Archives for June 2010

Happy Birthday

Even though the official day of your birth is not for another 2 days, we celebrated your birthdays today because it was Sunday and we had family come over for Lasagna and cake. (You know… the traditional low-calorie birthday meal). Mama’s family has a “unique” tradition around birthday singing. The song is sung once regular speed, then again faster, then a third time really fast, followed by an orchestrated clapping and counting thing. I remember when I first saw it for one of Mama’s birthdays many years ago, and I was more than a little confused. In fact, all of Mama’s siblings usually “warned” their dates or significant others about what to expect prior to seeing it for the first time.

In your case, my beloved, it was all a big surprise to the both of you to have so many people singing and clapping. You looked a bit overwhelmed. Anna, we were afraid you were going to cry before it finally ended, but you stuck it out just fine.

Grandma and Grandpa got you each a toy and we let you try to open the packages yourselves. You both loved the packaging… as something to chew on. Anna, you in particular were right at home after chewing on so many books already. We also gave you each a tiny piece of chocolate cake — about one baby-handful. Anna, you made that funny face you do with any new food, but ate yours just fine. Lucas, you put it in your mouth and tried to spit it back out, but it stuck to your tongue and you eventually ate it all too.

I remember as a child that birthdays were always a big deal. Not so much for the cake or gifts, as much as I remember it being somehow really significant to be getting a YEAR older on that day. Never mind that we all get older every day, because on the birthday, that’s when it all counts. Well, except when you are really little, when you get to count half-years as well.

Then, at some point, I think it was in my 20’s, the years really just stopped being significant. 30 was supposed to be a big deal, but I blew past that one too. My mother, on the other hand, celebrated her 30’th birthday for upwards of 5 years as I recall. Year after year, she kept saying that she was 30, and I never really knew why.

Well, my beloved, you two just had your FIRST birthday, and I can finally say that I understand why your grandma was 30 for so long. It’s because as you two get older, it’s an undeniable indicator that WE are getting older too. In my most optimistic and generous view, we are getting wiser and more mature, of course, but let’s face it – we’re all getting old.

Perhaps rather than looking at it as aging, I can focus on what it means to be a multi-dimensional being passing through our three-dimensional world. (Take a look here, starting about 3 minutes into the video)

And in yet another really bizarre twist, here is where I start to appreciate my own mother and grandmother all the more, and doubly so since they are both still living. I appreciate them because as old as your birthday may make me feel, I know that at least I’m not as old as they are! Seriously, though, what it makes me appreciate all the more is the continuity of life. Also, that each and every one of us is responsible for creating as much love and joy during our time on this earth as we possibly can. And you two, my beloved, are the biggest source of love I that I could possibly imagine.

Happy Birthday!

Follow the Leader

Yesterday, Mom was carrying Lucas around in a bjorn/backpack, and eventually took it off. This thing has lots of straps. Anna, you took one strap and started walking all over the living room with this thing in your hand. Then Lucas, you grabbed the other end. At first, we thought you two would end up playing tug-of-war with the thing, but that’s not what happened. Instead, wherever Anna went, you followed her in tow. Anna kept going all over the place, and you kept following. Once in a while, you fell down, and if you were lucky enough to fall ON the strap, then Anna would stop. Well, OK, she wouldn’t really stop, as much as she couldn’t pull anymore until you got back up again, then the process continued.

Mom and I just watched the two of you walk around for maybe 10 minutes, hoping that you end up playing this well with each other as you continue to get older.

Father’s Day

Today is “Father’s day.” We called my dad in Virginia on Skype so the two of you could chat whith grandpa and Sithee. Mama’s Dad is out rock-hunting with a friend today. Personally, I don’t quite understand the sport in that one… I mean, it’s not like the rocks are going to run away. Maybe if they were hunting them on the side of a cliff face it might be a bit more challenging.

Last Friday, you two were at daycare to give Mom a day off and to let her apply for work by getting some resumes out. At daycare, they made “father’s day” cards. On the one hand, the thought was nice… you two are too young to read, write, or make a card, so the staff made them and just put your names on them. On the other, it brought home that you don’t have a father figure here. I found myself simultaneously upset with the cards, yet not really having anything specific that I could point to regarding why. It brought up that as you get older and your peers talk about their dads, that you two won’t have a reference point with your two moms.

Mind you, I know full well that you have two of the most loving and adoring parents one could ask for, and that you are exceptionally well cared for. I also know that kids can be cruel, and I’m wondering what you two might be in for as you get older. Then there’s also the fact that more things become “mainstream” over time, and for all we know you will have multiple peers with non-traditional families. For all we know, it won’t matter one hill of beans. But those cards still managed to bring up all manner of awkwardness for both Mama and me. They sat on the counter since Friday until Mama asked if I wanted to save them. I told her no, and that they were a bit odd. She thought so too, which is why neither one of us touched them since bringing them home.

Dogs on the Playground

We took you both to a local playground at a nearby preschool today. We put you on the slides, let you slide down while we still kept hold of you, and generally had a good time. It occurred to me that with your small size and limited understanding, your whole notion of the world must be that it is HUGE. Even just standing on the edge of a soccer field, I can imagine that the trees on the far side must look like they are farther away than you would ever go on your own.

While we were there, three other people took their dogs and let them run free on the field. We have a dog too, and I can understand wanting the dogs to run, but when one of them started getting closer to the playground, you can bet that my mommy instinct kicked in… those dogs became shaggy mongrels, and so help me, they had best not get any closer to my babies if they knew what was good for them!

In fact, there are any number of things that evoke an innate desire to protect and watch over you.  You two are my babies!  And various stories of mothers doing all manner of crazy things to protect their children all make complete sense to me now.

First Words

It’s hard to really say what your first words are (or were). Sure, you have said “ma ma” several times, but it’s more like “ma ma ma ma ma ma,” and hard to tell if you really understand. However, tonight we were feeding you two at the table while we had dinner, and you each had a Sippy-cup. Lucas, you knocked yours onto the floor, and Anna said “Uh Oh” using the same intonation that I use whenever you drop something.

Also, as the two of you have been walking around more, there are fewer places that the dog can go where she knows you two won’t disturb her. Though it’s not really that you bother her, as much as whenever you get close to her, we make sure she knows you are there, and to be careful not to get stepped on or over. So she moves. After a while, that gets old, so she’s taken to going into another room, or asking to be let through the gates that keep you confined. It makes perfect sense for her as a dog, of course, except that you two are also at the point where you start dropping more Cheerios and whatever else we happen to give you for finger food, and she misses it.