- They say (those who research such things) that it takes twenty-one days to make a habit. If this is right, J and I are now in the habit of parenting Bram. And there may be something to this, as I feel like we’re finding our stride as a family. Learning each other. Learning ourselves in these new roles. What a life changing three weeks it has been. Also, this just in: we have a three-week-old son!
- I started teaching again on Tuesday night. I cried all the way to campus. Then I got over myself. I’d love to take a few years off with this boy, but I can’t. And, I mean, you can’t really have everything you want. What I do have is a super flexible schedule and a job that – when I have to be out of the house – is so all-consuming that it’s hard to think about anything else. I always thought I’d raise at least one child I gave birth to. I always thought I’d stay at home for a period of time. But when those were my dreams, I didn’t have this: a rock solid marriage, a son I adore, and a job that I’m good at, that I make a difference in doing. I am one of the lucky ones. This is better than my life would have been if all my first dreams had come true.
- Your comments on our birth story meant a lot. It should have felt (maybe?) strange to send such intimate details out there to be read by strangers, but you don’t feel like strangers. You feel like our people.
- Bram took his first tub bath last night. J got in with him and nursed him throughout, and he LOVED it. We seem to prefer our baby a bit on the unclean side, but it was fun to wash all his bits a bit more officially than one can do with a wet washrag on the changing table. I think we’ll try it again.
- We also started introducing a bottle (of breast milk) yesterday, which was a great success. J is an AMAZING breastfeeding mom, but she’s been feeling a little oppressed by the ever-present necessities of the breast-feeding relationship. I think the occasional bottle will give her just the break she needs, and it was a joy to feed my son for the first time. I cried. Oh, the hormones. If you drive by, you can probably see a cloud of them hanging around our cottage.
- We took our first real outing today: running a few errands on my campus (J and B stayed in the car) and heading to our favorite lunch spot with B’s Aunt Adrienne. It was lovely to see the sunshine together. To see our little town as a family of three. A glimpse of the sweetness to come.
- I’ve thought a lot lately about a phrase Gail used in a post over a First Time Second Time. The phrase – “tilting at windmills” – comes when Gail discusses Lyn’s initial reaction to non-gestational parenthood, “how invisible she felt, how afraid she was for the future, cherishing the process of becoming a mother but feeling left out of it. We talked and talked, because, frankly, that’s what we do. Sometimes I heard her. Sometimes I thought she was tilting at windmills (she wasn’t).” This is the part I love: Sometimes I thought she was tilting at windmills (she wasn’t). I sense that people think I’m doing this. Not so much (though sometimes) J, but some of our friends and family. I think there’s a subtly with which NGPs are left out that’s just invisible if you’ve never been one. Some judgment about how often I’m holding him in our professional photos. A preference for photos with only the two of them. The occasional narrative that (accidentally?) leaves me out, that almost makes it look like J is a single parent. An emphasis on their shared looks (which: boy does our boy favor his mum; it is BEAUTIFUL to see, though threatening). Is it just my insecurity that makes me notice this?
- Things I simply love: Bram’s breath, and the smell of his head. How quiet and sweet he in the morning, and how we share this. How he prefers a cool room to a warm one (my winter boy). Listening to J and B together in the next room. Folding stacks of clean diapers and putting them away again. All of his hand-me-down clothes, and picturing the other kids who wore them. How his big ears get caught on his clothes when I change him. How much eye contact he’s starting to give us. How he loves my singing even though it’s always off-key. Every single second of quiet wakefulness. The new intimacy of co-parenting with J.
- Things I’m looking forward to: Our CSA starting up again. Asparagus season. Taking the boy to this wedding in July (Bram’s Aunt Laura is getting married!). Seeing our nearest Great Lake with him in the spring. Regular outside walks together as soon as it warms up a bit. Traveling back to Charleston in August: B’s first ocean-sighting, peninsula walks, time with our great, great friends there, a visit with his Grandmom Sarah. Heading up to Aunt Kippie’s city for mama’s favorite vegetarian sandwich this side of the U.S./Canadian border. Bram’s first Art Hop. A movie date with my wife in the spring. His first (intentional) smile.
- Oh, and here’s a slideshow of Bram’s newborn photos. Have we mentioned how much we adore our sweet and talented photographer?