Posts tagged ‘Grace’

August 17, 2011

Dear Jacob IX

Dear Jacob,

It’s been a while since I wrote one of these to you.  Things are happening at a different pace in this second half of your first year. I am less anxious about being a mom, and at the same time, you are transforming from a baby baby into a little boy. You need fewer nursing sessions and fewer diaper changes (although you positively howl when we do change you), and you’re on a much more consistent nap/sleep schedule than you were in your early months. I’m learning how to use our time as best we can, and it feels like we have more freedom to go where we like, as long as we’re home for naptime.

 

 

It’s not that there aren’t still milestones to keep track of—recently you learned to eat from a snack cup, you momentarily stood on your own, and of course, you learned to dance.  You’ve also started to understand and respond to instructions I give you, which I think is awesome.  It totally changes the way a day feels to me to have you stop when I say “no” (you shake your head first, because you know that goes with the words “no,” “stop,” or “you may not”).  You can also find your sippy cup or your snack cup and use them when I say and sign that to you.  Pretty cool stuff, little man.

 

One of my favorite new developments is that you’ve learned to hug.  Often it’s in the morning or after a nap when I pick you up.  You turn your head and rest it on my shoulder, nestling into the hollow of my collarbone, and I stand there and hold you, trying not to move for fear of disturbing you and thanking God for this precious little boy He sent me.  You are perfect in every way, little man, and I love you so much.

 

 

You’ve also learned to give kisses.  Kind of.  I think.  Probably because we so often kiss the top of your head, you seem to think that ramming your head into us equals a kiss.  I guess it does, if you want it to.  Sometimes in the middle of the day, if I’m on the floor playing with you, you’ll crawl right into me.  It’s like a game of Chicken you’re determined to win.  But then you’ll pull/crawl up me to stand and go in for a real hug, which your dad and I agree is officially the new greatest thing on the planet.

 

Your birthday is coming up soon, my dear.  Kind of.  It’s still more than a month away, but I just can’t wait to celebrate this wonderful year we’ve had with you!  I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of cake I’ll make you for a couple of weeks already.  All this allergy stuff makes it a little more challenging, but we’ll do our best.  (And for those family members reading this who are celebrating with us, don’t worry; I’m making a real cake for you.)

 

Oh, Jacob, Jacob, Jacob. I don’t know if it’s because we spend so much time together or just because you’re my son, but you’ve been doing some of my favorite things lately.  Because you can choose where you go and what you do, to an extent, it’s really cool for me to see you do things like sit and read board books for a good ten minutes at a time.  Eighty-five percent of the time, the book is upside-down, but you’re really just in it for the fuzzy animals and the pages that turn at this point, so that’s fine.

 

 

You snuggle a whole lot, too, and I find myself calling you Snuggles or Snuggle Bear more than anything else these days.

Your best friend, the lady who sits behind us at church, told me a few weeks ago that you haven’t really been sick or anything because you are so strong and so happy.  I think she’s right.  You have such joy, such an impenetrable and infectious happiness.  Even though you make faces and cry like the world is ending when I take away something you’re not allowed to play with, you bounce back quickly, and before I know it you’re giggling again.  I almost think that, if it were possible, you’d never speak; you’d just spend your whole life laughing.  You’re cute enough that I think it might just work, too.

 

Little man, I have no intention of comparing your life to the divinity of Christ, but as I consider all the little stories I could put in this letter, I am reminded of the last verse of the Gospel of John.  It says, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25).  Likewise, every day with you is another miracle, and there is simply too much for me to capture here.

I am tempted to say I am amazed by all that’s happened over the last year, but I think a more accurate word is “humbled”.  I am humbled by how much you’ve grown, all you’ve learned, and the happy, beautiful boy you are and always will be.  I am humbled by the work God has done in me through you, teaching me to give more, to love more, to be more than I otherwise would have, could have been.  I believe true love is something that brings out the best in people; its beauty is that makes the one who loves a better person.  And that, my dear, is exactly what you have done for me.

