Archive for March, 2011

March 28, 2011

Dear Jacob VI (Dedications and Courage)

Dear Jacob,


This last week I’ve been thinking about dedications.  Like, in books.  Like, for the novel I haven’t yet written. Silly Mom, right?


I’ve sometimes wondered how authors decide to whom to dedicate their books, if the dedicatees aren’t somehow instrumental in producing said books.  Especially when an author is prolific, is there a list of folks he or she feels must be mentioned at some point, more out of a sense of duty than sincerity?


Because I have this new, barely germinated idea for a story, I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and I’ve been thinking a lot about you.  If the story I am imagining were to someday sprout and blossom into a published novel, I would without a doubt dedicate it to you, in gratitude for the gift of courage you’ve given me.



When I started writing this blog almost a year ago, I was confused by how a new stage in my life—one that would demand of my time and energy in a whole new way—could inspire me to add still something else to my plate.  But these strange turns of events are the ones that must be trusted as God’s hand pushing us in one direction or another.


Now I find myself writing here a few times a week and thinking about another story I’d like to share.  Every day I do what makes me happy, and it’s something that’s good for our family, good for our future, too (that being caring for you :)).


Jacob, you make my life better in so many intangible, barely describable ways.  You make me want to be a better person, in part to encourage you, and in perhaps larger part because you encourage me, with your gummy smiles and your sleepy snuggles.   You bring me joy; you bring me peace; you bring me to new people and places, and already my life is exponentially richer for having you in it.


I know it’s random to write this letter to you now, without any real event to prompt it.  But love will do that kind of thing to you.


I love you, little man, for the joy you bring to others, for the joy you bring to me, and simply for being you.


All my heart,


March 25, 2011

A Mother’s Paradox

This may seem random (and it is) but the bit of Michael J. Fox’s book Always Looking Up that struck me most was this:  the toughest, but most important aspect of being a parent is being able to let go.  (Fox’s reflections on parenthood are definitely worth the read!)  My parents gave me a great example of allowing a child to figure things out independently, but with a healthy dose of guidance, and I hope we’re able to emulate that.



I’m surprised this is already relevant with a six-month-old baby, but it absolutely is.  Jacob is learning so much so quickly, and I find I need to give him space to learn on his own.  Sometimes it also means urging him to do something a part of me might not really want to see happen.


A friend and fellow new mom found humor in something similar while we were both pregnant last year.  She had just found out the gender of her baby (a precious little girl, with cheeks that go on for days).  She was telling me how strange it is that during the ultrasound she and her husband were encouraging their little one to reveal a very private area of herself—something they’d never want her to do again.  In the same way, she said, we were encouraging our babies to kick so that we could feel them move.  She pointed out that after they were born, we would never again ask our babies to kick their mothers.


I’m stuck in an analogous situation now, as Jacob is slowly, but surely, learning to eat from a spoon and put together the skills he needs to crawl.  Every one of his developments is fascinating to me, and I’m thrilled to witness these profound moments in his life, but I also see him stepping away from baby and closer to little boy.  I cheer him on, then almost bite my tongue.


Do I really want him to learn to crawl?  (I need a couple of good nights’ sleep first!)  Am I really encouraging him to work towards eating independently, and eventually wean from nursing?


Of course I am, but sometimes it all feels like it’s coming on too quickly.  This is what people mean when they say kids grow up too fast.  Thank goodness I get to be here for every moment of it.  It may be quick, but it’s incredible.  And at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have it any other way.



P.S. Feeding update:  Yesterday I posted about Jacob’s aversion to “solid” food.  Today he made a great stride in accepting the food-filled spoon into his mouth.  He then smiled when I offered him praise and proceeded to spill all the liquid out of his mouth.  Next step: swallowing.


March 24, 2011

“Solid” Food?

It seems that my little boy is not at all interested in real “solid” food.  He nurses just fine, and even takes pumped milk from a bottle.  But when I mix in just a little bit of rice cereal, so little that the discriminating young lady from “The Princess and the Pea” wouldn’t notice, this is what I get:

I am astounded that Jacob can tell there is something different in there, but there’s absolutely no fooling him.  And I know it wasn’t the spoon that caused the problem; that was lots of fun to chew on.  Those little bits of cereal were just unacceptable.

What baffles me is that so many other things go in his mouth without a problem:




and toys.

I guess I need to revise my definition of “solid” food.

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