Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Beware, sappiness ahead!

I really should be sleeping, as tomorrow is a work day, but I decided to steal a few minutes to chronicle the latest in the world of M.

He is so active and mobile lately that it's a little frightening. Yesterday J was sitting on the couch and M was sitting perpendicular to him. M reached over, grabbed J's shirt and pulled himself up to standing.

Tonight he was sitting on my lap facing me when he spotted my glass on the windowsill. He leaned forward and grabbed onto me to pull himself up. Then he literally started climbing up me toward the glass.

Last week he started doing a new thing in his exersaucer. Previously, when he was excited he'd bounce with both feet. As of last week, he started doing this bouncy running in place, where he alternates his feet. C calls it the "Forrest Baryshnikov" due to the delicate running on his tippy toes.

He's at a very tactile stage, where he wants to touch and grab everything within reach. If he is successful, it immediately goes into his mouth. He especially likes to grab cell phones, remotes, and glasses from people's faces.

On Sunday we went to C's birthday party. (Happy Birthday Mama! I love you more than words can say!) Being the adorable monkey that he is, M was the star of the day. Everyone remarked on how cute and good natured he was.

I realized today that I took for granted that he'd be well behaved. He just has such a sweet disposition that I didn't even consider that he might be fussy.

Every day I get to see him grow and learn a little more. At the same time, he's still the same baby I held in my arms for the first time. He's sweet and observant, social and engaged.

I feel so blessed to be his mother. I love him with a depth and fierceness I couldn't have imagined.

He's also made me love J in a new way. I always new J would be an amazing dad, but seeing is is better than I thought it would be. It's like M has unlocked this part of him that was there all the time, just waiting to shine. When I see my guys together, laughing, my heart expands to a point where I think I could burst.

M is the piece that was always there between us, just waiting for the right time to come into our lives. I carry his heart with me; I carry it in my heart.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Smit List #3

Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society...Smit List #3!

So, a little bit of background before we get to the juicy meaty center of this blog sandwich...I am not an overly social person. I'm certainly not anti-social; I've just always been the type of person who has a smaller tight knit group of friends. This used to work well for me. (Did you pick up on the keyword in that sentence?)

Now, I have a few good friends at work that I don't see in a social capacity. I have a few good friends outside of work that I see sometimes, depending on the demands of life.

That being the case, when an opportunity to meet like minded individuals presents itself, I jump. The newest entry to the Smit List is the brand spankin' new Dooce Community.

Heather and Jon, the witty wizards behind blurbodoocery, have created a new community site for Heather's readers to get to know each other better. The questions and conversations happening over there are funny, thought provoking, and genuinely interesting.

It's just a hair less addictive than crack. Allegedly.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Simple Thank You...

My dad came to visit this weekend and met M for the first time. He has joined the ranks of the smitten grandparents, wrapped around M's finger. My brother Trex also made it up for part of the weekend. Like C said in her last blog, having family together in the same room is priceless.

My dad spent 20 years in service to his country before retiring. Growing up an Army brat had its challenges; I started kindergarten in New Jersey, spent the middle of the school year in Connecticut, and finished the year out in Georgia. When you also factor in an AM kindergarten, a PM kindergarten, and an all day kindergarten it's no wonder I came out of it shy and slightly confused.

At the same time, I have had opportunities that many people haven't. For example, how many people get to have the childhood trauma of seeing an overweight and stark nude German couple relaxing in a sauna? Ok, so maybe that's not the best example. But I have been to Mozart's birthplace and, dork that I am, that's pretty awesome.

People come to lives of service for many different reasons. We probably don't think about why very often. On Veteran's Day I'd like to say to all those who have served and are currently serving: Thank you, whatever your reason.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Time and Distance

Until about 50 years ago, families primarily lived within close proximity to each other. Typically, children grew up in a town and either stayed there or returned after college or time in the service. While this is still the case for some families, for many more they are separated based on job opportunities or retirement or the desire to break out and see something outside of what they have known. This has lead to a vast gulf of time and distance.

Thankfully, the Internet and mobile phone use has made communication and connection easier than it once was. We can pick up the phone, use IM, Tweet, Facebook, share photos or videos in real time. All of these technological advancements are fantastic and connect us in ways we could not have thought of in 20 years ago, but they still cannot take the place of face time. Talking, touching, hugging, and laughing together in the same room, the same place.

I try and speak to my grandson, M., on a daily basis. It is great and I look forward to it, but it does not take the place of holding him, watching his face react as I say something or just kissing him on the corner of his mouth to see him react with a smile. Still, I am grateful that he knows his grandmother's voice and appears eager to speak to me as he grabs the phone, or maybe he just wants a convenient item that he can gum.

Social media has opened dialogue, closed gaps, allowed us to converse with people that we might never meet otherwise, but it cannot take the place of time spent in a relationship with people with love. It is a tool, but not the solution. So get in the car, the train, the plane and go. The year is closing out, the holidays are coming and there is no greater gift you can give to your family and yourself. It is how I am spending my birthday and Thanksgiving and there is not a better way to celebrate those occasions. Expect to see pictures of D., M. and I spending time together in a few weeks. Send us yours! Celebrate those you love!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Smit List, the Second

Ok, I know I haven't updated in a while. I've been working 50+ hours a week lately, and I've spent the free time I have with M. I know, it's selfish of me. I should be writing about M for you all. Forgive me interwebs?

I have been thinking about this blog for some time, and wanting to update for this very reason.

The second item on my Smit List is Maurice Sendak.

I recently read an article on CNN.com where Mr. Sendak was interviewed about the movie version of "Where The Wild Things Are". When asked what he would say to the parents who felt the movie was too scary, Mr. Sendak replied, "I'd tell them to go to hell."

My gut reaction was total endearment. I suppose that's the artist in me, loving the defense of the arts. He rationalized that life IS scary, and we're not doing our children any favors by shielding them from it.

I think what I appreciated most about this was putting the responsibility back on the parents. The movie is rated PG. Perhaps that should have been a clue that it may not be appropriate for your 4 year old. M is only 5 months old, but when the time comes for him to watch television shows or movies, you can be sure that I'll be screening them first. I'm his mother. That's my JOB.