Parenting is just a bunch of letting go

Kid Henry
Kid Henry

Tonight Henry fell asleep in my arms, nursing before bed in the rocking chair in his bedroom. There’s nothing unusual about that. It happens most every night. But tonight.

Tonight I looked down at my sleeping baby in my arms and realized how big he was. His body’s bigger than my torso, now. His baby hands are kid hands. His baby butt’s a kid butt. Kid legs. Kid face. He’s not my little newborn Henry Austin-Avon any more. He’s crossing the baby line into kidville.

I’ve been so busy counting milestones, looking into the future. Excited that he’s sitting up. Excited that he can play on his own. Excited that he can hold my hands, stand up and walk across a room. Excited that he can put a carrot in his own mouth and eat it. That’s a good thing, probably.

Because the sadness, pain and loss in looking backward is almost unbearable.

Never again will I have to hold his floppy head to my breast to teach him to nurse. Never again will I cup his tiny little body close to mine to calm him, hoping he remembers the sound of my heartbeat. Never again will I have a six-month-old Henry. Or a five-month-old, four-month-old, three-month-old, two-month-old, one-month-old, three-weeks-old, two-days-old, newborn baby Henry.

Feeding himself.
Feeding himself.

The thought’s occurred to me before that it’s okay that time’s passing, because I want to have another baby. That I’ll be able to do it again; to hold my own little newborn baby, to be the only one to calm them down, to be so close.

But I realized tonight that it won’t be the same. I’ll have a two- or three-year-old son running around as a distraction. I’ll be worn out. And it won’t be Henry. It won’t be the first time; like watching a movie the second time or reading a book the second time. The surprises don’t hit you the same way.

I worry that I’ve missed it. I was on my phone, or talking to someone, and I missed it. Henry will never be seven months, two weeks and five days old again. That was just for today, and I was working, Facebooking, sending a press release, designing a postcard, chatting, hanging laundry, driving, in a meeting. I missed it. I missed him today.

Sleeping on Daddy.
Sleeping on Daddy.

Every day is letting go. Every day he is further from me. No longer a part of me. When he doesn’t want to breastfeed any more, our bond will just be a token. I won’t need a babysitter to bring him to me every two hours. We could go our lifetimes apart and he would probably be okay. Someone else can comfort him, after that’s gone.

It breaks my heart. Seriously makes me well up with tears to think about.

From birth, parenting is just a bunch of letting go. First he’s no longer a part of me. Then as he can hold his own head up, feed himself, eat food other than my milk, no longer needs to be carried around. Parents of teenagers, I don’t envy you.

I’m starting to realize why everyone glows at you when you’re pregnant or carrying a newborn.

It’s the best. It’s all ahead of you.

A fleeting moment.
A fleeting moment.

It’s the very very best. The closest. The part where your child needs you the most. The road into the unknown stretches out ahead, all sunshine and blank canvas.

My baby is growing up. He’s still so new, but no longer a newborn. This is so painful. I miss my newborn Henry so badly. It hurts, makes my chest cave in, to think that I will never hold my newborn Henry again.

He doesn’t exist.

My newborn Henry doesn’t exist any more.

I can’t think of anything more awful than that. I mourn for my son. He’s gone; the little curled frog legs, the long wispy brown hair, the twitchy breathing and high-pitched sleep squeaks. I wish I took more video. But it’s just not the same.

I console myself knowing that newborn Henry has grown into infant Henry, and infant Henry is the most beautiful, bright, happy, funny boy in the history of children. He’s amazing. He’s perfect. He’s a shining star, radiating joy and love.

And when he doesn’t exist any more, I’ll have toddler Henry to keep me busy. And then little boy Henry, and older boy Henry, preteen Henry, teen Henry, young adult Henry, adult Henry and beyond — all wonderful people I look forward to meeting.

… If I can just try to let go of his past selves.

