do. I like being invited to them, I like being in them, I like the dressing up and the celebration of love and the pretty decorations and the vows and the dancing (especially the dancing. Cupid Shuffle!). Weddings are something that I always look forward to, and even though it’s the festivities that bring me out, it’s the declarations of love that make it meaningful.

One of the best weddings I’ve been to was the only wedding I’ve ever been in. Your Aunt C married her Hubby in September 2011. The day of the celebration we ate cheeseburgers while we got ready and I saved the day by running down a grassy hill in heels (harder than it sounds) to retrieve tequila out of the car so the bride could, ahem, calm her nerves before she walked down the aisle. The ceremony (like, the entire ceremony) lasted less than 10 minutes, but the food and celebrating went all night. We set up tents outside and camped at the site once the reception was over. The sun was shining, the decorations were beautiful and all of our friends were there.

I was 20 years old at that wedding. It was the second one I’d been to that year, but I’d been invited to three others. Since the age of 21, twelve of my Facebook friends have gotten engaged. Since the beginning of 2013 (as in 23 days ago), I’ve already received two wedding invitations. The Age of Marriage has begun. It’s really exciting…

…but also not. To be blunt, on Facebook, weddings get pretty annoying. Partly because the repetition gets tiring (12+ Facebook friends posting about the same thing…it’s like the 2012 election all over again). But also because brides-to-be post status after status about caterers and locations and dresses and dates and stress and excitement and…then I’m not sure what they talk about because I’m too busy drooling on myself after falling asleep at my keyboard.

I understand that this will eventually be hypocritical. I know I’ll be excited and I’ll post pictures and maybe even a wedding status or two (or three) when I become a fiancé. But I’m going to do my best to save the Facebook world from my agonizing decision over whether the tablecloths should be cream or off-white.

Aside from the sometimes aggravating social media reminders, weddings themselves are generally great. Free food and cake and a wonderful thing to celebrate — as an attendee, it’s a no-brainer. But I sometimes wonder if people see past that. The ceremonies and receptions have gotten so hyped up in the past several years that, when the question is popped, we immediately think about celebration…and not the actual marriage that follows it.

Though I was never the little girl who planned her whole wedding by age six, I did always think that I’d get engaged at 26. Why 26? At the time I decided that, I had no clue. I think I just wanted to pick a mid-20’s number and 25 seemed too clean cut. But as I (slowly and ever so agelessly) approach my mid-twenties, I realize that I chose my mid-to-late-twenties because by then, I’d be mature enough to see past the wedding.

By then, I would have gone places and done things and had adventures and be ready to quiet down (a little). I would understand that when you’re proposed to, you think about the guy — not the ring, not the color of the bridesmaids dresses, not your next Facebook status…you think about this person asking you to spend the rest of your life with him and you understand that “yes” means for the rest of your natural life. If you’re mature enough to really comprehend that at 21, full steam ahead! But — not to doubt my own age group — I’m not sure if most 21-year-olds can do that, myself included. I’d start thinking about what kind of cake I want and that would be the end of it.

I’ve seen it happen, though. I follow a few high school friends who are not only married, but also have kids, and they remain in very happy marriages. I have close friends who are married or engaged and, though they are all older than me, I feel very confident in the solidarity of their relationships — as do they. I’m definitely not saying it can’t be done. I’m positive it can. I’m just saying that personally, I wouldn’t mind taking the next 5+ years to think about it. Not surprisingly, The Boyfriend is okay with that. We love each other very much. We’re together. We’re happy. We don’t share a bank account. That’s what matters.

I think relationships are all about taking it day-by-day. But just in case you end up with plans, I was wondering if you could block out some time for me between the ages of six and twelve? I may not know what color tablecloths I want, but I’d really like you to be the ring bearer ;)

P.S. — My Friends Are Married is a hilarious tumblr, and I say that as a (relatively) taken woman.

A Legacy of Liams

22 Jan

Dear Little Man,

Currently, I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Their name is very aptly given (just Google them and you’ll see) but the mountains aren’t just fantastic scenery (which they so are) — they also make for great hiking!

Yesterday was one of the warmer winter days we’ve had in a while, so I got together with a few friends to hit up the trails. Your Aunt S and I joined your Aunt L, her Hubby and their baby…Liam!

