Posts tagged ‘Sharing Stories’

November 15, 2011

Dear Jacob XVI

Dear Jacob,

Every day when your daddy gets home from work, I tell him some of what you did during the day. All day long, I store up little anecdotes, things you’ve done, things that made you laugh, my triumph in calming a temper tantrum and getting you back to your giggly, happy self. In the evenings, I try to tell them all to your daddy, but there are always so many that I can’t keep track.

I want to remember every detail about who you are in each moment. Then I remind myself that each of these little things is a part of a bigger picture. I don’t have to worry about losing them, because they’re all little bits of the boy you are becoming.

Still there are some things that I’ve managed to retain long enough to share with your daddy. For example, the other day, in the span of about twenty minutes I learned that you know how to throw things in the garbage (even if they’re not trash) and that you can not only spin the toilet paper off the roll, but you can spin some of it back on, too.  Wow!  You learn so much every day!

You’re spending more time on my lap, whether it’s to have a snack, a hug, or to read a book (alleluia!). I love that time when I feel your sturdy weight settled in my arms, and I know you are calm and happy, and dare I say, exactly where you are meant to be.

You’ve also recently discovered that you LOVE corn Chex. If you see the box on the table, even when you have plenty left on your tray, you ask for more. I promise, Jacob, if I finish the box, I’ll get more. There will always be corn Chex for you if you want it (and if you don’t develop a corn allergy!). Oh, how you crack me up.

Pretty much the first thing I told you the first time it was just you and me was how incredibly loved you are. The love was pretty strong thirteen and a half months ago, but if you can believe it (and I hope you can), it just keeps getting stronger. You will be loved every day of your life, every day a little more than the last. You have such a special place in so many people’s hearts.

Do you know how many computer desktops you occupy? I can count five at least. One of your uncles (who will remain unnamed, but who lives in California and is not Joseph) recently asked for more pictures of you on this blog, because he loves watching you grow. We all love it, little boy. You are a miracle, you are a blessing, and you are our favorite little guy on the planet. I hope you stay as happy, healthy, and holy (more on that another day) as you are now as you continue to grow into the person God needs you to be.

I love you, Peanut Face.  Let’s have a dance party later, okay?

Love,
Mom

October 20, 2011

My Kind of Motherhood

In an effort to find this great article on motherhood the other day, I came across a couple of other articles that were, to say the least, not so inspiring.

 

Apparently being a mom can be boring and many mothers admit being lonelier than they’d ever been in their children’s first years.

 

And?

 

Motherhood is not supposed to be entertaining all the time. Sure, shame on the media for perpetuating that image, but greater shame on those who believed it. As grown women, this generation should be able to tell the difference between real life and drama.

 

To avoid any risk of sounding hypocritical, I realize that I write a blog about motherhood and what it means to me. But the truth that I hope is at the heart of every post I write is that this is not about me.  It’s about these boys:

 

I didn’t leave my dream job so I could take walks in the park every day. I don’t change diapers for the fun of it. I perform these large and small acts of service because they benefit someone else. I do these things because I am called to love, and sacrifice is what it means to love.

 

What office job doesn’t have boring tasks? What career doesn’t have some unhappier moments? Really, what reward is truly worth it if there isn’t some struggle along the way?

 

It shouldn’t be news that motherhood can be boring and it can get lonely. What’s newsworthy are the mothers who accept these tasks and these changes to their identities with full hearts, with faith in a plan greater than their own, and with hope that they are participating in something genuinely worthwhile.

 

That’s the kind of mother I’m striving to be.

 

Okay, rant over.

 

October 19, 2011

Parenting Means Not Giving Up

The other day, despite his protests, I knew Jacob needed a nap. He probably knew it too, but just didn’t want to believe it. I understand how he feels—I don’t really like napping either, unless I’m exhausted. There are too many fun things to do in a day. And especially if you’ve just learned a new trick like walking, lying down and resting seems, at first glance, like a waste of time.

But prudent mama that I am, I know that often when the morning nap goes out the window, the rest of the day goes with it. Somehow I possessed a strange calm, one I’m only beginning to get used to, one that I think might come from confidence in my role as a mother. Though Jacob was crying and rustling around in my arms, that calm allowed me to keep a just-firm-enough hold on him, rock him, and sing to him, as per our routine.

After four rounds of all five verses (that I know, at least) of “Amazing Grace,” he was asleep. I managed to put him down and he got a full nap in. A few weeks earlier, I might not have had the persistence to sing the whole song four times. A few months earlier, I know I wouldn’t have. I would have been frustrated that what I was doing wasn’t working and would have simply put him down, hoping he’d cry for just a few minutes and manage to get to sleep by himself.

It’s probably mostly a result of my getting more sleep now than I did in the earlier months with Jacob, but I am finding that I have more trust in myself these days. I know Jacob pretty well, and generally have a good sense of what he needs and how to offer it to him, even if he doesn’t think he agrees.

In the first half of his life, I took a lot of cues from the little guy. I figured he knew what he needed better than I did. And at that point, I’d never cared for a newborn before, and he was functioning on needs, not wants. Now, as the wants are filtering in amongst the needs, I have a different job as his mother. I need to use my judgment to determine what’s best for him, still incorporating whatever he can communicate to me, when it’s appropriate.

Sometimes that means doing what he doesn’t want to do. Sometimes that means I’m not going to be his favorite person on the planet. Sometimes I’m going to have to stand my ground. Sometimes it’s going to be sheer willpower concealing doubt that I’m totally botching something.

But that’s okay. Because, as my friend Cristina would say, I am the mother. God gave me to him and him to me for a reason. If my heart is always in the right place—and with God’s grace and Mary’s intercession it will be—I have hope that these moments will always end, as they did the other day, with a happy, healthy, and holy little boy resting peacefully in my arms.

P.S. Can someone please volunteer to read this post back to me when Jacob’s about fifteen?

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