Chasing the train

Parenting feels like a train I just can’t catch. The familiar scene where the hero races up on his horse and stre-e-e-etches out for the railing on the caboose to grab hold and triumphantly board the train. It’s going so fast, cacti whooshing by in the background scenery, hearts pounding, blood rushing, the horse’s hooves pounding as its mane whips in the wind and its muscles strain to go faster, then even faster – but that moment of triumph and relief where you hop on and can breathe for a split-second before saving the day just never comes for me.

Chasing the train

That second I think I’m finally up to speed and am reaching for the train, it speeds up again and eludes my outstretched fingers, again and again. Times I try to swerve and head it off at the pass, it takes a different direction, or just races by before I can grab hold. It’s impossible to stay ahead of, and impossible to catch. I just keep running.

But, you know… I get tired.

Henry will be six months old on Friday.

Suddenly he can sit up on his own, kind of. We should probably start to give him foods to try. He can wriggle around and end up feet away from where you put him down. He reaches for things he wants and grunts and pouts if he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t want to cuddle as often as he wants to stand. He picks things up off the floor. I haven’t seen it for sure yet myself, but babysitters swear he’s mimicking their sounds and facial expressions. He’s getting a tooth. He’s just so much more alert.

I feel like I missed something. Maybe I had my nose glued to my iPhone or sometime during my workday while he was with a sitter, he grew right up. It feels like I’ve missed weeks of development. Months, even. He’s not the same baby I knew.

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Sitting up already

I mean, he is. He smiles when he catches your eye. He loves getting his neck gobbled or legs nibbled (I’ve decided to call it “monstering”). He holds onto my necklaces or my ponytail. He tickles my side while he’s nursing. But there’s something new every day. I was shocked when I went to carefully prop him up in a sitting position on Saturday and he held it for so much longer than I expected. When did he learn that? Where was I? Have I been ignoring him?

He’s growing and learning so quickly. He’s a new baby every day. Before I know it, he’ll be a boy and not a baby. And then a man and not a boy. The train’s going faster and faster and faster. I’m never gonna catch this thing.

While I thought I was doing a good job of cherishing the moment, instead it passed me by. He’s so big already. Not a floppy baby any more. I’m not ready for this.

Not that it matters. The train rushes on.

And here we go. I thought he was down for a nap, but he’s up and noisy. Still haven’t caught my breath.

…But I’ve gotta keep running.

Down on Skid Row

As I read yet another post on Facebook about abortion laws, the thought occurs to me again. I try to enjoy the moment. Live in right now, where everything is lovely, people he knows are bursting with love for him and the only pain he feels is from gas bubbles. But with every news story, there’s that thought.

How do I tell my son about war? About hunger? Rape? How do I tell him about school shootings, about horrible deaths, about people forced to do unspeakable things? And never mind that… How do I tell him about heartbreak, and bullies, and disappointment? What about climate change, landfills and extinct species?

I don’t want to. Myself, at the ripe age of 30 – Even I don’t want to know about it. I stick my head in the sand more often than not. I avoid the news, most of the time. I don’t like to acknowledge that these things exist.

My theory is that if I allow myself to truly realize how awful things are, I’ll probably sink into a depression I’d never get out of, crawling into bed and never getting up ever again. So I just refocus. I narrow my scope and look at the things that I can change on my own. I try to live greener and strive toward a cruelty-free and ethical lifestyle. I try to be active in my community, to feel connected and to create and encourage positivism. With Advokate, I feel like I’m helping the little guy by facilitating success for small business. It’s what I can do, and it makes me able to deal with living in a world alongside the bad stuff.

Feed me, Seymour…

I remember being very young, under the age of five because my memory of this contemplation takes place in the living room of my old house – and thinking, no. Awful sicknesses and death can’t happen. It can’t exist. It’s not real. Monsters under the bed aren’t real… so this can’t be, either. My parents wouldn’t let that happen. God wouldn’t let that happen.

Not to good people.

I have never seen the end of Little Shop of Horrors because I am so upset by the fact that the plant eats an innocent person. Another memory from before I was five, and I’ve tried to watch the movie several times since, each with the same refusal to finish it after that point.