Yep — your Aunt L loved the name Liam — just like me — and when her son was born last February, she and her Hubby bestowed the world’s best boy name to their little man too! A lot of women are possessive about their baby names (our gender can be fiercely competitive about really weird things) but I love sharing mine, especially with a friend that I care about so much. We have fun sharing the namesake…although when we talk about “Liam” with our friends, we have to specify which one we’re referring to :)

I always think of you when I’m around her little guy. He’s such a happy baby — he was all smiles, giggles, and playfulness during the hike…when he wasn’t sleeping — and happy little boys remind me of my own (especially since you have SUCH a great laugh). I hope that I can take you hiking through these beautiful mountains someday. The B’s love ’em so I’m sure it won’t be too tough ;)

And when we go, hopefully Aunt L’s Liam will come with us because I’m loving the alliteration in “Legacy of Liams” and now that I’ve come up with it, I’d like to use it as often as I can.

 

It's Little Liam!!!

It’s Little Liam!!!

photo 3

Aunt L and her Hubby :) Cutest couple EVER. And Little Liam’s arm hanging out of the side of the carrier. He was passed out.

photo 2

Your Aunt S and I :) My best friend!

Aunt S's Dog is really good at Hide N' Seek

Aunt S’s Dog is really good at Hide N’ Seek. Me…not so much. Apparently.

photo 3

Aunt S using the wind to determine our location. Except not really.

photo 2

One of the many beautiful rivers in the mountains :)

Brought Together at the NFL Playoffs

20 Jan

Dear Little Man,

Today, you and I are going to be doing the same thing — just not in the same place. And no, I’m not talking about running around in our underwear.

I’m talking about watching the NFL PLAYOFFS!

At 3 p.m. the San Francisco 49ers are going the beat Atlanta (who I pulled for in their last game…but not now. Sorry Georgia) but at 6:30 p.m, I have a dilemma. I was born in Baltimore, but I was raised a Patriots fan. I had this problem last year — the Ravens played the Pats in the same exact game. Last playoff game. Winner goes to the Super Bowl. What to do?!

Last year, the Ravens kicker screwed up and lost them the game. But this year, Tom Brady’s passes remind me of those “trust exercises” where you blindfold yourself and let other people lead you around. Only they’ve ditched you so you keep walking around in circles and running into things. So we’ll see about Playoff Game 2013.

Either way, I know your brother Sports Man wouldn’t let you miss a big football day like today. You probably won’t watch the game (something about having a 5-second attention span), but you’ll be there while it’s on. To me, it’s kind of like being separated from someone you love, but at night you can look at the moon and be comforted by the fact that they’re looking at the very same one.

Only in this case we’re watching football. And that’s way better :)

BlogHer and Blog Bling!

19 Jan

Dear Little Man,

We’re sooooo popular. This past Monday, my letter “The ‘F’ Word” was featured on BlogHer! It’s a lovely site full of wonderful women writers — moms, chefs, college students, world travelers, entrepreneurs, poets, artists — all kinds of women with all kinds of interests.

But our letter was an Editor’s Choice and now “The ‘F’ Word” is a Featured Member post! I mega blushed when they told me. So exciting!

It’s a small victory, but hey…we’ll take ’em where we get ’em. Plus they gave me “blog bling” (check it out on the right hand side underneath Little Man’s e-mail address).

Any day where you get bling is a good day.

 

Beef Burgers and First Words

18 Jan

Dear Little Man,

Since it’s Friday — and let’s face it, everyone’s brain is a giant bowl of jelly by Friday — I wanted to write you a short and sweet letter about something fun.

Today, it’s about your first word.

I’m sure your first word was something like “mama” or “dada.” Almost every baby’s first word is one of those two. But the first word I ever heard you say was different from either of those. In all honesty, you probably didn’t mean to say it and I probably heard you wrong. But I found it funny, so I think I’ll keep living in my fantasy world where you really did say it and I really did hear it.

The first word I heard you say was “burger.”

You were a little over eight months old, you were sick and I was playing with you on the floor in between the naps you took in front of the humidifier. You were rolling on the floor (your go-to method when you got tired of crawling), you grabbed red plastic toy that looked like a doughnut and you said, “burger.” I’m sure I heard it. Like, 75-80% sure.

After all, I love burgers. Like true, unconditional, never-ending love. Thanks to my New Year’s resolution, I’m a vegetarian right now. That makes today my 18th day without a burger, and it’s the hardest break-up I think I’ve ever been through. I’m consoling myself with black bean substitutes. And as with any true rebound, they’re great, but not the same. Sigh.

Anyhow, I was proud of that word, and of you for choosing it to be the first one you spoke to me. It was such a special bonding experience. I will forever treasure our special moment and when the day comes…you and I are going out to big, juicy, burger-and-fries dinner, and the black beans can kiss my booty as I go.

Partners in crime forever, right Little Man? ;)

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