Tuesday, February 16, 2010

and we are led to those who help us most to grow

it appears that joseph is actually going to grow up.

i'm not sure if i really didn't think this was going to happen or if it's just hitting me with more certainty these days.

but he's going to grow up.

what's interesting about the "they grow up so fast" thing is that this is in fact a logical reality. joseph is in fact growing up. fast. nothing else in my life is as short-lived as many of joseph's developmental stages. i mean, a month - tops - he felt like a newborn. now he's seven months old. he has facial expressions. he says "va-va-va-va" with raised eyebrows and eyes squinty. he stands up holding onto the side of the laundry basket. when i rock him, a lot of the time he arches his back and stretches his neck back until i put him in his bed where he falls asleep on his own.

and the time between birth and sleeping most of the day away to needing to be rocked to sleep to doing it better by himself? seven months. seven months.

tonight jeremy put the boy in his fleece dog pajamas and when he brought him out to get me for our bedtime story, prayer, night-night daddy routine, i'm not kidding you, joseph had a look of pride on his face. he smiled in this "mom, look at my pajamas that dad and i got on me all by ourselves" way. i could have cried. in fact, i almost did, but as my eyes were starting to fill up with happy tears, jeremy looked at joseph and said "what's going on?" as in "why is mom starting to cry at the sight of you in your dog pajamas with the patch that says bow-wow and the dog faces on the footies?" so i got a hold of myself.

my friend, ann, reminded me today that the goal of parenting is to raise babies into what will eventually be adults. we want them to grow up. i mean, it would be pretty weird to not want them to grow up. this is what i have to keep in mind when i feel the "no-it's-going-too-fast-what-happened-to-your-newborn-smell" panic creeping in. because yes, joseph did start out with the best smell in the world, and yes, he is going to grow up fast. the point/challenge/please-God-help-me-to is to shepherd him during this growing up. for just a little while will it be up to me to nurture him in this way.

and yet, sweet boy, who is tonight apparently going to disprove my sappy look-at-him-all-grown-up-and-falling-asleep-on-his-own-ness, was making noises from his room and had managed to get himself all turned around in his crib when i went in to check on him right before this paragraph.

so, for now, i suppose he is still a baby. okay, good. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

an excerpt from my reading: suburban nation

"it bears repeating: we shape our cities and then our cities shape us. the choice is ours whether we build subdivisions that debase the human spirit or neighborhoods that nurture sociability and bring out the best in our nature. the techniques for achieving the latter are well known, and available to all who wish to make places worth caring about."