I don’t like thinking that bad things happen for no good reason.

And I don’t know how to tell my son that.

Luckily, I don’t have to, for now. I can just look in his eyes and enjoy his innocence. And take some solace in knowing that I will raise him to be one of the good guys.

Come here/Go away

Henry is bundled up next to me on the couch. He’s looking at me and sucking his pacifier. I know he’s sleepy because he’s been dozing on and off since 7. It’s 8:30 now and we usually put him to bed at 9. And this is one of so many examples of my holding two opposites in my head.

photo-2
Henry, now.

Am I ignoring him by typing this, or am I being a good mom for writing things down for him later in a moment while he’s mellow? Both.

Do I want him to be asleep so I can have a moment to myself, or do I want to treasure every waking moment of his life? Both.

I was thinking earlier about how I can’t wait to see what his face looks like when he is older, or to know what questions he’ll have about the world, or what philosophies he’ll invent or adopt, or what his little-boy laugh will sound like. But I also can’t bear to think of him not needing me any longer – to feed him, hold him upright, walk his little legs around, explain what things are, entertain him.

My dad used to goof around with us saying, “Come here! Go away! Come here! Go away!” It was hilarious. That’s what I’m feeling now, though.

When somebody else is holding him, I want nothing more than to be holding him myself. When I’m holding him, my back aches after a few minutes and I want nothing more than to hand him off to someone and have my hands (and time) free.

When I’m working, I feel bad that I’m not with Henry. When I’m with Henry, I feel bad that I’m not working.

When he’s not making noises or engaging with me, I want to get him talking and looking in my eyes and I’ll make noises to try and catch his attention. And right now he’s talking to the ceiling fan and I’m on the laptop.

Poor kid, with all these mixed messages. I’m wondering if this is always going to be there, though. The bittersweetness of momming. Always fighting with itself.

Deliberately, with love

A friend posted on Facebook asking what her friends did today to make the world a better place. I wrote: “Made Christmas cookies with my family. Raising Henry to be a loving, empathetic, soulful creature who is secure, generous, kind, confident and self-reliant is my project right now. A boy who will love, not hate; lead, not follow; and teach others to do the same. A chain letter of empathy.”

I haven’t been good about writing here. I don’t know what I planned to use austinavon.com for, and I’ve mused about it developing into a “mommy blog” or even just my thoughts about Henry, hopes and dreams, etc. Photos to share with family. But Facebook seems to fill the purpose more often than not.

But anyway, answering that question made me want to write more about it. About my purpose as a mother.

I don’t blame mothers for things their children do. I know that I have great parents and was a shithead in high school, through no fault of theirs. But being a mom, I feel like I have a chance at making the world a better place in a chain-letter kind of way. Not only through my own actions, but in the way I raise my son.

During our trip to Albany for a nuchal translucency screening, when we found out at 12 weeks that we were having a son, the first thing to loudly clang in my head was the last line of Andrea Gibson’s slam poem Blue Blanket, which is a jarring, raw poem about rape:

Hold your kids tight.
Hold your kids tight.

she’s not asking what you’re gonna tell your daughter
she asking what
you’re gonna teach

your SON

What am I gonna teach my son?

That we’re all just people, with blood and bones and guts. We all have feelings, parents, things we love, things we’ve lost, triggers that make us happy and sad. No matter what we look like or how we come across, we have a lot in common. It spans not only color lines and gender differences and sexual orientations, but city vs. country folk, people from other countries, workers vs. customers, people who are bitchy to you – everybody.

And so we treat one another with empathy and respect. As we would like to be treated. Across any organized religion, the golden rule is king for a reason. It’s not only the right thing to do to put yourself in another’s shoes; it’s the way you’ll understand the world, and the way you’ll get by in it better.

Treat people with respect because you understand them, because you have tried to visualize and feel for yourself what it’s like to be them and why they do or say things.