Let’s start counting down to your birthday now, so I have an excuse to celebrate you as much as you deserve.  Only thirty-five more days . . .

With a vegan, nut-free, wheat-free cupcake, and always all my heart,
Mom

August 2, 2011

We’re Here!

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers for a good move, reader friends!  Things went very smoothly, the movers were quicker (and thus cheaper) than we’d expected, and with my parents’ help we got a ton unpacked our first day in the new place.  As John and I sat down late that night to say our rosary, I couldn’t help but tell him with a smile, “I love this place.”

 

I’m kind of amazed at how instantly this new apartment has begun to feel like home.  It’s still messy (come to think of it, that may be more of help than a hindrance!), but after months of waiting to search, and then three weeks between signing the lease and moving in, it looks like we live here.

 

As grateful as I am that our previous landlords told us as soon as possible that we wouldn’t be able to sign on for a second year, knowing we had to leave after being there only six months left me feeling like a squatter.  Before college, I had only moved once, and then, I was only eighteen months old.  Even though I moved to different dorms on campus throughout my undergrad career, and even with six months spent in Germany, then I still felt like I had a home base. I didn’t have that for the better part of the last year, and I got a little overwhelmed in these last few weeks without it.

 

Thankfully, God has given me the grace to turn to Him and offer up my fears and anxieties as best I can.  I’ve taken to signing “Amazing Grace” while I nurse Jacob, especially at the end of the day, and it has been more than therapeutic.

 

All of this brings me back to the same verse from Scripture that has often been on my mind lately:

 

“Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.”  Matthew 6:28-29

 

God is good.  God provides.  And thank God we have somewhere beautiful and wonderful to finally call home!

 

Photos soon.  I’ll spare you some of the mess for now!

 

 

July 20, 2011

Before You Know It

I realize this sounds ridiculous, but sometimes it still amazes me that Jacob is our child and will be, like, forever.  Sometimes I feel like a little kid before God, but instead of a puppy in my arms, I have a child, and I’m asking, “You mean we get to keep him?”

 

Last week I was talking with my parents about plans for next summer, and I realized next August Jacob will be almost two!  He’ll be running around, telling us stuff, throwing food (gah!  I hope not!), having opinions, making jokes—who knows?  Ruling the world, perhaps?

 

It’s been said myriad times before, but it bears repeating:  it is incredible how much a person changes in the first year of his life.  To illustrate this phenomenon, check out these photos of Jacob the day he was born, at one month old, then two months old, and so on.

 

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Amazing, right?  I look back on the photos of him at three and four months and think, what a little chub!  And check out that receding hairline—thank goodness it came back in!

 

Next year so much more will have changed, in ways I can’t even fathom yet.  People keep saying, “Before you know it, he’ll be running all over the place.”  That’s true. And before I know it, he’ll be going to school, reading books (not eating them or rearranging their pieces), playing games, making his own breakfast, helping me clean up the kitchen, taking out the garbage . . . oops, I’m getting a bit carried away.

 

Seriously, though.  I remember one of my friends, who has a child who is older than Jacob, saying at one point, “Wow.  I don’t have a baby anymore; I have a toddler.”  Soon that’s going to be me.  Then a toddler will become a kindergartener, and then a middle schooler, a teenager, a college student, a twenty-something, and before you know it, perhaps he’ll have kids of his own.

 

All this “before you know it” stuff is not meant to be nostalgic or pining in any way.  The moral of the story is that parenthood—and really, life in general—continues to blow my mind.  I’m in the midst of a time when my friends are making their dreams come true—becoming doctors, lawyers, editors (!)—and that’s a kind of coming of age in itself.  And then here I have this little man, who is just on the brink of learning to walk, and I can’t help but see so many parallels between that stage of life and this one.

 

Physically, emotionally, and mentally, there is much to be done in that first year, but even in mid- to late-twenties, there is always more growth to be had, more change to embrace.  Before you know it, life can take you to amazing, incredible, beyond-your-wildest-dreams places.  And at any stage in life, what a blessing that is.

 

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