Archive for February, 2011

February 28, 2011

The Best Thing About Being a Mom . . . Just One?

The other day, a friend asked me what the best thing about being a mom was.  When I tried to answer, I came up with one joy, one surprise after another, each more fun than the last.  And I realized that the things I thought were the best now weren’t so at other points over the last few months—or the last year, if you count being pregnant, too.

I’ve given it some more thought since.  While I still can’t pinpoint one “best thing,” I’ve come to something more fruitful.  Checking in within myself every so often to determine the latest “best” thing about being a mom might provide some good perspective, and the process of blogging about (and thereby reflecting on) it may keep the time from slipping away too quickly.



So today, these are the top ten best things about being (Jacob’s) mom, in no order other than that in which they came into my head.  Expect these to change next week!  Ha!

  1. How snuggly Jacob is in the morning when I pick him up.  He’s probably seventy-five percent awake and drapes himself across me, one little arm on either shoulder.
  2. How warm his little body is, all the time . . . except when I think it’s warmer than it is outside and neglect to bring a hat out for him.
  3. How singing “Who Loves You” to him helps him to calm down when he’s crying.  Good taste in music, that boy.
  4. How he laughs and smiles when I sing to him.  I’m not sure yet if I should take this as a compliment or an insult, but there it is.
  5. Mom friends.  I have made wonderful young, married mom friends these past few months.  I’m also enjoying relating to my mom, mother-in-law, aunts, grandma, and my friends’ moms in a new way.
  6. Nursing.  It took the first three months or so for me to intellectually accept that I was feeding another human being via my own body.  Once I (mostly) got over that, I could see that the chance to snuggle that warm little body and offer something only I can provide is incredibly special.
  7. Watching him fall asleep.  Especially since napping has been rough the past few weeks, the peaceful look of those closed eyes and the little breathing sounds he makes when he’s finally out let me know he’s in a good place, mentally and physically. . . . And it allows me to exhale a deep breath, too!
  8. Coming to his crib in the morning and finding him on his belly, 180 degrees in the opposite direction of how I put him down.  Already his life is a mystery to me.
  9. Watching him suck his thumb.  It still feels like a giant victory to me when he gets just his thumb in his mouth.  It’s like a glimpse into the future, too—I see he is capable of so much, has such wonderful potential, and already I know that he can do anything if he puts his mind to it.
  10. Max und der Schnuller.  Enough said, no?

I’d love to hear what other moms think is the best, whatever stage they’re experiencing now, have in the past, or look forward to in the future!



February 24, 2011

Precious Little Hands

These hands are precious little hands.



Sometimes I wonder what they’ll be used to do—throw a basketball into a hoop, hold open a book (to read, not chew on), stir a pot of simmering soup.  I pray they won’t be used to hurt, to steal, or even to slam a door in anger.


Precious, precious hands.



Already, they’ve unfurled from fists and our little boy has started to use them to explore his world.  He reaches for toys, pulls them to his mouth, and chomp, chomp, chomps. He grasps the pacifier when it’s in his mouth and pulls it out (he hasn’t figured out how to get it back in the same way again yet, but one thing at a time).  He traces the outlines of my face as I look into my little guy’s eyes, watching as he takes in the angles of my cheeks, the curve of my chin.

It’s all very sweet, all very cute.  Until he starts to pinch.  Boy, can that Peanut pinch.  Hard.  On my arms.  And my neck.

All of a sudden, these precious little hands are starting to look like menacing crab pincers to me. I try to use my sweetest voice to say, “Hey Jacob, that’s really painful and I really wish you wouldn’t do that,” but he doesn’t seem to be getting the message.

Ah, well.  Precious little pincers. Precious, precious little pincers.



February 23, 2011

With a Little (Okay, a Lot of) Help from Our Friends

As we rang in 2011, John and I held Jacob in our arms in our cozy Brooklyn apartment, counting down the final seconds of 2010 with the crowds we watched gathered in the heart of New York City.

Although we had the television on for ten minutes, tops, we were saddened by the display of what our society considers celebrity—the people’s outrageous clothes, their goofy attitudes, the too-casual way they presented themselves.  We found ourselves apologizing to Jacob for the world we’d brought him into, and newly determined to build an encouraging, inspiring environment for him to grow up in.

Every weekend of this new year, I’ve been reminded that that environment already exists.  Whether they are friends from kindergarten, high school, college, work, or church, we are utterly surrounded by phenomenal people with kind hearts, great senses of humor, and a tremendous variety of gifts and talents.  I’m grateful Jacob has such a wealth of personalities to learn from.

But what’s been especially wonderful this year is the many friends we’re making as a married couple—and as parents.  When we moved to Brooklyn last year, I was often asked why the change from Manhattan.  “Brooklyn is where the babies are,” I’d reply. I’m starting to see that the reason we’re here is because it’s where the parents are.

In the almost one year that we spent on the Upper East Side, we only managed to make friends with the priests at our church.  They are fantastic men, but not really people you can hang out with all the time.  Before we even arrived in Brooklyn, however, we had made new friends, met their friends, and reconnected with old friends.  By the time the Super Bowl rolled around this year, all our invitees were couples that were either pregnant or would be bringing a little one along. How much had changed since the first time we watched the Super Bowl together—in my freshman college dormitory, celebrating our first (dating) anniversary and hoping for many more!

Every night when we pray, we thank God first and foremost for our little family.  Right behind that is our extended family and our friends, the many people we are blessed to share our lives with.  Sometimes those worlds all melt together into one.  I love that my parents are now Grandma and Grandpa, and the girls I grew up with, the friends we went to college with now have “aunt” or “uncle” in front of their names.

With so many incredible people to help show him the good things in the world, I’m not worried about the environment Jacob is growing up in.  Rather, I’m grateful for the many new people he’s helped bring into our lives and a renewed appreciation for those who have been here all along.

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