I’ll admit that I still snap sometimes; that I bang my head against the wall trying to figure out what the hell someone is thinking and why they’d say such-and-such a thing to me. I’m not a perfect saint who always turns the other cheek.

But deeper, when I think it through, underlying everything I do, I’m trying to see it all from another’s perspective.

We were all this loved
We were all this loved

And I want to pass that on. I think we’d all be okay if we did, too. It’s near impossible to just be mellow and peaceful all the time, but if we aim to make it a constant practice of realizing we are all wearing the same skin, with the same hearts pounding beneath, seeing one another as mirror images of ourselves (“maybe we’re all tomatoes“) then less bad things would happen.

I’ve had this clarity, being a mom myself now, about all of humanity. Everyone who is alive right now had someone who cared about them enough to make sure they’re here now. To feed them, buy them clothes, wake them up in the morning to go to school. Even if it was the bare minimum and they had horrible parents, even just the basics takes a giant act of love and sacrifice. It makes me realize that we are all loved, or were as children, at least. And that doesn’t really go away over time, does it? No matter who you are, if you are alive, somebody has loved you and taken care of you.

Anyway, it was really important to me to make sure that Henry and I bonded immediately after birth, because I think feeling alone is what makes bad things happen. When people can’t recognize that we’re all just doing our best and trying to get by. When they think of everyone else as “other” or feel like they themselves are “other”. Instead of as one.

And if we open our arms to hold one another and also trust that there are open arms out there when we need them, we’ll realize that we aren’t alone.

We have each other.

Guts

So this isn’t a happy-mushy thing to talk about, but it’s kind of all-consuming for me right now. Baby is breech.

When the ultrasound tech told us that at 32 weeks, I thought eh, so what. We have time. But the OBGYNs said weeeell, you might want to think about trying to get him to flip because otherwise it’s a C-section. So I tried stuff.

  • Acupuncture.
  • Inversions (standing on my head, both forward-facing/bum-up and with pillows under my hips).
  • Hypnosis.
  • Moxibustion.
  • Writing to baby.
  • Deep relaxation and breathing.
  • Music and light at the bottom of my belly.
  • Ice packs on his head.

When he was still breech at 36 weeks, we decided to try more stuff. All of the above, plus:

  • The chiropractic Webster Technique.
  • A different acupuncturist (one recommended by a client of mine for women’s health issues specifically).
  • Crawling around on the floor.
  • Bouncing and rocking on the exercise ball.
  • Rebozo sifting.

I talked to one of the OBGYN doctors yesterday about a procedure called external cephalic version, which basically means you push the baby around from the outside. She says in most cases it’s got a 50% chance of working, but in my case because I’m a first time mom and because he’s been breech this whole time it’s more like a 30% chance of working. She says the risks are pretty rare and that she hardly ever sees anything go wrong. Worst case, it just doesn’t work. The internet says otherwise… some message boards even have posts from people who said it was painful, sent them into labor, they had an emergency C-section and their baby died. Of course, there are also posts saying it took 5 minutes and didn’t hurt and the baby turned and they had a happy natural birth.

I hate the idea of going against what’s natural and muscling the kid around. It’s supposed to be a nice safe place in there. Once when I tried to scootch him over with my hand, I felt him make frantic wiggling like a cat being put into a cat carrier. And if the cord is around him and that’s why he’s breech, that’s no good. But this doc said they can pretty much tell if it’s going to work or not, and that it doesn’t hurt or bug the baby. And as much as I hate the idea of messing with him, I hate the idea of a C-section even more.

So five minutes ago I called to schedule the external version for next Friday, August 10. The office said I can always back out, and if at any time I say stop, they’ll stop.

While I had the doc on the phone last night, I asked her about C-sections. And this is probably an area where it’s better not to know. But I asked all the questions and I got all the answers. And I. Am. Horrified. I ought to keep this to myself, maybe? Lots of people have had them and are fine. My running around flailing about it isn’t going to make anyone else feel awesome about their C-section.

And I asked for happy C-section stories on Facebook and have heard plenty of them. This is probably the only thing that makes me feel better.

