Archive for April, 2009

10 months.

dear jude,

the other day, you turned 10 whole months old. once again, i’m flabbergasted at how quickly time sprints forward anymore. you’ll hear this a lot from me, i think, for the rest of my life. time, as i once knew it, is a hazy memory. i might remember something about seasons and years and predictable change; marks on the proverbial calendar. now? each moment is new and even more fleeting than i ever thought possible. for you, little girl, never stop moving, or growing, or becoming. i feel like i should write you weekly letters, as you are a whole new jude all the time.

the only things that seemed to remain the same this month were the amount of visible teeth and your diaper size. (though, judging by your current drool, fussiness, and lack of appetite, the former is about to change any second now…) the rest of you blossomed like so many new green leaves on all the spring trees. your hair is growing so fast these days; you are fuzzy, blondish-red, with swooping little bangs on your forehead. after baths, we actually use a brush now. because you are a bald baby no longer!

this month, you made your first new friend, a sweet boy named bobby. he’s a little more than 6 months older than you, but you’re a lot bigger than him. his life is one miracle on top of the next, and his sweet mama thinks that your example of constant crawling and cruising is helping him learn to do the same. bobby is a very detail-oriented guy, and he has taught you to pay attention to the intricacies of everything you encounter. i love watching the two of you interact with toys: squinting, breathing heavily, studying how every component fits together.

your mamas have also fallen in love with bobby, which sometimes makes you jealous. you don’t necessarily like to share laps. exhibit a:
jude's new bff, bobby.

despite the moments of jealousy, you and bobby seem to really enjoy each other. you touch each other’s face with great affection, and so far, sharing seems to be going well. good job, you.

let’s see, what else? oh! also of note, you have taken one or two independent steps here and there. you totally have the balance thing down; you only lack confidence now. (mama h and i, meanwhile, lack baby gates. time to remedy that.) you have also taken to imitating the meowing of cats, which is ridiculously adorable. we brag that you are fluent in feline, which is probably true. and in recent days, you have begun blowing kisses, accompanied by an enthusiastic *mwah*, which sounds more like *mmmmma*.

i love your loud little voice.

this month, you got to meet your cousin, carlos, when he was just five days old. he is really cute and tiny. see?

he also has a lot of hair, which you mistook for fur, and so you tried to pet him like a kitty. otherwise, you ignored him, because all he really did was sleep a lot and squawk a little. however, i am confident that the two of you will become fast friends within a matter of months, and i hope you are always close. your aunts and uncles and other cousins are all a lot older than you, and i know how alienating that can feel sometimes. i want nothing more than for you and carlos to know and love each other well. be gentle with him, too. someday, he may be bigger than you.

speaking of cousins, by coincidence, your oldest cousin, alyssa, happened to be in dallas on the same weekend we visited carlos. and so you got to meet her too! she is sixteen years older than you, and you are in so much awe of her coolness. (actually, i am too.) i was 13 when alyssa was born, and was her first babysitter. i won’t go in to how weird it is to see her as an adultish person, but i will say how uncanny it is how much you look like her sometimes. she agreed. and she made a joke about you being her baby. and i said it wasn’t funny. and then we both laughed nervously.


okay, so this letter is becoming a meandering, sentimental mess. sorry about that, love. i’m going to end it now by saying, once again, that you are my heart. and i love you more than you love the cats.


pee ess, as anyone can see by the last photo, your heart belongs to pop pop. that might have something to do with your inherent understanding that you completely own the man. so much so that he and your gabby bought a new house just to be near you. and every time you do something cute, he promises you a pony. i think we’ll need to invest in some land for your pony herd to graze.

(this is your pretend-to-talk-on-the-phone pose.)
cameras make everything better.
heart belongs to pop pop.

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choosing easter.

lately, i have been talking a lot, in therapy, and with h, about the possibility of going to church again. and i have been intensely torn about the idea. on one hand, the natural rhythm of my life has always been found in seasons like advent and lent, and my soul has ached for the spiritual grounding of ritual and reverence again. and community. how i’ve missed belonging to a community that loves and serves one another. on the other hand, however, it was the church that nearly broke me, that sent me to a psychiatric hospital, as i felt my soul split down the middle when i came out.

