Monday, September 21, 2009

Blessings and a Haircut

Yesterday we had a party to both celebrate Bridger's birthday, as well as a Welcoming Ceremony, formally introducing his god-parents to our collective village. Our friend Chris helped us to create the ceremony, which was really lovely. Her husband did a Native American invocation; there was such great energy present. The late summer sun filtered through our great old oak trees. We closed the circle with a prayer, said by, and for everyone, as we are all children of a larger community:

These children have been given to us and entrusted in our care.
May we know what to give and what to withhold;
When to praise and when to admonish.
Make us gentle, yet firm;
Considerate and watchful.
So be it.

Bridger also got his first hair-cut yesterday, courtesy of Rob's grandmother. He was less than amused. I, while I recognize that he really did need to see, was perhaps not quite psychically ready. He really looks like a little man now. It's very cute, but I miss his shaggy surfer hair. Grandma El called the cut the 'John-John' - JFK Jr. Here are some pix...

My very wise friend C, (of the 'wiley-coyote moment' phrase), told me that she thinks of this first birthday madness as a season, that it's easier to digest that way. I agree. Having such a pinnacle, on the ONE DAY, was really overwhelming. Thinking of the weeks preceding Bridger's birth, the actual amazing day, and the days since as his 'birth season' has made this turn around the sun easier to assimilate. She's a smarty, that one.

So on this eve of an equinox, I feel a little more balanced. I'm so looking forward to fall, crisp air and frost. Ski season is just around the corner. Isabella is truly excited to help Bridger learn to ski this winter, and I am giddy at thought of watching them both revel in the mountains. I am so grateful for my babies, my family - both the family I was born to and the family I have found in my travels.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Birthday Boy

Happy First Birthday Bridger!

When I woke up this morning, I had bits and pieces of a post in my head, reminiscing on the day of his birth, rainbows and sunshine. And I will get to that, but first...

He is certainly a second child. For Isabella's first birthday I baked her an apple pie from scratch, and knit her a hat. Bridger's cake was store-bought, and I FORGOT A FUCKING PRESENT FOR MY SON. I am a shitty mother.

Knowing that this is my last child has made this birthday hard - all of his firsts are my lasts.

All that being said, he did have a lovely day. We went to the beach.

My little surfer boy stood in the cold water, and tried to crawl out to sea.

All four of his grandparents came for cake, and he does love his drum and puppy (a toy one, not a canine).

And, I have nursed this child for a whole year, with no plans to stop anytime soon. I didn't get there with Isabella, and wanted so desperately to. Score for me. Score for him.

Bridger was born on a Monday. The remnants of Hurricane Ike were swirling by, but it was sunny and humid. I had had weeks of prodromal labor, and was thoroughly cooked. The turkey timer had popped for sure.

One day I will write out his birth story in full, but not now. His birth was amazing. Two hours from water breaking to his appearance. He was born at the North Shore Birth Center, in a tub. I remember how surreal I felt during the labor, like I (monkey mind) was looking at my animal self just DOING it. Labor was like being pounded by surf, but the water made it work, not hurt. I lifted my son to my chest, and he gave this tiny cough, and looked at me, and then we climbed out of the water together. Got to go home that afternoon, pure magic.

My sunny boy.

Happy Birthday little B.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Bye Mom! Off she went. To school. For the first time. Wow.

Deep breath. Morning went well, we got to the bus stop on time, Isabella was only a little nervous. I had labeled her lunch box and backpack, as ordered. Very sternly reminded her to be sure she remembered her lunch box. Went to Theo's house, and before 10:30 had a call from the school. Nearly shat myself. She didn't remember if she should take the bus home or not. Love 5. Breathing again, but missing her. Wondering if she was ok, had she traded out all of her lunch yet. Were the other kids nice to her. Was she having fun, or bored.

Made it home from sitting with time to spare, drove down to the bus stop, as we needed to go straight to the Y for ballet. She walks off the bus, big smile - Mommy! My lunch box leaked (all over her pants). She put a full, opened box of chocolate soy milk sideways in the box, as, no doubt, she talked through lunch and didn't finish it in time. This is learning. I ask, sweetie, where is your sweatshirt? thinking it would be in her backpack. Don't you know the one thing I didn't label... was still on the bus. She burst into tears. More learning.

But overall, good day! She has a few friends from pre-k in her class, and a girl she's met at the local playground too. I was left with feeling that sending her to school is more work than having her at home, and more homework for me - the pile of papers (pto fundraisers, waivers etc) to wade through before dinner made me feel sorry for whatever forest got hacked down to print it all. And now we do this all again tomorrow.

I do feel like such a babe in the woods with this school thing. Rob and I are the youngest parents on our street by, oh, a good 10 years. Makes me feel like a freshman at the senior prom, for sure. And I missed her.

She lost her first tooth on Saturday.

Now Isabella is a modern girl. She asked my parents where the toothfairy lives. When they were unable to provide a satisfactory answer, she says 'ok, let's google it, or look it up on wikipedia'. Teh interwebz seems to think (with some Grandpa censoring here) that the toothfairy lives in a castle in the sky, and uses the teeth she collects to do additions on the structure. Ok. The Boxford toothfairy seems to think that 10 bucks a tooth is reasonable - we contracted with her for a 5$ special for the first tooth, and there after a more recession-worthy 1 dollar.

Little man will be a year old in 6 days. Unreal, a year ago there was no longer any space in my body for any sunshine to be blown anywhere. I just wanted to not be pregnant anymore. Amazing what a year does... for all of us.

Such a sun-shiny boy he is. When I'm around. Definitely in the 'stranger anxiety' phase. He's getting ever-closer to walking - tonight he put 3 steps together.

Sometimes I feel like my heart pours out into the outer reaches of my aura. Like the love that these two magical beings has created within me is at once inside every cell, and outside because there is just not enough room. While pregnant with Bridger I worried that I wouldn't love him as much as Isabella, or that there wouldn't be enough for both of them. I'm not sure where the well is, but it never runs dry. It's both serene and terrifying, soothing and painful. But I love it. They are my heart.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Shift in the Seasons

Today was a most perfect beach day, one of the few we've had this summer. And it's September. Yes, I know that it's still summer until the equinox, but really, summer didn't arrive in New England until a few weeks ago. We had a long extended spring, that dwelled into July, and then proceeded to have a monsoon season through most of August.

I feel sometimes like the seasons are shifting - the weather associated with each seems to come much later into that calendar period. As a child, I remember snowfall well before Christmas, and summer weather that began in May. It seems that in the past ten years or so, we don't get winter snows until February, but they last into April, and then spring rains crowd out those perfect beach days until school starts again. Global warming? Weirdness in the earth's axis? I don't know, but it feels, quite literally, like something is wrong in the universe.

So on to the pic (and video!) whoring - of our perfect September beach day.

B always looks like he's surfing...

My little super-model... I mean really, look at the length of those legs!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A new phase

Today Isabella goes to Kindergarten Orientation. My baby girl is in school. I am a little unable to wrap my head around it.

Isabella is a most endearing child. She is classically, stunningly beautiful - her features are those of an old-fashioned doll. But her spirit, her laugh is what is most alluring. She is all at once, sassy, funny, tender, brilliant. Her memory is scarily accurate, and her ability to integrate and analyse information is far beyond her years.

She was the gift I didn't know I had coming. Her arrival changed my life in every way, and has brought me a lasting gratitude to life for not always listening to my plans. What a blessing that God saw fit to allow me to be her mother.