Posts tagged ‘Family’

December 5, 2011

A Gift of a Lifetime

It’s easy to watch a little baby interact with his world and make assumptions about what he’ll be, what he’ll do when he grows up. Sometimes it’s funny, too.

 

When Jacob was younger and rounder, it was fun to joke that he’d be a football player, maybe a linebacker. Or better, the whole line. Still I tried to remember that on Sunday afternoons he was simply enjoying the flickering lights of the television screen, not the action it was portraying. And really, these days he could care less about the lights.

 

When he walks around with books held over his head and triumphantly holds a Cheerio up to the heavens before eating it, it’s easy to say he’s headed for the seminary. And when he chases after dogs at the park, it’s fun to imagine that he’ll be a dog catcher—albeit a bad one; I don’t think you’re supposed to take them all home to play with them.

 

This weekend John and I had the pleasure of seeing his brother Karl play violin with a semi-local singer/songwriter. It was incredible. Karl is so relaxed and yet focused when he plays—and he plays beautifully—and his contribution added another dimension to what would otherwise have been a guy and his guitar (admittedly, my favorite kind of music).

 

While watching him perform, I was struck by how influential a decision his parents made almost twenty-five years ago has been. All John’s siblings, and my brother and I as well, took music lessons at some point in time. It stuck more for some than others, but not for anyone as much as for Karl. These days, while he pursues a career in business, his violin is a source of supplementary income, a social networking tool, a key to keeping him involved in a very active ministry, and—you can tell by watching him play—a source of joy.

 

Saturday night, all I could think about was the hope we have the foresight to offer Jacob the right opportunities and to encourage him to pursue his talents in ways he will enjoy. I hope in this way we will teach him the virtue of hard work and that the fruits of his diligence will serve him for a lifetime, the way they have for Karl.

November 29, 2011

Sleep Diva

A long time ago, I learned that traveling anywhere with a little one—whether it’s a short train ride to New Jersey or a cross-country flight to Los Angeles—requires a recovery day upon returning home. Jacob settles back into our home pretty easily; he’s always excited to see his toys and run around more freely again. Plus, at home he knows where the Cheerios are. But still, his sleep schedule is a little off, and his energy levels need to regulate all over again.

 

For me, the recovery is as much psychological as it is physical. Walking into an extended family member’s house and eyeing the (evil) cheese plate before I even see the host clearly puts me on edge. Add to that the fact that every greeting isn’t just, “Hi! Good to see you! Happy (Fill in appropriate greeting here)!” It’s more like “Hi! Good to see you! Happy whatever! Okay, so if you’ve eaten any cheese, or anything containing butter, milk, or any other form of dairy since you last bathed, could you not kiss or touch our child? Thanks! Really, so good to see you!”

 

And yet, no matter how hard we (family included) try, every trip means administering Benadryl at least every other day, if not every day. By the time we come home, Jacob’s skin is often like sandpaper, and it takes a few days and some heavy-duty lotion to get it back to normal. I’m starting to think Jacob’s list of allergens looks like this: dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and travel.

 

Don’t get me wrong, Thanksgiving was a fun weekend, and we had lots of great time with family and friends. But that doesn’t make the recovery any less necessary, especially when Jacob’s sleeping habits take a turn for the dramatic.

 

The first night we were in New Jersey, we’d planned to share a room with Jacob. The translation here is that we kicked John’s brother out of his room and onto the couch. About two am, John and I got kicked out of the room, too—onto the floor. Even at home, Jacob sometimes wakes up once or twice in the night, but he can usually put himself back to sleep. Apparently, this is only the case if we’re not in the room with him.

 

The next night, we didn’t even bother trying to share a room with him. We effectively kicked John’s brother to yet another couch (thank goodness John’s family has enough couches!), so we could sleep on the furniture in the living room. I slept much better that night, but I fell asleep amazed at what a diva Jacob could be if he really wanted to. Will he ever have sleepovers?  Will his friends have to sleep in another room?

 

In the meantime, here’s a photo I talked up while we were home. I know I ranted about Christmas coming too early in the retail world, and so I have to admit that not only am I posting this Halloween-y photo a month late, but it was only taken two weeks ago. Maybe I need a calendar, too.

 

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Things I learned in the making of this post:

It takes more than one piece of paper to fit the hand turkeys of two adults and one baby.

It is not a good idea to give a toddler crayons if you want them back . . . ever.

It is difficult to keep a fourteen-month-old child’s hand still enough to trace it. However, the wiggling may produce an incredibly well-placed beak.

I am much too enthusiastic about hand turkeys for a young woman of my age. Oh wait, I knew that before this whole thing started.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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