I don’t mean to be ungrateful for folks trying to remind me to look on the bright side, but while I’m making lists, here are some things that don’t make me feel better:

  • Being reminded that I get a baby at the end of it (BUT I HAVE TO GET GUTTED!!!)
  • Being told this is routine and happens all the time (BUT I HAVE TO GET GUTTED!!!)
  • Being told at least I don’t have to go through labor and a vaginal delivery (BUT I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO IT! I PAID FOR A HYPNOBIRTHING CLASS TO MAKE ME EXCITED ABOUT IT! I’VE BEEN PRACTICING!)
  • In the olden days I might have died (AWESOME, I’M GETTING SLICED UP BUT AT LEAST I’M NOT DEAD)
  • It’s no big deal (IT IS TO ME! I LIKE MY GUTS INSIDE)

Images that flash through my head when I think of a C-section include:

  • The scene in Scream where Drew Barrymore’s boyfriend is tied to a lawn chair and disemboweled.
  • Magicians’ assistants being cut in half.
  • The end of Braveheart where Mel Gibson is publicly disemboweled.
  • The end of the Bjork movie Dancer in the Dark where she is on death row and walking down the hallway to be hanged (the song 107 Steps). There’s no way out.
  • This artwork, that I came across a good 7-8 years ago.

Things I do not like about a C-section:

  • Being cut open.
  • That if it’s an emergency (if I go into labor before the planned C-section which would likely be August 22) I am not guaranteed a doctor I have met before.
  • That they take your uterus OUT. OUT!!! OUT OF YOUR BODY! To stitch it up and put it back. OH MY GOOOODDDD I can’t believe they really do this. Want to barf.
  • That sometimes your bowels pop out and they put them back inside because it’s not really good for them to come out. AAAAGGHHHH
  • It’s not the natural way our bodies are built to have babies.
  • Missing out on labor and childbirth. Seriously. I’ve been looking forward to it. I saw a movie that said your body releases this awesome cocktail of bonding hormones during the birthing for both you and the baby. Like a crazy babygasm. With confetti and cheering.
  • That I’ve been listening to birth affirmations (“I trust my body. My body was made for this and knows exactly what to do. I am looking forward to a calm, easy labor.”) and this is totally not in line.
  • This is huge: That you can’t hold your baby and breastfeed right away. While you’re getting stitched up and put back together for 45 minutes to an hour, baby goes on a warmer. Though they do let Daddy hold the baby. But I insisted on a moment with Cory alone right away after the wedding, and a honeymoon right away to seal the deal because of the psychology stuff I read about babies being taken from their mommies and how that bonding process right after something major is sooo important.
  • Medicine going INTO MY SPINE. I was aiming for a natural childbirth and labor. This is gross.
  • Catheter. Yuck.
  • THEY TIE YOU DOWN! Wrist restraints. NO! Not good when I’m already feeling powerless.
  • Recovery time. Cory has enough to do anyway. And I am a super whiner. (As you may have noticed.)
  • I don’t get to see baby be born. And he’s not technically born anyway.
  • There are health risks to babies born via C-section.
  • They might nick your guts.
  • Not having a choice in the matter.

Soooo… yeah. At least it’s out of my head now. This stuff is all I’ve been able to think about and I think I needed to write it all out. I apologize to folks who have been through a C-section. I just need to get this all out of my head and into words so I can cope.

Climbing through the branches of the family tree

this is for the grandmother who walked a thousand miles on broken glass
to find that single patch of grass to plant a family tree
where the fruit would grow to laugh
– Andrea Gibson, Say Yes

This weekend I am going to Alfred, New York, with my grandfather Poppy. Mimi and probably my Dad are also coming to help with the driving. Poppy’s going to show me the Homestead; a house built by his great (great?) grandfather Nathaniel Austin and where he spent his summers as a boy. It’s still in the family, but in another branch. We’ll meet cousin Eloise, visit some family graves and see Poppy’s old school.

