Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Terrifying Blessings

As the air begins to change and hold the crisp scents of autumn mixed with musky pine and wafts of smoke, I find myself growing hungry for tradition. I am naturally a sentimental person, but my memories of the season are especially laced with emotion. Without prompting, I remember the delicious anticipation of Thanksgiving - the buzzing kitchen and clinking silverware. I remember spending the Friday afterwards transforming our house into a Christmas wonderland. Dozens of boxes hauled up from the basement were opened to reveal angels, wise men, holly, and Santas, each holding years of memories in their figures. Thinking about the countless memories I have of Thanksgivings and Christmases past makes me wonder what memories Isaiah will form. Last year he was only 11 months old at Christmastime, but I hoped that the excitement and beauty of the season would leave an abstract impression on him that would carry through the years. This year, I am even more eager to solidify family traditions so that next year he might vaguely recognize them. I found family devotionals to do during Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I hope it will be fun for Isaiah to learn about baby Jesus being born as we talk about his little sibling being born soon too. I also hope that looking at pictures from last year will help him anticipate the traditions we will repeat again this year.

This week I have been marveling at how well I know my little boy. This came as a revelation to me because he has begun really stringing his words into more phrases and sentences, and Michael and I are the only ones who can correctly interpret them. (Well, at least we are right as often as we are wrong.)

Some of the things that only Michael and I know are that when a word starts with the letter 's' and is followed by another consonant, Isaiah will put the 's' and the end of the word. So "sticker" becomes "tickers" and "snuggle" becomes "nuggles" (not to be confused with "muggles" who are non-magical people from the world of Harry Potter.) We also know that Isaiah doesn't like to have a blanket covering his knees on down while he is sleeping or falling asleep. We have to be certain to dress him in fuzzy footed jammies because even when he is in a deep sleep, if we pull a blanket over his legs he will reach down a pull it back off or kick in a frustrated manner until we remove it. One of the most important things only we know about Isaiah is that when he is tired but fighting the urge to sleep, there is a spot on the inside of his ear, right near the entrance to his ear canal that we can gently rub with our fingers and it puts him to sleep like magic. It's so cute to see his blue eyes roll closed and to hear his breath become deep and even within seconds of touching that magic ear spot. It makes me feel like a really good mom to know my little boy so intimately.

Finally, I have to talk about our catastrophic event that happened this past Friday. Isaiah and I were in a pretty major car crash. Our car was completely smashed in the front and totaled, but everyone in both vehicles is alright. Isaiah bit his tongue and was very scared when it happened, and I was just as frightened to hear him crying so loudly. He recovered within minutes, though, and didn't have any lasting pain. I was also just fine, and I was thankful the airbag didn't deploy because it would have hit my stomach. Just to be safe, Michael and I went to the hospital that evening to check on the baby and make sure everything was alright. We had two ultrasounds done, and saw that our baby was happy and healthy. We also learned that we are going to have a little girl! Seeing our daughter kick and hiccup inside me was an amazing miracle at the end of a pretty harrowing day. We came home to Isaiah and told him he was having a sister, which he happily repeated, but didn't really understand. The brief scare of either of our children being seriously injured followed by the relief that they were both alright reminded Michael and I of how precious our family is and how blessed we are.

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