Posts tagged ‘Joy’

February 15, 2011

Dear Jacob IV

Dear Jacob,

There are many, many things I love about you.  One of the greatest of these is the sounds you make.  Whether you’re crying, laughing, or just plain chatting, your voice melts my heart.

About two weeks before you were due, I started to wonder what your voice would sound like.  I was amazed to think that you’d been growing in me for the better part of a year, and yet there was no way to know what the sound of your cry would be.  We had some idea of what you looked like from the ultrasounds (and I think they were pretty accurate as to your facial features), but there was simply no telling what you’d sound like.

When you were born, you didn’t cry much.  You didn’t even cry very much for that first month.  You were a few weeks old the first time my mom heard you cry over the phone, and she was wowed—she’d never heard you make noise like that before.  Your dad’s parents had a similar experience.

Maybe in part because you didn’t cry very much when you were really little (again, relatively speaking), but I very quickly fell in love with your voice.  My favorite moments are when you’re falling asleep.  When you slept in our room, I would hear you make a series of little sighs just as you were nodding off.  Not one or two, like I often do, but five or six, and they were the most contented, peaceful, wonderful sounds I’d ever heard.  Now I love the sound you make just as you finish a yawn.  It’s something like “aa-hmmm” and it’s like the sound of a happy snuggle, if there were such a thing.

When you learned to smile, your giggle came quickly thereafter.  Your laugh really is the most wonderful thing on this planet.  If your whole face goes into your smile, your whole body goes into your laugh.  I tickle your belly with my nose and you crack up, which makes me feel like a million bucks.

You’ve started to make more noises over the past few months, and now when you make a sound over the phone it’s more like you’re part of the conversation than anything else.  This gets rave reviews from our callers!  Although you’ve been a little raspy the past few days, as if you’ve lost your voice, I think your voice will get stronger the more you use it (and you use it more every day!).

Just last week, you started to make raspberries.  Something about the U.F.O/exersaucer seemed to inspire you.  Your tongue is the newest best thing ever in your world, and you’re taking every opportunity to get to know how it works.  As you start to reach for things more, I’m sure you’ll want to communicate more as well, and we’ll start to hear even more new sounds from you.

Oh, Jacob, it is such a joy and a delight to get to know you.  If I may quote from my favorite line from Paper Towns by John Green, “‘I really like being your mom.’”

All my heart,

December 31, 2010

Another Year Over, a New One Just Begun

Since senior year of college, I have been going to Mass just about every day.  It’s always a beautiful way to start the day, but some days in particular—like today—are made even more special when they begin at church.


Today is the last day of 2010, a year that began with realizing I was pregnant with our first child in a Manhattan Verizon Wireless and that is ending with a squealing little boy wriggling beside a spindly Christmas tree in our Brooklyn apartment.  This has certainly been the Year of Jacob.  What a wild and wonderful ride it’s been, and thank God for all we have to look forward to with him in the year to come.


New Year’s Eve is generally not my favorite holiday, because it involves staying up late and unnecessary pressures to make huge lifestyle changes literally overnight.


At the same time, it’s an obvious opportunity to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the year to come.  Doing so in a prayerful community and with a focus on the Eucharist challenged me to be more intentional and more honest about my objectives for 2011.


For example, yesterday I was thinking I’d resolve to read, write, pray, and exercise a half hour each every single day of this new year.


Yeah, okay.


In reality, this is too regimented for me, and I’ll feel like I’ve failed before I’ve had a chance to begin.  Resolving, rather, to be more disciplined and more charitable in what I think, say, and do is a more achievable goal, because it’s both more flexible and has a greater purpose in its objective.  While it may seem unwieldy, this resolution’s adaptability is more suited to the kind of life I have right now with the little guy.  I hope that with this in mind, and with a generous helping of God’s grace, I will become a better mother, a better wife, a better Christian woman.


What hadn’t struck me until today was that the end of a calendar just overlaps with the beginning of a new liturgical year.  Advent, the season before Christmas, marks the start of the Church’s year, and gets us in the mindset of making changes to welcome new beginnings before the calendar page turns.  After having worked through a period of true preparation, and while we are still officially in the Christmas season, what better time than this to push aside the darkness of our old lives and find joy in the light of a new beginning?


The gospel reading today was from the beginning of the Gospel according to John—those puzzling and almost circuitous verses about the Word of God made flesh and come to dwell among us.  It was read carefully and slowly, and gave me a renewed sense of joy and gratitude in the beautiful traditions of the faith and how they influence my life.


My prayer tonight is gratitude for the year past and hope for the year ahead.  May God bless us all in 2011!

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