Friday, November 19, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year... almost

With only one week until Thanksgiving, I am starting to get so excited about Charlie’s first holiday season! I am sure that this enthusiasm will be oft repeated throughout this next month, so be prepared.

Next week is going to be very eventful. My dear cousin Rose is coming from Ohio on Tuesday night to stay at our house, a day ahead of her family who will be staying at my parents’ for Thanksgiving weekend, as is tradition. Rose will be meeting Charlie for the first time and I am so excited to spend all day with her on Wednesday. Daniel, Charlie, and I will be joining Daniel’s family for Thanksgiving dinner, which will be the first time having Thanksgiving dinner somewhere other than with my own parents and siblings.

I’m looking forward to it, although from what I understand they put marshmallows on their sweet potato casserole. I imagine some of you readers do this also, but it just sounds weird to me. The topping to which I am accustomed is a delicious crusty and crumbly combination of brown and white sugars, butter, and chopped walnuts. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! So, I don’t know about sweet potatoes with marshmallows. We shall see.

And obviously, this will be Charlie’s first Thanksgiving, which is special even though he isn’t eating solid foods yet. Next year, he’ll really be able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner!

On Friday, we are going to a family reunion for my mom’s side of the family being held at my parents’ house. I fully expect it to be crowded and loud, but fun! My grandparents have eleven children, all of whom will be there as far as I know, plus their spouses. Then there are the 29 grandchildren, some of whom will be bringing significant others. I only know of one of my cousins not being able to make it for sure. And then there is Charlie, the only great-grandchild so far. I hope he isn’t overwhelmed by so many people!

Then comes the first Sunday of Advent, a season which I love! I’ve even already gotten all of my Christmas shopping done (well, all except for one thing), so I can hopefully prepare for Christmas fairly peacefully this year. Ahhh, Christmas… my favorite time of year. I really can’t wait to watch Charlie’s eyes widen at the sight of a twinkling, decorated tree in our house; and to help him learn to rip the wrapping paper off of his presents! He will be too little to understand what any of it is all about or to remember it later, but I know that Daniel and I will remember this Christmas.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No “I” in “Team”

“I love being parents with you,” I whispered as I snuggled up next to Daniel in bed and laid my head on his right shoulder. Daniel laughed. With his left hand he was rocking the cradle beside our bed in a desperate attempt to get our son to go back to sleep. It was 5:30 on Thursday morning, and we had spent the last half hour changing a messy diaper and then being peed on twice. Of course, Charlie also managed to get himself in the face, as well as give our bed sheets a nice shower, all while screaming his head off. (To answer your question, no, we have not learned our lesson about changing diapers on our bed.) And this was after he had already woken up at 1:15 and 4:00, refusing to go back to sleep until I nursed him, so I was exhausted. It was a flashback to the early mornings of those first few weeks back in June and July.

Perhaps we should learn our lesson about keeping Charlie out past his bedtime, which we did because the quick Kohl’s trip we made wasn’t exactly as quick as we thought it would be. Charlie fell asleep in the car on the way home, only to wake up not feeling tired anymore. So although I finally got him to bed at 8:00, an hour past his normal bedtime, he stayed awake talking to the ceiling fan and playing with his fingers for another 45 minutes. I guess that was what ruined his night’s sleep… and his mother’s. If only I could have been ready for bed at 9:00 myself, then I might have gotten four straight hours that night.

Speaking of Charlie’s bedtime, until a few weeks ago it had never crossed my mind that babies might not care about daylight savings’ time. Charlie had been ready for bed by 7:00 every night, so when we “fell back” last Sunday, he was ready for bed by 6:00. Over the course of this week I have been pushing him towards 7:00, which he has actually adjusted to very well. He can stay awake until 7:00 again now, but I still haven’t managed to convince him to sleep until 7:00. He’s wide awake and ready to go by 6:00.

Anyways, the point of this entry is that my husband is wonderful. That morning he switched sides of the bed with me so that he could rock Charlie’s cradle and I could go back to sleep. This didn’t end up working out and we ultimately caved and brought Charlie into bed with us for a blessed extra half hour of shut-eye, but he tried. We make a good team. After such a rough night, it’s just a little hard to remember while I whimper/whine, “Honey, can you please take care of him? I’m so tired,” that there’s no “I” in “team”. Oh well. Like I said, my husband is wonderful. And I love him.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thy will be done

Although this wasn’t the first time, Daniel and I talked more seriously this week about what we want for Charlie if something were to happen to the two of us. Imagining a circumstance where Charlie would need to be raised by someone else is painful, of course, and choosing a guardian for him in such a circumstance is proving to be difficult as well. There are so many things to take into consideration, primarily these four:

1) Who would be best able to love Charlie as much (almost) as Daniel and I do?

2) Who would be in the best position to take on the sudden responsibility of raising a young child?

3) Who would be willing to take on this responsibility?

And 4) Who would be best able to raise our son so as to fulfill everything that we want for him, as detailed in my August 13 post? Who would be able to help Charlie become a “happy saint”?

Daniel and I have not come to any 100% definitive answers to these questions, but we really can’t keep putting it off. It’s funny, I think, that the legal document we need to sit down with a lawyer and create, is called a “will”. It is not my will that anything should prevent Daniel and me from raising Charlie ourselves. It is my will that both Daniel and I will live to old age together, raising Charlie and his future siblings, fighting with them as teenagers, seeing them find their vocations, and playing with our grandchildren and maybe even great-grandchildren.

Really, a legal “will” is a Plan B. And that’s what we need to figure out. If what we will is not what will be, what do we will then? I must admit that I’m having fun with all these “wills”! Ready for another? Because here’s the kicker: none of this is really about my will. At least, it shouldn’t be. Repeat: it’s not about my will.

So, yesterday I dedicated a Rosary, which includes several prayers of “Thy will be done,” to asking for help in making the right decisions regarding who should care for Charlie in the event that we are not able. I’m asking that the One whose will it all actually is about will show us His will. He’s the one who knows what the future is, anyway, and He’s already planned for it. We just need to be guided in the right direction. And quickly. After all, we don’t know what might happen tomorrow, or even this afternoon.

Dear Lord, you know what it is that I want for my family. Still, “Thy will be done.” (But please let your will include a long life for all members of my family. Amen.)