Posts tagged ‘Friends’

July 27, 2011

This Time of Life

Welcoming a baby into a family opens the floodgates of change. The first few months with a newborn are a whirlwind of transitions, even from one day to the next.  There is less sleep than you thought you could handle, more diaper changes than you thought possible, and a different perspective on just about everything to adjust to. Life with a baby is exciting, challenging, and exhausting, but altogether joyful.  At least in my experience.

 

This week, though, we’re confronted with a new kind of change—one I’d seen coming for a while, but I can’t believe is upon us already.

 

We are blessed with a small group of families that lives nearby and all met one through the other at our church.  We started to meet these families before we even moved to Brooklyn, and we’d been introduced to them all by the time we were settled in and Jacob was born.  At that point, there was only one other baby born in the group, but another was on the way, and a few months later we learned the fourth was on her way, too. Over this past year in Brooklyn, most of our Sunday mornings have been shared with these wonderful folks at Mass and either brunch or a trip to the bagel shop afterward.

 

But all good things must come to an end.  We recently learned that one of these friends landed a job he was really hoping for.  It’s a great fit for him, and we’re really excited.  Except that it starts in just a few weeks.  And it’s in a different state.

 

The news is as bittersweet for us as it is for them.  Experiencing something as life-altering as pregnancy, childbirth, and the first year of your children’s lives together creates a unique bond of friendship, and one I know will always have a special place in my heart.  I don’t think I’ve let myself really think about it yet, but it will be incredibly hard to say good-bye (or at least “see you later”) to a couple that has shared so much with us over the last eleven months.

 

I know that the period of life with just first children is a limited time offer, and that when more children come along for our friends—and for us—we will slowly find our ways to the homes we intend to settle into for the long term.  Most of these will likely be outside of Brooklyn.

 

I discussed this great change with two of the ladies on a playground yesterday afternoon, and I was grateful for their trust in God’s plan.  We expressed how much we’d miss one another, but there wasn’t a word of complaint among them.  “God always provides,” one remarked.  I couldn’t help but think, I wish he would provide a little longer!  But I know there is a plan at work, one that is greater than what we could have conjured on our own.  This time of life is full of change, hopefully all for the better.

 

No matter what comes next, I am beyond grateful that my journey into motherhood began with such faithful women by my side.

July 11, 2011

Teacher Friends

I love having teacher friends.

Especially as a stay-at-home mom, I appreciate that in the afternoons and during the summertime, I can call a teacher friend to catch up and chat.  On the whole, I’m in better touch with some of my teacher (and student) friends than with those friends who work in offices, simply because we have more similar schedules than those who work nine to five (or eight to six!).

I’m grateful for this because 1) my teacher friends are some of the most phenomenal people I know and 2) they offer an objective perspective on children that I already find very helpful as a parent.

I know not every teacher out there is good at what he/she does, but I am blessed to know who I believe are some of the very best teachers out there—teachers who go the extra mile to plan bonus field trips, to teach hip hop after school, to be an open door to talk about faith and what it means in the way one develops as a person in relationship with others.

I love visiting with teacher friends because they always have new stories about either something incredibly creative they did in the classroom or something tough they had to deal with and the way they managed the situation.

Although right now I’m closer to the time I was in school than Jacob is to the time he’ll likely start, as a parent I appreciate hearing teachers’ perspectives on what children with a variety of learning styles and home situations need to thrive.  So often, I hear my teach friends say that a problem a student is having is more the fault of the parent’s not paying attention than it is the fault of the student not working hard.

It’s often said that a parent is a child’s first teacher, and I certainly believe that.  That’s why I’m so grateful to have some more—or at least differently—experienced folks to help show me the way (this means you, Alex!).

July 5, 2011

Can You Ever Really Be Prepared? Maybe.

Maybe it’s because I wasn’t a scout growing up that I didn’t fully appreciate the saying “Be prepared” until yesterday.

 

John, Jacob, and I were enjoying a sunny summer holiday in the park when John’s phone rang.  Our friend, whose wife was due with their first child that day, was on the other end of the line.  John and I both figured he was calling to see if we had plans for dinner.  I started to calculate how many burgers we could get out of the beef we’d purchased earlier in the day, but quickly realized that wasn’t necessary (and good thing, because we had enough meat, but too few rolls!).  Their little baby girl had been born just a few hours before, and he was calling to share the good news!  Hooray!

 

He offered us the opportunity to visit, and we started packing up the instant John hung up the phone. We were so excited that I barely even thought about what we had on hand.  We were in the subway station in about seven minutes.  Because of other gallivanting around Brooklyn over the weekend, it turns out we had a really well packed stroller.  It was rewarding to realize how much of the right stuff we had with us.

 

In the course of our trip into Manhattan, we managed to feed Jacob twice, nurse him once, and change his diaper, without even making a pit stop at home first.  And when we did get home, because he’d had dinner on the subway, we were already halfway through our bedtime routine.  It was nice to feel like I’d won the “Good Mom Award” for the day.

 

On the other hand, in considering how prepared one can be, I don’t think you can ever really prepare for the experience of being in the presence of an hours-old baby.   This one is a perfect little girl—tiny, beautiful, and incredibly loved.  When I had the chance to hold her, I didn’t want to let her go.  I’ve waited so long to meet this little one, and it was such an honor to finally see her face to face.

 

Blessings can be great—like holding a little miracle in your arms—or small—like having a squeeze pack of puréed fruit and a spoon in a baggie in the pocket of your stroller.  Whether we’re prepared for them or not, it’s good to see the many ways God is with us each day.

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