A few of my family members have expressed their disinterest in all this genealogy stuff. I thought I’d write about why I care.

Mom and Dad uncovering their 25-year-old love letter written in cement at the West Bridgewater house
Mom and Dad uncovering their 25-year-old love letter written in cement at the West Bridgewater house

To start at the beginning, I’ll tell you that I wrote my name on the inside of my closet doors at my parents’ house when I was a kid. It didn’t occur to me at the time that closet doors can be replaced. I didn’t want whoever lived in the house after me to never know that I existed and that I had lived there. It was something I did very young, and wished I did in our old house before we moved when I was five. My parents wrote their names on a cement block out in the backyard of that old house, though, and maybe I thought that was enough. We went and uncovered it from beneath overgrown bushes before they finally sold it in 2008.

“But what does that mean–‘ephemeral’?” repeated the little prince, who never in his life had let go of a question, once he had asked it.
“It means, ‘which is in danger of speedy disappearance.'”
“Is my flower in danger of speedy disappearance?”
“Certainly it is.”
“My flower is ephemeral,” the little prince said to himself, “and she has only four thorns to defend herself against the world. And I have left her on my planet, all alone!”
– Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I remember thinking as an elementary school-age kid I wanted to carve my name into rocks; to send time capsules out into space; to do something extremely horrible or extremely great to go down in history books.

Le Petit Prince and his flower
Le Petit Prince and his flower

My point is that I was never okay with the fact that life is ephemeral and that I might be forgotten about in a few generations’ time. In high school I bought aephemera.netand still own it (and the username “aephemera” in a million different places) to this day, more than 10 years later.

It’s always been something that bothers me. So it has been a long time that I’ve been aware that life is fleeting.

Certainly your friends and family will remember you after you’re gone. But likely only for a generation or maybe two or three if you’re lucky. Then you might just be a photo that’s found somewhere; maybe a recipe or a jumbled version of a funny story – a name on a genealogy project at your great-grandchild’s elementary school, and nothing more. Your whole life, just reduced to that. What I actually remember about my great-grandparents or even my grandparents’ childhood is limited and blurry. When I try to retell the stories, they swim together in my brain and it comes out like “My grandfather’s parents owned some kind of… well, a… It wasn’t like an inn, but it was a place where people stayed. I think the people who stayed there were ex-alcoholics and it had something to do with their religion why they were there. And his dad was really into the garden and helping these people out.” I’ve got crummy recall. This was a person’s whole life, and that’s all that’s left to pass to future generations!?

It doesn’t sit well with me.

So I’ve been trying to iron it out and nail it down and to get my parents and grandparents and Cory’s parents to write this all down so it’s not completely fudgy for my kids and great-grandkids and great-great-grandkids and so on. So it’s not just completely lost or garbled.

Excerpt from Lois Wyse's "Funny, You Don't Look Like A Grandmother"
Excerpt from Lois Wyse's "Funny, You Don't Look Like A Grandmother"

There are generations upon generations of my ancestors that lived their lives so that they could offer something better to their children, as in the Andrea Gibson poem I quoted at the top of this post. I want to honor them with more than just that better life for myself. I want to pass along some recognition of them. Not only their legacy and sacrifices made flesh, but their story as well. Not because I’m so into old stories, necessarily. But because it’s my duty if I want my children and my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren to make sure I’m not forgotten, either. There’s more to pass along than just my own generation’s story.

This is bigger than me, too. There is so much to be learned about the past (and not just the boring stuff you cram in your brain in high school) that has already been done, studied and recorded. I think that my generation and the future generations sometimes reinvent the wheel. I realize that there’s some of that to be done anyway; that we need to learn from our own experiences. But how much further along would we be if our children and grandchildren could instantly upload our entire lives of learning into their brains and start from that launching pad into a whole new lifetime of learning rather than starting from square one?

