Monday, May 31, 2010

Wrapped in Love

Riker has received so many beautiful blankets as gifts! Over the last several weeks, all of our photo sessions have been devoted to capturing a photo of him with each of them. I was just about to say that I'm sure he will treasure each of them forever, but I think the reality of the situation is more that I'LL treasure each of them forever and will try to prevent him from dragging them through puddles :)

This quilt was handmade from vintage fabrics by my friend and colleague, Dierdre Pearce:

This one was hand knit by Grammy Jan's friend, Carol Ramey:

The softest blanket ever is from Grandma Betty's friends, Judy and Dave Gabrielson:

This waterproof naked-time blanket was made by Grammy Jan:

This technicolor beauty was crocheted by Riker's Great Aunt Nancy:

This one is from my second cousin Angela and her family:

And finally, this matching knit set is from Joan and Ross (Joan married us and she is Riker's first cousin twice removed):

Thanks so much to all of you! PS. I promise to keep these blankets away from not only puddles, but from finger paints, peanut butter and jelly, mud pies and other messy boy exploits!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

On Motherhood

Being a mother is everything I dreamed about yet not quite like I imagined. The first weeks left me, normally a somewhat confident and competent woman, anything but. I looked, felt and smelled better in my fantasies of motherhood than I did in the realities of life with a newborn. I remember envisioning sitting around in the evenings with a tiny baby resting peacefully between us and having plenty of leisure time during the day to sip coffees with friends in a clean house while the baby napped. Yes, I'm chuckling now too at the absurdity of those visions but surely while pregnant we all imagine the glossy times and fail to realize that the laundry will pile up with frightening speed before our very eyes as the baby that should really be asleep spews on both of us yet another time.

While the first six weeks of motherhood were some of the most challenging of my life, the newborn period is gone all too quickly. Friends with children kept telling me to enjoy it as it would be over before I knew it. I remember trying to treasure those moments but being too consumed with various difficulties and the physical pain I was in to really enjoy it. Then, by the time I got somewhat on top of the whole parenting thing, I no longer had a froggy newborn on my chest, but a wriggling baby who would rather explore his new world than cuddle with his mama. Sigh.

Still, beyond the chaos, I look at Riker now and swell and with pride and joy. Often, I see not a helpless baby, but within him the man that he will become. I envision him as an adult and the kind of person I hope that he will grow up to be. I do this not because I want these early years to pass, but because in seeing the person he will become, I am better able to respect the person he is now. When I'm feeling frustrated with broken sleep and messy, well, everything, I remember that I have been entrusted with a great and honorable responsibility - to help this little being achieve his full potential.

So, for example, when I'm changing his diaper, I try to not look at it as a chore to be completed as quickly as possible. I like to explain to Riker what I'm doing, knowing that I would hate it if someone rudely thrust my legs up into the air without giving me any notice. He trusts me to meet all of his needs and I aim to do so both gently and respectfully. But, then, being human, I lose my patience, find it again, feel guilty and start all over. What a tough, yet amazing job I have. Which reminds of a great quote I heard years ago which now has real meaning for me:

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." - Elizabeth Stone

Monday, May 03, 2010

Six months old!

Riker turned six months old (and 26 weeks) on Thursday of last week. I took this photo on Thursday after a nice morning tea with the girls from my Birth Centre mother's group and have been trying to get around to posting it ever since! Love that face!