Saturday, September 21, 2013

Eight Months

Eight months.  Right on the day.  Yipee!

This is the point where I can admit that I’m completely behind on the baby book, right?  Or the little calendar-thing where you can write in “first haircut” and “first swing at the playground” and “sitting.” I would have put all of those little stickers in this month, if I was keeping up.

With Toby starting school, you’re figuring out the routine of having mama alone every morning.  We’re getting to have a few of our own adventures, just the two of us, at a slightly slower pace.  When Toby is around, the two of you are figuring out how to play together.  He’s sometimes too rough with you, but you just keep on egging him on.  Listen up, kid, if you keep encouraging him I’m not going to protect you much longer.  It’s not very credible for me to say “Stop kicking, poking, or shouting-at your brother” when you’re sitting there giggling and reaching out for more. 

Just in the past few days you've figured out sitting.  Yes, you still need a few pillows behind you to slow your fall, but you're staying up long enough that I think we can call it official.  In any case, you've learned that it's a fun position for playing with a ball, grabbing baby puffs at your high chair (you can palm them, but then you can't get them out of your hand and into your mouth, poor thing), or pounding on all the annoying musical baby toys we seem to accumulate.

If your smiles are any indication, then your two favorite things are 1) Getting strapped into your carseat (Yay! We’re going someplace!) and 2) Getting out of your carseat (Yay! You didn’t forget me!).

Oh my goodness, that tongue.  You've got the happiest tongue ever.  And if you're really excited we’ll hear your “rock star grunt.”  That’s the tongue out, down to his chin AND a big ol’ grunty “AHHHHH!”  You’re ready for the road, little boy.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fairy Tales in Sunday School

I love teaching UCC kids.  Today was our first day of Sunday school.  And since we’ll be learning about the Bible, the curriculum started us off with the question, “How do you see the Bible?”

The middle school handout gave four suggested answers: Fairy Tales, History Books, Instruction Manual, or Sacred Story.

You know you’re in a United Church of Christ congregation when half of the class answers A) Fairy Tales.  We’re a skeptical bunch.

Ah, but when I asked them how the Bible is like a fairy tales, they didn’t jump to “made up” or “childish” or “unreal.”  They told me “It has a moral or a meaning.” “You can apply it to your life.”

Adults in the UCC aren’t much different.  We believe more than we admit.

And the things that we do believe in—well, we might get a little wishy-washy around appearances and miracles—but the things we do believe in are just as unrealistic.  Peaceful solutions to problems.  Full inclusion of all of God’s children just as we are.  Questioning hearts searching for authenticity.  The necessary bonds of a community worthy of fellowship and sacrifice.  Just like those first Christians who thought the end was coming tomorrow, we’re trying our darndest to live as if God’s Kindom has already arrived.

Anyone with their feet firmly planted in the see-it-to-believe-it camp could easily tell us that our hopes are fairy tales.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


When we first heard the words Down syndrome, the delays in early milestones were the farthest thing from my mind.  I didn’t even know that early physical delays were a part of Down syndrome.  Several doctors mentioned getting us signed up for early intervention services, a few made mysterious comments about how, “it might take a bit longer, but he will walk.”  Wait, what?  Of course he will walk.  I’d never met any adults, or children for that matter, with Down syndrome who don’t walk.  I wasn’t thinking about crawling or walking or rolling over or head control.  I was thinking about the cognitive disabilities that usually accompany Trisomy 21, and I was thinking about their long term impact on me.

So, I’m surprised how randomly the pain of missing milestones hits me.  Most days it doesn’t.  Most days I don’t even think about it.  But then I pick up a newsletter from my church about teaching my 8 month old about Jesus, and it mentions that “babies this age” are using their pincer grasp. Or I see pictures in my due-date-message-board of babies Max’s age who are sitting up or crawling or pulling to stand.  And most days it rolls right off, I know in my head why Max is moving at a different pace.  But every now and then I get sideswiped.  The reference to “normal” comes out of nowhere, and it’s like a hit to the stomach.

Maybe it’s because, all of a sudden, I remember that we’re not just talking about whose baby sits first.  We’re talking about a lifetime of moving on a different timeline.  A timeline that I want to love and respect, but that I am still learning to understand.

To those of you with babies the same age (hi Lauren!) please don’t stop bragging about your baby’s new skills.  They are wonderful, they deserve it!  I don’t want to be cut off from your joy because it is sometimes uncomfortable.  And I’m finding that the best medicine for my worries is exposure.  The more happy babies I see sitting and rolling, and holding their heads up without a bob—the more comfortable I am with my own little guy doing things in his own time.