Monday, September 24, 2012

Dear Charlie: September 19, 2012

Dear Charlie,

This morning, at 5:46 am, your dad and I enjoyed a celebratory breakfast of hot chocolate and cinnamon toast. I put six mini marshmallows in my drink, one for each hour of uninterrupted sleep attained last night.

That's right, my friend. I slept for six whole hours. At one time.

I've shed a few tears since you were born, despairing that I'd never sleep again. At least, not like a normal person. You're still not a consistent night sleeper, but last night, you were.

Unfortunately, we all got so much sleep because you slept in bed with us. It was completely by accident. We don't want to be a "family bed" sort of bunch. It's been important to me from the beginning that you sleep in your own bed, both for safety reasons and for my sanity. But the few nights we've gotten large chunks of uninterrupted sleep have been the nights when we both fall asleep, despite our plans to move you to your bed after nursing.

I've also gotten a lot of sleep, inadvertently, by falling asleep with you while nursing you on the couch in the living room. But it's not quite the same as sleeping in bed.

And our bed is tiny. We share a full size. So. You can't sleep with us for very long.

But I love watching you sleep. I love seeing this tiny amalgam of me and your dad sleeping with his mouth open like his papa. I love the little coos you make, and I love putting my hand on your belly and feeling you breathe in your sleep.

Your mama loves you, little bug.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What my 16-year-old self couldn't have known.

When I was in high school, I found some baby flannel in a bin in our basement. The squares were already cut, just asking to be sewn together into something snuggly. I decided to make a baby blanket.

I worked on this blanket for almost two years. After I sewed it up, layered it, tied it, and bound it, I decided to hand quilt it. Definitely not the recommended order to do these things. But that's how I did it.

Interestingly, during the time I worked on the blanket, my priorities changed. I went through a phase. I had always been a good kid. Like, a really good kid. I got along well with my parents, and adults in general. Polite, motivated, agreeable. Then I changed. There were a lot of catalysts for this change, which can pass unmentioned because they're irrelevant at the moment. Suffice it to say that by the time I started the hand stitching, I really didn't see myself ever having a life that included marriage or children, the temple or any sort of eternal perspective. That life, a life of restriction and small-mindedness as I then thought, did not appeal to me.

I'm glad I got turned around. To my parents' everlasting credit. Look what I wouldn't have now if my 16-year-old self had won out?