…reconciliation and healing have not yet come. and so i’ve stayed away. for nearly five years.

it has been my hope (and plan, i suppose) to lick my wounds, rise up more whole, and maybe find my way back to some sort of faith. it has been my reality that, of course, i need to find my way back in order to be more whole. it’s the whole “you need to trust to learn to trust” sort of bullshit truth. dip your toe in the water, my therapist has encouraged. i’ll think about it, i’ve said. week after week, i’ve said it. i’ll think about it.

so. easter. the mother of christian holidays, a day of belief and relief that God is bigger than death.

yesterday morning, h asked me if i wanted to visit an affirming/diverse/kid-friendly episcopal church we’ve been considering for nearly a year. on easter? i asked. maybe next week, i said. she asked why not easter. i waxed ineloquent about having missed the dance of lent, and how weird it would be to simply show up at the grand finale. she saw right through me, and said, well maybe it’s the perfect day to show up again. resurrection. new life, new beginnings, and all that. shit. she was right. i could keep saying “maybe next week” every week, or i could simply go.

and so it came to pass that we put some bloomers and a new dress on a napping jude, and attended an evening easter service. after waking up, j was in a stellar mood, and so very well behaved during the service. when she became distractingly squirmy, we took her to play in the children’s corner of the sanctuary. that’s right folks: this church likes you to keep your noisy kids in the service. and so i got to play with duplos AND participate in the eucharist.

wherever you are in your journey, you are welcome at this table, said the priest as he blessed the bread and wine. i don’t know what i believe to be true about God anymore; i only know the need to participate in the rhythm of the church. and so i carried jude on my hip, walked to the altar, and took my place in a semi-circle of the kneeling and standing faithful. a girl with blond hair and glasses knelt next to me, and tickled jude’s bare feet. jude smiled at her, and then–very uncharacteristically–leaned down to kiss the girl on the mouth. the girl–her name is laura, as i gathered from her sharpie-scrawled name tag–then kissed jude’s hand, and returned to prayer. soon, the priest came and offered me the elements, and blessed jude with the sign of the cross over her forehead. she grabbed his hand silently, and brought it to her cheek, at which point she nestled into it happily. blessing, indeed.

tears sat on my eyelids a lot during that service. it wasn’t that the homily was lifechanging (though it was thoughtful and good), or that epiphany swelled in my heart; i simply felt a little more home in my spiritual skin than i have in a long time. it didn’t hurt that the congregants were all genuinely friendly to all three of us. there was none of that awkward, “let’s greet the new people” awfulness. it was more like meeting friends of your friends at a party. how rare.

as for the overwhelm of easter itself? it is enough to celebrate my own resurrection. everything else will come in time. amen.

…and happy easter.

happy belated easter!

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next stop: walking.

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midwestern fantasy.

so, iowa legalized gay marriage today!

and i had a thought. imagine h and jude and i driving to, oh say, des moines, so h and i can get hitched? our nuptial road trip would take us through such gay-havens as outside-austin texas, oklahoma, kansas, and missouri. a veritable rural rainbow.

if it weren’t april 3rd, i’d feel fooled.

anyone else planning a midwestern fantasy trip?

pee ess: my friend stacy just said, “Corn, corn, corn and MARRIAGE!”

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been a while.

hello there, friends.

so once again it’s been awhile since my last substantive post, and i think it has a lot to do with a lack of momentum. because right now, the waters are still and shiny in my life, and it’s hard to come up with content that goes anywhere beyond, “wow, this is kinda nice”, but let me try:

wow, this is kinda nice.

little j has maintained her kick ass sleeping schedule for nearly a month now. sometimes she is an angry crier when we put her in her crib at night, but even on fussy nights, she usually puts herself to sleep within minutes. and mostly, she falls asleep while nursing, or waves goodnight when she’s awake in her bed. i harp on about this subject because after 8:30 every night, i get to be pretty obligation-free again. no work. no parenting. nothing but a little wine, perhaps some chocolate, and my special lady friend.

nice, right? right.

i like this pace. i am in a comfortable groove at the workplace for the moment, and my stress is minimal. despite the baseball sized hail damage to my car. despite the fire ant infestation of my house. i’m feeling amazingly…content.

the drugs must be working. i am so proud of myself for not languishing in the guilt of depression, for picking myself up and dragging my sad ass to the doctor. i know that i am the one responsible for this season of calm and contentment, and i feel empowered by that.

ladies and gentlemen, hear me now: there is always hope for relief. depression does not have to be constant and permeating. please don’t ever, ever resist help. they don’t call’em happy pills for nothing.

i am convinced that my brain is functioning now as it really should. i feel sober and awake and present. and so ridiculously grateful for every grace-filled moment with this danger baby of mine, who is fast turning into a girl. a girl who takes independent steps. a girl who cradles rubber duckies like baby dolls and coos at them maternally. a girl who grunts loudly for a bite of your steak. a girl whose favorite flavor in the whole world is black coffee (licked off my finger). i love being her mama.


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