Posts tagged ‘Friendship’

June 7, 2011

The Truth About Bedtime

To all the kids out there who are convinced the fun really starts after they go to bed (and who, I’m sure, faithfully follow this blog), I have a top secret, confidential, your-eyes-only message for you:  you’re right.

 

 

Your parents have a great time after you head off to la-la land.  As much as they love being around you during the day, taking care of you, playing with you, and learning from you, there’s something special about the time your parents have with each other at the end of the day.

 

 

In our home, it’s the time after negotiating the delicate balance between preparing dinner for John and me and getting Jacob into bed.  I thought the little man had a way with printers in utero, and now he seems to have an unnatural ability to get hungry right as the buzzer on the oven goes off.  Oh, the many talents of our little boy!

 

John and I haven’t had much of our evenings to relax together lately because he’s been studying for a big exam.  But now that the exam is over, we have more time to appreciate each other again, to get past the daily chronicles of Jacob, the news in John’s workplace, and the list of things we should do . . . sometime, and have conversations about books, movies, and life in general.

 

It’s these conversations that remind me why I married John.  In the six years we dated, we spent hours upon hours just talking, talking, talking, about anything and everything, agreeing on a lot, and learning from each other otherwise.  Now that we have a window of time to have these conversations again, I am reminded that there is always truth behind a clichéd phrase:  John really is the guy I want to talk to first thing in the morning, and the last person I want to talk to at night—after the baby has gone to bed.

May 23, 2011

A New York State of Mind, Indeed

A year ago, I was one of only two pregnant people I knew—and the other lived 900 miles away.  About this time last year, through friends of friends, we met another pregnant couple, and before we knew it we were moving to Brooklyn, the baby capital of New York City, where we met even more people who, it turns out, were either expecting or would be in the next few months.

We spent yesterday afternoon with a number of these couples and their little ones, and I was struck by how incredibly lucky we are to have this community of young families.  Typically New York City is billed as a habitat for singles, for professionals, for people looking to work hard and play hard.  Family life is not a trait often portrayed in cultural perspectives on the city.

But there are tons of different kinds of people in New York, all with different priorities and different goals.  Thankfully, there are more than a few who share ours.

To say that we have been blessed with a good community in this new home of ours would be an understatement.  We have been positively flooded with God’s grace as we meet more and more young families and more and more young couples who are trying to start families.

We’ve begun a fairly regular gathering with a bunch of them, and I am beyond grateful for a room where we can talk freely about birthing options, teething, parenting guilt and parenting triumphs, where we can share our experiences and learn from others’, where we can make plans and watch our children learn to play and share with each other.  That there’s always good food and drink to sample only adds to the pleasure of these times together.

Although I still struggle every day to trust God completely, this community we have is proof that trust in Him does bear great fruit.  I couldn’t see it a year ago, but my loneliness was about to be replaced with a gaggle of friends, the anxiety in my mind with peace in my heart, and my fears with laughter.

God truly does work in mysterious ways, and I have a sense that later in life, when circumstances are not as joyful as they are now, I will have this time to look back on as real, tangible evidence of God’s love.  Married life, parenting, starting a small business—none of these things is easy.  But I have seen how they become easier with trust, with God’s grace, and most importantly, with love.

I think, for the first time, I’d agree that New York really is the greatest city in the world.

May 6, 2010

You Say It Best When You Say Nothing At All

One of the fun discoveries in the first few months of being pregnant was how many ways we managed to tell family and friends the good news without actually saying it.  It can certainly be daunting to say, “I’m pregnant” or “We’re having a baby” out loud.  But even at times when I wanted to say it, I was surprised to see how many times and in how many ways I didn’t even have the chance.

A week or two before we’d planned to start spreadin’ the news, a close friend of mine had a dream that I was pregnant.  She emailed me just to check in and see if it meant anything.  Once I regained my ability to speak, I called her and told her she’s pretty much psychic.

I called another friend shortly after that and told her I had some big news.  That’s all it took for her.  About fifteen minutes into the giggles and screaming, her roommate, another close friend, came home.  I heard her say, “L has something to tell you.”  Aaaaand scene.  Two for two; done and done.

My favorite is when we’re catching up with friends we haven’t seen in a couple of weeks.  I soon learned it’s imperative that any and all of their news is fully explored before we chime in.  Inevitably, and like it or not, the baby trumps just about everything else—grad school, job changes, awesome new TVs, whatever.  Then when they finally ask, “So what’s new with you?” John and I kind of knowingly look at one another, and before our “Well . . .” trails off completely, a happy revelation streams across our friends’ faces, like someone just told them they’d won a million bucks.

After a while, it was starting to get strange that I never had to say it.  I hadn’t told almost anyone at work, and I wasn’t showing, so some days during the week I kind of forgot I was pregnant.  Other days it was a little more difficult to forget. . . . But as the weeks have gone on, and it’s more and more apparent that I am indeed pregnant, what I’ve been most grateful for is not the giddy glee of letting folks in on our secret, but the love and enthusiasm we’ve had from so many people.  John and I feel incredibly loved and eternally blessed, and I think we can say the same for the Peanut.

A lot of that, too, came from telling our family, especially our parents—who, like most of the people at work, knew before I had the chance to tell them.

For my parents, the news was more of a confirmation than a surprise. My mom, aunt, and grandma had been worried about me since I passed out (see that story here), so when John and I called my parents one Sunday night at about ten-thirty, I think they were glad to hear us admit it.  Once we did, my mom told me she—and my aunt and my grandma—had known from the first phone call after that fateful evening at Verizon.  Again, the mother’s instinct is a stronger confirmation than modern science, I love it!

For John’s parents, for his mom at least, the combination of an eleven pm phone call on the aforementioned Sunday night and our asking her to go into the room with John’s dad with the phone on speaker let the cat out of the bag.  The tone of her “Oh, okay,” let us both know that she was on to us right away.  A few weeks later, we let Peanut him/herself tell John’s siblings.  We went to celebrate one of their birthdays and brought a card addressed to an uncle—a new uncle!  It took a minute to put the pieces together, but the delighted shock was fun then, too.

As much fun as it’s been to let all of the important people in our lives know about the Peanut, it’s nice now that other people know.  No secret keeping, no wondering which top to wear to work.  Just settling into this happy phase—the glorious second trimester!—and getting ready for the next one.

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