As December demands, I've been thinking a lot about this past year. In my life, even years tend to hold the most significant life changes. I was born in an even year, as was my husband and my younger brother. I graduated high school, college, and graduate school in even years. Both times I had pericarditis were even years. I got married in an even year. And - of course - my daughter was born in an even year.
In retrospect, 2009 was really a placeholder of a year. "Waiting" pretty much sums up everything that defined it - waiting for a new job for Michael, for the right time to start a family, for Alice's arrival, for a move to a new apartment, for something to change at my job. And all that waiting paid off in 2010 - Michael has a job that is a much better match for our lives right now, Alice is here, we live in a new, family-friendly apartment, and I've taken on additional responsibilities at work. It was a year when things happened for us, and that's an amazing thing.
What an exciting couple of days we've shared, my sweet girl!
On Christmas Eve, you learned how to crawl!! You've been preparing for this day for about a month now, getting up on your hands and knees, shifting front to back, back to front. And then, all of the sudden, everything clicked - you started crawling! You haven't stopped since, my dearest, skipping nap upon nap upon nap just to keep practicing. Your new skill is a bit terrifying for your daddy and me - life as we know it is basically over now that you're mobile - but we're thrilled for you, sweet baby.
And, to top things off, yesterday was Christmas!! This was only the second time your daddy and I have celebrated here in New York, and we had a lovely time. You woke us up at 7:30, ready to jump out of your crib and play. We opened presents under the tree, gifts wrapped just so you would have some fun tearing apart the paper. You were a little overwhelmed by all the commotion, but we had fun opening bath toys and Christmas books and an Apple TV and a play table. You gave your daddy a subscription to a book-of-the-month club at our favorite bookstore downtown. We Skyped with Grandma LeeLee and Bumpa, showing off your new crawling skills and big Christmas smiles, and then attended mass at the Church of the Ascension. You look too adorable for words, wearing a beautiful red Christmas dress courtesy of Grandma LeeLee. Then we went to celebrate the day with brunch at Aunt Anna & Uncle John's house. We stuffed our faces, opened more gifts, and enjoyed time with our New York family.
By the time we got back to our house, we were all exhausted, darling dear. We spent the rest of the day vegging out in front of the TV, playing with toys and watching you move.
It was a wonderful Christmas, baby girl. Thank you!
So apparently it is December 17th?! How on earth did that happen?
I had big plans for this holiday season. Since it's Alice's first, I dreamed of taking her to see all kinds of lights - the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, the windows on 5th Avenue, the Bronx Zoo all decked out in holiday cheer. And yet here we are, with Christmas just a week away, and we have yet to do much of anything to celebrate the season.
We did manage to decorate our lovely Christmas tree this week. Michael and I have enjoyed some quiet time in front of it, savoring the lights and the peace and the hope that this magical (albeit mysterious) symbol brings. When my brother and I were growing up, our parents would let us spend at least one night on the floor in front of the Christmas tree. We would unearth our otherwise dormant sleeping bags and spend the night getting excited for Santa and all of his goodies - and later, just enjoying the holiday spirit.
There's lots more to say, but it's time to go to bed... There will be Christmas cheer this weekend, and I can't wait to share it with Alice and Michael. And you, my dear blog.
I should go get me some. Alice woke me up for a feeding and a diaper change, but just went back down to sleep. I have about an hour and 17 minutes (but who is counting?) before my alarm goes off to start yet another hectic week.
But I find myself awake and resisting the return to bed. The house is so blissfully quiet, and I'm not-so-seriously considering just putting the water on for tea now and sitting quietly, peacefully in the guest room until the day begins.
Alas, I think sleep will win this time... Goodnight!
As M mentioned, I have been in Atlanta for the past few days, attending a CDC conference. And, as most of you know, my mom is from a small town in Georgia, about 70 miles north of Atlanta.
Today, as I was passing through security in the airport on my way home, I was sandwiched between two very vivid reminders of my mom. In front of me stood an Army cornel dressed in dessert camo. Behind me was a woman with a lovely southern twang. When I overheard this woman say she was "tickled" every time someone looks at her drivers license photo, I was hit with an overwhelming desire to hear from my mom. "Tickled pink" is something my mom likes to say.
And so, before I knew it, I was asking the army cornel if he was, by chance, on his way to Afghanistan. He looked at me kindly and said, no, he hoped not to go there again. I said, "Well, my mamma is there, so I had to ask, just in case you might see her there." Of course I said all this with an appropriate southern twang.
This brief exchange - the southern phrase that my mom loves to say, the humble, human interaction with a soldier - lasted all of 1 minute. But it left me heartened while walking through the Atlanta airport. Because for some reason, I felt like my mom knew I was reaching out for her.
"But when she stepped off the train in New York, her plain little face looked beautiful for a moment, as if the future were opening before her and its glow were already upon her forehead, as if she were eager and proud and ready to meet it..."