08 August 2016

dear finley: seven months.

hi my little fins.

this is the very first letter i'm writing to you that's late.  and i feel awful about it.  your seventh month here was such a blur, and it was the very first month that i missed any part of.

in this past month we had our first nights away from each other.  i was a nervous wreck.  you went to the airport to see me off, along with your daddy and your brother.  and you guys were all just fine, of course, but not me.  i cried.  i was going to miss you all, of course, but really my tears were for you.  how would you get along without me?  would you take the bottle?  would you miss me at night?  would everyone else know how to care for you just like i do?  and of course, all my worries were for nothing.  you were fine.  you were happy and silly and slept well and even learned how to nod your head while i was away.

and then you got on a plane with your brother and your dad, and you flew out to massachusetts to meet me.  seeing you again was just the sweetest.  that week was filled with firsts for you -- first trip to the beach, first swim in the ocean.  it was so much fun and you delighted me every single day.

in the past month, the biggest thing that's happened in your little life is that you've started having some solid food.  and, surprising us all, you hate it.  i've tried everything i can think of.  i've fed you in the morning, afternoon, and night time.  before or after nursing you.  purees of all sorts.  solid foods off my plate.  whole bananas you can feed yourself.  nothing has really taken.  while we were in massachusetts you seemed really into food twice, but it seemed to be a fluke.  clearly you are doing just fine calorie-wise.  your rolls are still making my head spin.

you're so big now.  not just because you're so chunky.  but you're sitting up on your own and playing with toys.  you're less interested in being attached to me all the time.  you're sleeping better and going much longer stretches without eating [mostly].  you're laughing more and making me hold you less and you're just all around the most loveable little guy i've ever come across.

oh, and did i mention that you look exactly like your dad?  because you do.  it's kind of mind blowing to me.

those little teeth!

fins, yet again, you've made me feel like the luckiest person in the world that i get to be your mama.  thank you for that.  i love you the biggest.


14 July 2016

what i'm looking for.

on perhaps the most perfect day of spring, we had a small ceremony to bless finley's journey through life.  there was good music and pastries and champagne and good family and close friends and so many smiles my cheeks were sore the next day.  it was the best of the best.

it was on a day much like this one almost two years ago that we did the same thing for julian.  we chose two of the most fantastic people we know to be fin's godparents and help him on his path, and they were included in this ceremony.  the whole day was filled with so much love and warmth and just made me feel so incredibly lucky.

the song we chose for finley was U2's 'i still haven't found what i'm looking for,' which is one of our absolute favorites and really suited finley well.

finley felt so at ease he fell asleep during his ceremony.  typical easygoing fins. :)

look at this village, these people.  who have said they willl do this with us.  that they will support us and love us, and they will help to show my children their way.  these people are not just saying it with words.  i have learned, again and again since finley was born, that they are really here for us.  they come over with food, or call to check in when philip is traveling.  they come by for dinner and bedtime to give me a hand.  they are there when i call and say please come hold my baby so i can take a shower, and then they show up with cold beer.  they are there when i say i can't be alone with these kids any more, can we come over? and they open up their homes with a smile.  they plan trips out here to see me when they know i need it most.  they know julian's favorite colors and have learned some signs.

i couldn't do this whole parenting thing without them, and i'm so grateful i don't have to.

finley joe, we are all so happy you are in our lives.  you made us a family, and i could not be happier about that.  you are the cherry on top of my sundae, the extra bit of sweetness in my life i always needed.  i'll forever love you.

[all photos by corinna lander -- she totally captured our essence and light. love it.]

08 July 2016


we are so, so, broken.

it feels, to me, like we've reached this certain breaking point.  a place that i'm not sure we can move back from.  people killing each other in the streets out of anger.  everyone is at each other's throats, and it's all become terribly un-civil.  black and white. men and women. muslims and christians. gun rights and gun control. there is no intelligent, respectful debate.

it all became too much for me yesterday. as a news alert popped up on my phone and i read about the horrors of the shooting in dallas, the tears started flowing.  i rolled over and clutched onto my husband, sobbing into his shirt, until all my tears were gone.  i cried for them all.  for the babies sitting in the backs of cars, watching their fathers get shot.  for the boys crying for their daddies on national TV.  for the families of police officers who now have to be more terrified than they normally are as they send their loved ones off into the line of duty.  for all of us, who are heartbroken and disgusted by what is happening here.

and as a mother, as my instinct is to do in times like this, i went in to see my babies, sleeping soundly in their rooms.  i tucked my big boy under the covers and started at him.  smoothed his hair.  kissed his cheeks.  watched his breathing slow and steady, watched him roll over and look for his blankie.  as i closed his door, i felt thankful that he's two and i don't have to explain all this to him right now.  in my baby's room, he's still easy to lift out of his crib and rock.  as i held him close and rocked him, i thought of how much lighter his skin is than his brother's.  he's a pale, white, baby.  he's inherited his father's skin color, german and dutch.

my boys are white. i have given the world two more white boys of privilege. it is one of my greatest fears as a mother that they will use that privilege against others -- people of color, women.  they will never know life without their whiteness.  and there is a certain level of guilt i feel because of that.  it i sounds silly, but it's true.  i want to make sure they know that their whiteness isn't a privilege, it's a burden. it comes with responsibility.  as white men, it will be their responsibility to help lift others up, help their voices be heard.  to value each life equally.  they're so little right now and i haven't figured out how to start teaching them this, but i feel that talking about it is a good place to begin.

you can cry against police brutality without hating all police.  you can be wary of criminals of any color without criminalizing all people of color.  you can be fearful of extremists without hating all muslims.  evil does not know one profession, one color, one religion.

i'll end this with the words that always come to me at times like these:

one love
one blood
one life
you got to do what you should
one life
with each other
sisters, brothers
one life
but we're not the same
we get to carry each other
carry each other