Internet meme that's been bouncing around
Internet meme that's been bouncing around

Of course, when my mom tried to show me her poems from the tough times she went through in her teens and early twenties I wanted nothing to do with it, saying I’m sorry she had a rough go of it but it was nothing like my own personal misery. Which is and isn’t true. So why am I saving mine for my children? I guess I have hopes that my kids will somehow realize that we have gone through all this before, and hopefully so they won’t have to. That they can take the things that their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so on have already gone through and avoid that path on their way to even more glorious things.

And I know that the success I have is a result of my ancestors caring about their offspring and the future generations. Why else did they come to America, in some cases alone and young and at great risks with only $15 in their pocket? Why else did they work so hard at their many jobs? Why else did they raise families? Why do I work hard at my jobs? Why do I care about the future and try to make the world a better place?

I can only think that it was to offer their children and future generations a better life than they had. I owe them for that. I can at the very least learn about who they were as a thanks for the upper-middle-class upbringing and great childhood I had, and try to pass that to my children too. Nobody else is going to do it.

Bumps in the night

Last night Cory and I saw the baby move for the first time. Earlier in the day, Grandma Avon felt him kick for the first time. Seeing him move was crazy. Like in the cartoons where somebody’s banging on the door and the whole door moves THUD THUD THUD. It was wild. Sometimes I go about my day and forget (forget the way that on your birthday you might forget it’s your birthday for five seconds and then remember and go YAYYY) – though I’ve had that epiphany ten zillion times, every time I go, “Oh yeah, there’s a PERSON in there” it blows my mind.

And not just a person, but my kid who is going to give me stories to tell people. My kid who is going to be what my life revolves around. My kid who is going to make me a mommy. My kid who’s going to hopefully graduate from high school someday. My kid who’s hopefully going to get married someday. He’ll yell at me and tell me he hates me and he’ll pick me flowers and make me Mother’s Day gifts. That guy – that kid – that’s in there making thunks right now. It’s so bizarre.

My sister quit smoking yesterday and I’m really glad about it. I quit in 2005 and have been begging my family to give it up ever since. But it’s an individual decision that you have to make yourself. People pushing you into it doesn’t make it work. I’m really happy she got there on her own and I’m going to do everything I can to support her in it. It’s such a big gift to yourself and to everyone around you. I just wish my parents would get there. But I know I can’t make it happen for them – that has to happen on its own. But I really don’t want Baby A-A around it.

Today I’m feeling tired and weird. I think the phenomena they call Baby Brain is starting to get to me. It scares me. I have a lot of work to do and I worry about slowing down. But I guess that if I need to slow down, I will. It will happen whether I like it or not. There’s something a little comforting in knowing that things will take care of themselves and it’s not my job to take care of that stuff, but it’s also terrifying that my body turns into my boss and dictates everything. I thought I was the boss!

Mr. Peanut is squirming up a storm right now. Thump! Bump! Bonk!

Best Friends

This has been a fun ride so far.  Nothing makes a person reminisce and appreciate the past more than a significant future change.  Kate and I have had a good past.  We’ve had a lot of fun and have made many great memories.  We make each other laugh, we make each other happy.  We are loved.  She’s my best bud and I sure do like her!  We pick and pull and bother each other sometimes, but it’s okay.  At the end of the day, we’re very happy with our story.  There’s nobody else I’d rather say ‘I love you’ to first thing in the morning and last thing at night. 

Last night, I was telling baby our ‘How We Met’ story.  And, when you condense it into a storybook, “Once upon a time…’ version, it’s a pretty nice little story.  The best part… it doesn’t end.  There was no ending to the story and there are going to be many more beginnings and firsts.  Having this baby is exciting.  We are venturing on what will be, at this point, the best part of the story, the most exciting, life-changing part.  I had a dream recently where my dad said to me, something along the lines of, “Friends are great and important, but spending time with family, with your children is the most satisfying for the soul.”  I find that to be more true now than I ever have.  I can’t wait to hang out with our baby.   

I am lucky to have so many best friends.  Kate, Bob, Nancy, Andrew, Ken, Teri, Erika, Mimi, Poppy, Nonnie… and all my aunts, uncles, and cousins.