Posts tagged ‘Relationships’

November 21, 2011

Time to Celebrate!

Yesterday was Jacob’s Baptismal day. I didn’t grow up celebrating Baptismal days, and I didn’t know that anyone did. John’s family introduced me to this tradition, and if only for the fact that it doubles the amount of cake you can justify each year (eight birthdays + eight Baptismal days = cake! cake! cake!), I found it to be a really great thing to commemorate.

John’s family, and I’m sure others too, mark the day not only with special dessert after dinner, but also with a chance to “honor” the person being celebrated. Even when I was John’s girlfriend, I loved being part of this tradition. In whatever order people feel comfortable, everyone around the table shares something he admires or appreciates about the honoree. Sometimes it’s a recent act that displayed joy, faith, or integrity. Sometimes it’s something the honoree did to motivate the honor-er to think more about his or her own faith or character. Other times, it’s more simply the characteristics of the honoree that inspire honor-ers to be better, stronger, happier people.

Whether the honoree was John, one of his parents, or one of his siblings, I enjoyed offering my own thoughts as much as hearing everyone else’s. How often does a family take the time to consider the beauty, the individuality,  and the promise of each of its members? This sort of encouragement is something I hope John and I can foster in our own family, and that starts today.

In the midst of all this honoring, there was always one comment that, frankly, baffled me. Whoever could get to it first would honor the baptismal day boy/girl for being a “son or daughter of God.” For a long time, I didn’t understand this. Weren’t we remarking on things the person had chosen to do? Characteristics that, even if they came naturally, the person allowed to shine even in tough situations? How could we honor someone for something over which he or she had absolutely no control?

Being Jacob’s mother, I’ve come to understand this in a very humbling way this year. Every day I learn something new about Jacob’s character, his temperament, and the choices he’s likely to make. Yet even before these things began to surface, I loved him simply because he was a little boy, my little boy, made in the image and likeness of God. I love him simply because he exists. And that is how God loves us—simply because we exist.

So today—or yesterday, really—I honor Jacob for being a son of God. And for teaching me what that means.

Happy Baptismal day, Jacob!

November 8, 2011

Connecting Because We’re Disconnected

The other night John, Jacob and I went to visit some new friends we’d met at our church. They have a little boy just two months older than Jacob and the last time we met, the boys had a whole lot of fun playing together. This time wasn’t very different—except there was more hugging.  The other little boy thought Jacob’s head was really fun to hug. I have to say, I agree.

 

Probably because this time we (the parents) were on the floor with the two of them, there were only a couple of times that they had conversations with one another. And any time one of us (the parents) commented on how cute it was, they’d stop talking, look at us, and start doing something different. Oh, well. We still had a good time.

 

After we got home, I was on kind of a high. This couple is so grounded, so smart, and so much fun. Their little boy is super sweet, plus he has curly hair, which, on my hierarchy of baby cuteness is a very close third to 1) Jacob and 2) our friends’ babies (which he also falls under). We really enjoy this family’s company, but there was something more to the evening that I couldn’t put my finger on. A few hours later, I figured it out.

 

No one answered a call, sent a text, or checked an email during our entire visit. We were completely present to one another. And it felt so good.

 

I can’t say I’m entirely innocent, but most of the time when I’m with other people, I keep my phone out of the way. If I need to make a call or answer a text, I acknowledge what I’m doing, apologize for the interruption, and get it done with quickly.

 

I’m amazed when we have friends over or are out with people, and the same courtesy isn’t offered. It’s more texting than calling. So often I’ll have a friend communicating with someone else when they’re supposedly spending time with me. I think the assumption is that we’re friends and we can be casual with one another. But a visit with me is not a time to make plans with someone else. What that does is say to me, “Hey, you’re cool, but I have something more important going on that takes precedence.” Not okay.

 

I’m unsure as to what to do about it, because it seems such common practice and everyone else seems to accept it. But it doesn’t sit right with me, and this evening was a reminder of how great visiting with friends can be when we’re disconnected from everything else.

 

This is the kind of courtesy, attentiveness, and friendship I want to teach Jacob, and the only way I can do that is to model it myself—and encourage my friends to do the same.

November 3, 2011

Call Me Mrs. Frazzle

Sometimes mothering a toddler makes me feel like I’m losing my mind.

 

When a day starts off too early (read: no time to blog!), continues with a too-short nap (read: no time to knit, my new hobby), and climaxes with too many pokes at my glasses and pulls at my hair, I wonder when I’ll have two logic thoughts together again.

 

Then I chastise myself for thinking I’d do something for me today, rather than relishing every moment of head-butted “kisses” on the floor. I remind myself that someday, Jacob may not want to give me a random hug or six in the middle of the afternoon. I know that most of what I’d planned for today isn’t really necessary, and time is better spent with my little boy. But then, today turned out so different from yesterday, and then tomorrow will probably turn today on its head. I never know what to expect, and while that’s the challenge, it’s a joy as well.

 

 

Being mama to a toddler means plans always change, your time is rarely, if ever, your own, and it may be four o’clock before you realize you have consumed neither fruit nor vegetable all day.

 

Today I am tired, and a little cranky, and can’t do literary justice to the Montreal Biodome as I’d intended. But today I had the blessing of a day at home with the cutest, giggliest, snuggliest little boy on the planet. And the one definitely outweighs the other.

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