Posts tagged ‘Family’

November 21, 2011

Time to Celebrate!

Yesterday was Jacob’s Baptismal day. I didn’t grow up celebrating Baptismal days, and I didn’t know that anyone did. John’s family introduced me to this tradition, and if only for the fact that it doubles the amount of cake you can justify each year (eight birthdays + eight Baptismal days = cake! cake! cake!), I found it to be a really great thing to commemorate.

John’s family, and I’m sure others too, mark the day not only with special dessert after dinner, but also with a chance to “honor” the person being celebrated. Even when I was John’s girlfriend, I loved being part of this tradition. In whatever order people feel comfortable, everyone around the table shares something he admires or appreciates about the honoree. Sometimes it’s a recent act that displayed joy, faith, or integrity. Sometimes it’s something the honoree did to motivate the honor-er to think more about his or her own faith or character. Other times, it’s more simply the characteristics of the honoree that inspire honor-ers to be better, stronger, happier people.

Whether the honoree was John, one of his parents, or one of his siblings, I enjoyed offering my own thoughts as much as hearing everyone else’s. How often does a family take the time to consider the beauty, the individuality,  and the promise of each of its members? This sort of encouragement is something I hope John and I can foster in our own family, and that starts today.

In the midst of all this honoring, there was always one comment that, frankly, baffled me. Whoever could get to it first would honor the baptismal day boy/girl for being a “son or daughter of God.” For a long time, I didn’t understand this. Weren’t we remarking on things the person had chosen to do? Characteristics that, even if they came naturally, the person allowed to shine even in tough situations? How could we honor someone for something over which he or she had absolutely no control?

Being Jacob’s mother, I’ve come to understand this in a very humbling way this year. Every day I learn something new about Jacob’s character, his temperament, and the choices he’s likely to make. Yet even before these things began to surface, I loved him simply because he was a little boy, my little boy, made in the image and likeness of God. I love him simply because he exists. And that is how God loves us—simply because we exist.

So today—or yesterday, really—I honor Jacob for being a son of God. And for teaching me what that means.

Happy Baptismal day, Jacob!

October 6, 2011

He Should Be Three by Now

Jacob’s first birthday was only fifteen days ago, and yet we’ve celebrated it three times.

First, on his real birthday, just the three of us.

Then in New Jersey, with his grandparents, aunts, uncles (one from California!), and extended family.

And finally, with friends in Brooklyn.

The good news is that we got great use out of a shirt I bought on eBay for $3.50—shipping included.

The bad news is that I’m concerned the little man thinks we’re going to give him a cupcake with a candle and sing to him once a week from now on. While that would be fun, I don’t think it’s a good idea. But sometimes mommies just have to make tough calls like that.

October 4, 2011

Dear Jacob XII

Dear Jacob,


Although I recognize that the situation is entirely out of my control, I feel I owe you an apology.


At this point in your life, at least, you have short legs and wide feet. And it’s all my fault.


Your daddy has pretty regular feet, and comes from a long-legged people. I, on the other hand, come from a stock of people your grandma once referred to as “short English people with wide feet who like to eat.” In other words, hobbits.


While I’m delighted with how much you like to eat, the feet thing is kind of a bummer.  Let me tell you now, it’s just easier to shop for shoes online. You may not care about this in the future, but trust me that I’m saving you a headache or two, okay? Also, I hope you like the cuffed look, because all of your pants are too long for you, and I don’t really see that situation changing any time soon. Even my “short” pants are too long for me sometimes. Sigh.


To me, one of the greatest mysteries about you is whether you’ll be a runner, like your dad, a dedicated walker, like me, or somewhere in between. I know you are your own person, and in some (most) ways you may not take after either of us. But if physicality has any role to play in this situation, it looks like you’re taking the longer route wherever you’re going. Again, I’m sorry.


This is not to say that any of this should stop you from going after your dreams. You might need a ladder to reach that high, but I’m happy to hold it steady for you. And in the meantime, your legs, short as they are, work just fine. You can walk, you can sit and stand, and man, oh man, can you dance.


Short, tall, wide, or narrow, I will always love you, little boy. You will forever be my favorite little half-hobbit. Is there a word for that? I just tried to look it up, but the forum was kind of beyond me. I guess we’ll have to study our heritage together, when the time comes.


Until then, I give you all my love,

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