Monday, October 14, 2013

Lessons for My Little Man: Let It Be

Happy nearly 19 weeks of existence, my little fella!  You are now the size of a bell pepper, although, by the size of my tummy, one might guess you were closer to the size of a large gourd or small pumpkin!  I must take a moment to thank you for your recent attempts at getting my attention - admittedly, I first thought I was simply having a case of misplaced soda bubbles, but it soon became obvious that either your little fists or your tiny feet were hard at work against the lining of your snug little home.  I don't blame you!  You must have inherited your momma's claustrophobia.  I would be itching for a little more space too in your position.

You know, it's pretty incredible the way that carrying you around has opened my mind and heart to all of the stimuli coming at me from all directions right now.  It's beautiful and poetic but also terrible because not all of it is lovely, and all I want to do is build a wall around little you and keep it all outside.   I want to make you a fortress of iron!  A castle of stone and steel!  But, guess what!  No amount of rock or metal will keep you safe and sound.

My challenge is not to protect you with force...but with peace.

Your favorite band, The Beatles, seemed to have a pretty decent grasp of the human condition - one might not think so should one only be familiar with their earliest work, but like your momma, they seemed to gain a lot of insight once those all too telling 30s rolled around.  Perhaps the greatest advice they had to offer is both the title and defining lyric of their most popular ballad, "Let It Be" which speaks of peace through acceptance that sometimes...searching for an answer is like trying to find your keys.  They inevitably will not show up until you've stopped looking and moved on to something else equally or even more important.

Then you find them in your sock drawer.  Or in the pantry.  Or in the box with the single-serve coffees.

And, sometimes, it's not your keys that have you desperately searching.  More often then not, true understanding is the real precious lost item, and the search for it can be more than just frustrating.  It can tear you to pieces.  Your Aunt Liz tells your mommy all the time that trying to figure out why people and things are the way they are is only beneficial to a point. just have to let go, give up the search and let it be.  I ache already anticipating the day that someone says an unkind word to you...or makes you the butt of a joke...because I know that your impulse will be to figure out what made them say it and why.  I know this because your daddy and I both come wired that way.  Your chances of being easy-going in the grand life lottery are slim.  (although, I'm sending all of my positive energy into that corner!)

Knowing this, I want to share with you that, now and again, the answer...really isn't that important.  What The Beatles were really preaching when they wrote "Let It Be" is the philosophy of Detachment. What that means, sweet boy, is that there are things in life we cannot control, comprehend or give context....all we can do is let them be.  In our house, we live like this: give as often as you can; do good for others as much as possible; be kind even when it is hard; learn from every hardship or mistake.  Daddy and I are not 100% good at following our own set of mantras, but we try very hard, and knowing you are coming makes us try even harder.  Having little ideals like this helps us focus on what is important when things happen that we just can't understand or impact.

That's a lot to take in, Little Man - especially for a being no bigger than a Florida sized avocado, but if you can just remember that sometimes, all the answers don't have to be up to you, I'll feel much better sending you off to school one day where kids can be buddies one day and bullies the next.  You needn't worry anyway because I'll be having one heckuva chat with THEIR mommas if I hear they were mean to you.  Kindly....of course.  ;)

Now...I've put off your dinner long enough.  What's that you say?  Ah!  Pancakes it is.  I like the way you think, Little Man.  And, I love you bigger than all the stars in the sky and fish in the sea.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lessons for My Little Man: To Be Brave

Hello my sweet little boy!

Today, you are the size of a turnip, or so says the weekly email I get from one of the twenty million websites I visit to get information about your impending arrival.  I have learned a lot about you in the past few days!  You seem to like The Beatles which makes your daddy VERY happy!  When I play "Across the Universe" for you, I can feel you settle....listening.  I can't wait to see your sweet face when I play it for you after you arrive.  You don't mind when I jog outside as long as you get something delicious afterward.  I tell you stories about the things we will do as you grow up, and somehow, I know you can hear me.

One of the great benefits and curses of being human is that you come into this world an amalgam of the personality that belongs only to you along with the treasures and demons genetically bestowed upon you by your parents - in your case, Daddy and I.  I hope that you get your daddy's ability to let unhappy things roll off his back.  I hope you maybe like sports a tiny bit less than he does.  I pray that you don't come with my overactive, racing thought patterns and my propensity for self judgment.

However, I do have one very special gift for you - one that I know deep in my heart will be embedded in your tiny little genome.

You will be brave.

Now, it's very, very important to note that to be brave is NOT be to fearless.  In fact, it is quite the opposite!  To be brave is to stand up against fear when it threatens to paralyze you.  Your mommy is very scared of flying on airplanes.  Right around the point of takeoff, she gets all flustered and sometimes has to breathe in and out into the little bag that they give you in case you get sick.  (She has had to use that bag for its intended purpose a couple of times as well.)  Daddy goes to sleep while mommy clutches the arms of her seat so tightly that her fingers turn white, then purple.

But - I fly.  I fly a lot.  Your "Elle", Papa Russ, Aunt Kiki and Uncle Adam all live in Texas (the place where the bluebonnets are!) so, the only way for mommy to see them is to get on an airplane and tough it out.  Mommy and daddy also like to go to fun places like islands in the Caribbean, and we can't get there without getting on airplanes.  So - we fly.

For mommy, airplanes are like dragons - each one another fire-breather to be slain.  But, even worse than flying, mommy is afraid of judgment.  She works very, very hard to avoid ever having to encounter this nemesis, but because of what she does for a living, she meets up with that dragon quite frequently.  This dragon is especially terrifying - he is big, ugly and has terrible, beady eyes.

You will have your dragons to battle too, my little man.  I wish it wasn't so, but no one gets a free pass when it comes to fear.  The key is to find your legs.  Find 'em, plant 'em and stay steady.  Look that dragon straight in his eyes, and gather all the courage you have.  You'll find it in your bones, in your blood and in your spirit.  You will have a lot of it, my son - you are your mother's child.

What you may find as you stare into that dragon's eyes is that he doesn't need to be slain at all.  In fact, what you might see mirrored in those beady eyes is a version of your own fear.  That big ole monster may be just as afraid of someone or something else as you are of him.  And, maybe - just maybe, you will feel sympathy for that scary dragon and instead of putting up your dukes, you will just walk away and leave him to take on his own foes while you go play a pick-up game of kickball with your buddies.

So, when you come crawling into my bed someday oh so soon, terrified of whatever is lurking in your closet, I will cuddle you up while we make up silly names for your dragon...and picture what he would look like in a dress or in his under-roos.  And, when the bigger, scarier dragons of life show up at your door, you will not fight them alone.  Daddy and I will be standing right next to you, waiting for your signal to attack or lay down our arms and go get Blizzards at Dairy Queen.

Let's go fall asleep now to the sounds of John, Paul, Ringo and George.  I love you, my little man.