Selasa, 31 Juli 2012

Jack is Here!

Dear Scarlett,
On July 27 at 11:09pm, your cousin Jack Theodore was born. I know this for a fact, because I was there, at the foot of the bed, watching him arrive. It was an unbelievable experience to attend a birth, and though my role was so obviously different from the one I played the day you were born, it all felt connected. To have had a baby, and then to watch someone you love have a baby, is like finally hearing the complete version of a great story. I knew what I knew, and now I know more. And it may sound false, but it was much harder to watch your Aunt Lizzie be in pain than it was to go through pain myself. Or maybe it just seems that way because of the distance between me and my own labor.

Jack did not make it easy for Liz. I think this is because he saw very little compelling reason to leave his comfortable existence. He didn't yet know that we were waiting for him, that his room is full of stuffed animals, that he has a dog. These are things worth coming out for. And Liz worked so hard to bring him into the world. When she did, his big eyes were wide open, looking at all of us. He looked just like Uncle Rob, and Dad says that this is so Uncle Rob wouldn't eat him. We can talk about that later.

Jack is now three days old and he is starting to look more like his own person. He has insanely chubby cheeks, dark hair, and--your favorite part--a cord. "Baby Jack has a cord!" you announce multiple times a day. When you first got a glimpse of it, you told us poop was coming out of his belly button. You were amazed that such a thing would be possible, and wanted more than just a quick look. Once we explained what was going on, you were no less amazed, and it has now gone into your file of all things Jack. Other things in the file: "Jack cried and cried." "Jack does not like to be naked." I should mention for posterity that Jack does not cry very much at all, but you were witness to a diaper change that made him angry.

You like to hold Jack and sing to him, and you've been very gentle and loving. When Liz asked you who his mommy was, you went silent with the sheer weirdness of the question. You still think that the creature we called Spud is in Liz's belly. But you do understand that Jack lives with Liz and Rob and Rigby, so it will just be a matter of time before the other pertinent details fall into place. For now, we are all just enjoying the world with Jack in it. It's a happy, happy place.


Sabtu, 07 Juli 2012

You, Lately

Dear Scarlett,
Recently at breakfast, you've been asking me "Mommy, what you are eating, Mommy?" Sometimes later in the day, you say, "Mommy, what you are doing, Mommy?" I'm reading, I'll explain, or I'm making your lunch, or I'm trying to ignore you as you yell at me from 3 rooms away that you NEED an eye pillow while you're taking a nap. You don't use it to cover your eyes, in case you were curious. You just like to hold it.

We started our Italian classes today. For two hours each week, you and Dad and I will drive to North Beach and attend what is basically a preschool class with a small group of other kids and their parents. When the teacher introduced us all, she told the group that I speak a little bit of Italian. This was, how shall I put it...generous. Basically, I know none. But I'm working on it. By the end of class today, I knew the names of many animals, and I also knew how to say Be Careful (Attenta), Be Gentle (Gentile), and Hey, stop kicking that tunnel when other kids are in it (which I said only in English).

After two years of no television for you, Dad and I have relaxed a bit, and you now watch a few short videos a day on YouTube. Your favorites are The Skeleton Dance ("Bones are not scary!" you tell us) and Otter Swim Lesson, which was originally sent to us by Nana and is now an obsession. You like to narrate this one: "The otter doesn't want to go in the water! But Mommy says you have to swim! Then he dries off. Then he has to take a nap. Look, he's peeking out!"

On the actual TV, you and Dad have been checking out some sports: the US Open Golf tournament (which you referred to as "Holes"), the Tour de France (you spent time hunting for the polka dot jersey), and the run-up to this summer's Olympics, which begin in a few weeks.

The other thing that will be happening in the new few weeks is the arrival of your cousin, currently known as Spud. "Spud, come out soon!" you like to say. I think Aunt Shishie agrees with you, but everyone has to just hold their horses until we get back from our vacation next week.

After that, game on. Gentile.

Love, Mom