Friday, February 10, 2017


Hans finds bath time to be rather terrifying, so, when bathing him we are just . . . so gentle. Usually one of the girls will help me. We keep a warm wet towel covering every part of him but whatever small section we are washing. We hold his hands snug against him so his arms don’t get free and startle him. We keep slowly pouring warm cups of water over him (as it seems to soothe him). And, when he has to go through the utterly terrifying moment of being lifted from the warm water of the tub, we bundle him into a towel quick as a wink and hug him to us. We just really gentle him through the whole ordeal in order to still his fears and keep things peaceful.

Photo Feb 03, 1 54 36 PMPhoto Feb 02, 2 13 54 PMPhoto Jan 25, 2 37 22 AM

As we finished bathing him the other night, I kept thinking of the process – of how lovingly it’s all done, and suddenly I thought, “Yes. Just like how angels gentled us through his birth.” And I knew that was true! We – he and I both – were just so utterly gentled through the process. More than was necessary even (just like with all our extra buckets of water and warm towels at Hans’s bath time). The path through his labor and delivery just felt like . . . being surrounded by the most warm and gentle and careful hands – eagerly and calmly soothing us through the ordeal. We were completely gentled. Funny when a word so clearly leaps out as the encompassing expression for a situation. Gentle. That’s what it was. Gentled. That’s what we were.

And, more than that, it’s what we continue to be as we step cautiously through this new phase of adjustment and refiguring. Hans will be one month old tomorrow. It’s been overwhelming and demanding, but I’ve also felt unmistakably sheltered and lifted and calmed.

Photo Feb 09, 1 48 18 AMPhoto Jan 23, 4 36 05 AMPhoto Jan 24, 3 40 37 PMPhoto Jan 24, 8 23 28 AMPhoto Jan 24, 8 24 01 AM (1)Photo Jan 25, 2 35 44 AMPhoto Jan 25, 4 34 55 AMPhoto Jan 25, 4 35 18 AM

Also, Jesse was baptized last weekend, and Hans was given his naming blessing. In both blessings Mike blessed each of them with kindness – specifically that they would treat their future spouses with kindness. It occurred to me afterwards that Mike blessing them with that trait was evidence of how much he values it. Kindness. Kindness to his spouse. What happiness that has meant for me.

Photo Feb 04, 8 42 50 AMPhoto Feb 04, 10 17 29 AMPhoto Feb 04, 8 43 03 AMPhoto Feb 05, 3 35 38 AMPhoto Feb 05, 3 51 07 AMPhoto Feb 05, 3 49 31 AM (1)Photo Feb 05, 5 25 38 AMPhoto Feb 05, 5 26 22 AMPhoto Feb 05, 5 26 52 AM

And . . . the rest of the pictures from the phone.

Photo Feb 03, 8 02 15 AMPhoto Feb 03, 8 21 40 AMPhoto Feb 09, 1 51 02 AMPhoto Feb 09, 1 51 52 AMPhoto Feb 09, 1 52 02 AMPhoto Jan 28, 2 39 33 AMPhoto Jan 28, 2 40 07 AMPhoto Jan 28, 2 40 11 AMPhoto Jan 29, 2 22 24 AMPhoto Jan 29, 3 05 54 PM

Like Listening to a K-Track

Sometimes Abe turns on classical music when doing his homework. I love it when he does -- not only because it seems an a-typical sort of thing for a teenage boy to do, but because it inevitably makes me think of my dad. As an author and an English professor, he was very often in his upstairs “office” (next to the attic in my parents’ home) grading papers or writing; and always always there was classical music playing on the radio next to him. I like a little piece of my growing up happiness transferring its way unexpectedly into these grown up years of raising children.

Speaking of Abe, the other day he was boasting away about the number of planks and sit-ups he’d recently done. Unfortunately, nobody was paying much attention. Upon realizing how little response his accomplishments were eliciting, he added, “And then! I bench-pressed my bed 500 times!” His claims continued to go unnoticed by all but me. Still, if not properly appreciating his earlier feats, I did, at least, laugh appropriately at his falsely claimed one.

Also, for no reason that I can think of (except maybe that he has been quietly contemplating turning us to a life of crime?), Mike recently told our kids he was going to start occasionally yelling, “Hide! The po-po are coming!”

We all had a good laugh over both Mike using that term and his suggesting that we might need to practice hiding from the police.

“Well,” Mike said, “some families probably do have to practice that.”

“Yah,” Abe agreed. “Like the family that used to live in our house.”

And then we all really had a good laugh because the prior owners of our home were in fact involved in illegal activity. As they say: “It’s funny ‘cause it’s true.”

In other news:

-- Mette has had an unfortunate resurgence in toilet interest – swishing her hands in the bowl or filling it with an entire unwound roll of toilet paper any chance she gets. Also, she will give almost no attention to any toy or show and mostly prefers to cling to my leg and sob at the most inopportune times (like while I’m nursing Hans and making dinner all at once); but, her vocabulary is exploding. Every day she says new things that none of us knew she could say, and, there is something so rewarding and fun about that, that it makes up for an abundance of bathroom mess and leg-clinging whining. Or nearly anyway. (One problem we have however is that she has learned that adding “please” to any request greatly increases her chance of getting whatever she is after. Alas, she often just repeatedly begs “Please! PLEEEEASE!” without any of us having the slightest clue what she is begging for despite our best attempts to unravel the mysterious [and polite] requests.)


-- Penny (age 9) has officially passed Goldie (age 12) in height. I suppose I knew that my children wouldn’t always stay -- lined up from oldest to youngest – in a downward slope of perfectly corresponding heights, but I can’t quite get it straight in my head and continue to buy larger sizes in clothing for Goldie than for Penny.


-- Jesse recently made a “rock tumbler” out of an old can and some string and blue tape (always blue tape) and various parts that might smooth a rock. He attached it to his bunk bed and will occasionally be heard shaking it vigorously when he should be sleeping.


-- Daisy is currently playing (on the piano) all these K-Track songs. (Like this one here.) I don’t know what on earth they are or why they are all called K-Tracks, but when she plays them, I feel, oddly, like I am years beyond the moment I’m in –- looking back fondly and tearfully at the beauty and chaos of what my life has been. I’ve told her she should probably play them any time she notices me getting grumpy or stressed to help me look at loud, messy children, dinner-time clean-up, and bedtime madness as . . . beauty. Also, today she has been sending me various texts fretting over which class she should take for her final credit for . . . HIGH SCHOOL next year. I’m just . . . I’m really raising teenagers now. And I like it. They’re funny and they’re clever and they stay up late with Mike and I – laughing or watching various things, and . . . they play pretty music. (Though they are rather difficult to get in a picture!)


And, to end, a few recent pictures I managed to upload from my camera during a lucky spell of three babies napping (these first feet being . . . Summer’s, followed by a rogue Hans foot that escaped from its blanket.)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...