Friday, October 13, 2006

Goodbye, Stay-at-home Mom! Hello, Margie

Since June 23, I have been donning the hat of "stay-at-home" mother. Today, I took that hat off and hung it next to my other discarded head coverings-- the baseball cap of a college student, the cowboy hat of a Nashvillian, and the floppy, sunbonnet of perfect wifedom.

It was a bittersweet day. I savored each adult interaction and felt invigorated the moment I stepped on GAC's campus. This past four months, I have not allowed myself to think of school, and I really have not wanted to. Emma and I have thoroughly enjoyed each other. But when I stepped on campus, the old energy returned. Suddenly, lesson plan ideas were running through my head, and I was wondering how past students were doing. I did not just don the hat of mother and wife--I was wearing the hat of teacher as well. It felt fabulous.

Yet, I missed my little angel. When it was time to pick her up, I was more than ready, and I spent the rest of the afternoon kissing her, holding her, really just devouring her.

I am glad I am starting back to school because I need this time away from Emma so that I can truly miss and appreciate her.

My hat is off to all of those mothers who stay at home with their children. You are a creative bunch of folks. If I had to do it, I could, but I am so happy for ladies like Ms. Margie who open their loving homes to little ones like Emma so that their mommies can go recharge their batteries.

Emma does not know which hats she will don just yet. As you can tell from these pictures, she is not such a big fan of wearing one at all.

Friday, October 06, 2006

A Face Anyone Can Love

Adjectives that describe the three-and-a-half-month-old Emma:

1. Ecstatic-- This describes Emma's reaction when I come to get her up in the morning. She flaps her arms, smiles the biggest toothless grin, and giggles. I usually am a grump in the morning, but when I see her little face light up, I feel like the luckiest and happiest woman in the world.

2. Social-- Emma loves places in which she can engage people. During church, she tries to see how many people she can smile at and get a smile in return. The other day I took her to Babies-R-Us. She started to fuss a bit, so I decided we best check out quickly and leave. The minute we hit the check-out counter, though, she was a different child. She smiled at each person and was gleeful to be in line with all these nice, smiling people.

3. Observant-- When you are holding Emma, she is very rarely still. Her little head is constantly moving taking in all the sights around her.

4. Wiggly-- Emma adores grooving, preferably to music with heavy bass. Put her in her bouncy seat, and she goes to town, kicking up her heels and flapping her arms.

5. Musical-- The one thing that consistently quiets and calms Emma is music. She is O.K. with the run of the mill kiddie music, but she prefers something she can rock to. So far U2 seems to be her favorite, but she also likes Duran Duran and Outcast. I feel we are really going to have to monitor her Ipod (or whatever new device they have when she is a teenager) for lyrical content.

6. Happy-- This adjective might not have adequately described the two-month-old Emma(fussy or gassy may have worked), but Emma entered her third month with delight. She smiles a lot throughout the day and delights in her stuffed animals, her bee mobile, and looking at herself in the mirror.

This little girl has my heart. I never knew I would have to suck things out of her nose; clean her spit-up off my face, out of my hair, and out of my mouth; wash defecant (sp) out of curtains, sheets, clothing, carpets, the tub, and her bouncy seat (two words: Soy formula); feel her pee-pee run down my leg (diaper malfunction--kind of like the Janet Jackson clothing malfunction, but different); and I never knew I would do these things without a second thought. Me--the germ-a-phobe, the perfectionist. Every time she scoots, rolls, smiles,whines, cries, pulls my hair (something new that is oddly endearing), holds my hand--really every time she does anything--I become more and more deeply in love with her. And look at that face, who couldn't love it? Definitely not a face only a mother could love. I pray that when she is older that cute won't be the only adjective decribe her. Hopefully, others will call her Christian, kind, generous, compassionate, wise, and loving.