Posts tagged ‘Life with a Baby’

December 5, 2011

A Gift of a Lifetime

It’s easy to watch a little baby interact with his world and make assumptions about what he’ll be, what he’ll do when he grows up. Sometimes it’s funny, too.


When Jacob was younger and rounder, it was fun to joke that he’d be a football player, maybe a linebacker. Or better, the whole line. Still I tried to remember that on Sunday afternoons he was simply enjoying the flickering lights of the television screen, not the action it was portraying. And really, these days he could care less about the lights.


When he walks around with books held over his head and triumphantly holds a Cheerio up to the heavens before eating it, it’s easy to say he’s headed for the seminary. And when he chases after dogs at the park, it’s fun to imagine that he’ll be a dog catcher—albeit a bad one; I don’t think you’re supposed to take them all home to play with them.


This weekend John and I had the pleasure of seeing his brother Karl play violin with a semi-local singer/songwriter. It was incredible. Karl is so relaxed and yet focused when he plays—and he plays beautifully—and his contribution added another dimension to what would otherwise have been a guy and his guitar (admittedly, my favorite kind of music).


While watching him perform, I was struck by how influential a decision his parents made almost twenty-five years ago has been. All John’s siblings, and my brother and I as well, took music lessons at some point in time. It stuck more for some than others, but not for anyone as much as for Karl. These days, while he pursues a career in business, his violin is a source of supplementary income, a social networking tool, a key to keeping him involved in a very active ministry, and—you can tell by watching him play—a source of joy.


Saturday night, all I could think about was the hope we have the foresight to offer Jacob the right opportunities and to encourage him to pursue his talents in ways he will enjoy. I hope in this way we will teach him the virtue of hard work and that the fruits of his diligence will serve him for a lifetime, the way they have for Karl.

November 22, 2011

Dear Jacob XV

Dear Jacob,

Shortly after you were born, I started to get nervous about the fact that I was embarking on a year (at least!) of living with a person who was not able to talk to me. That sort of silence is frightening. How was I going to know what you needed? How was I going to entertain you? How was I going to stand having no one to really talk to? Was I going to lose my mind?


Fourteen months later, every single one of those fears has been put to rest. You don’t use verbal words that often, and even your signing has become rather one-dimensional lately, but I think we’ve come to a pretty good understanding of one another, even without those.



I’ve learned that “maternal instinct” can be, in fact, a learned behavior. The tasks it took to care for you as a newborn were things that anyone would have been capable of doing. But because I did them, I came to know you better than probably anyone else in the world (though your dad is a really close second). With the help of your cues, a closer relationship with the clock, and that “maternal instinct”, I’d say I do a pretty okay job of keeping you happy each day.


I love that you’re starting to respond more when I talk to you. You can follow directions like “put the ball in the car” or “find your water cup.” You know that “bath” means it’s time to go into the bathroom (hooray!) and that “outside” means go to the door and get your shoes. You don’t always do these things, of course, and I’m also starting to see that you can hear selectively when you want to. We’re going to work on that.


I don’t always get things right, either. Sometimes it takes me a few tries to figure out what you want. I think it might take you a few times to figure out what you want, too. But when I ask if you’re hungry, and you giggle and run to the kitchen, I thank God that this year—or more—of virtual silence isn’t so silent at all.

You are such a fun little boy, Jacob, and such a good eater, if that’s what we’re talking about. I love you so much, and you are at the top of my list of things I’m grateful for this year and always.


Oh, and just so you know, I’m probably going to ask for a few hugs today. You’ll know what to do.


October 26, 2011

Finally! Jacob Day-by-Day

Well, a full month later I’ve finally restructured the settings on the video slideshow I made to celebrate Jacob’s first birthday. Without music because of copyright laws, with only a second on each page to keep it to just over six minutes (!), and without further ado, I give you a year in the life of Jacob. Enjoy!

God bless this wonderful little boy!

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