Sunday, March 23, 2008


Funny how new moms obsessively keep track of their children's milestones. There are shelves and shelves of books that will tell you when your kiddo should be raising her head 45 degrees, when she should be rolling over, grasping at toys, and smiling.

But no book can tell you all of the new things that your child will do, or when she will surprise you with them.

Gabby is three months old now, and she can:

  • lift her head,
  • hold her head up,
  • sit supported,
  • put weight on her legs when supported in a standing position (oh, she loves that one),
  • roll from side to back and from back to side
  • smile
  • laugh
  • giggle
  • titter
  • squeal with delight
  • grab for toys
  • grab Mommy's hair and pull. Hard.
  • find and chew on her hands
  • draw soft toys to her mouth and try to eat them

She also does things that are not in any child development book. For instance, she has now discovered her hands and sometimes doesn't quite know what to do with them, so instead of just holding them out there all willy nilly, she folds them in front of her when she's feeding. She has also learned how to raise her eyebrows independently of one another and does so to great effect. She blows milky bubbles (and seems to know how funny that is).

Every day is a wonder.

Almost every day is enormous amounts of fun.

Here she is with a diaper cover on her head and socks on her hands:

Thanks for being such a good sport, sweetheart. You make even laundry fun.

I hope everyone who celebrates it had a great Purim. Happy Easter to those in that camp, and happy Persian new year to us all!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Mostly True Fairy Tale For My Daughter

Once upon a time, there was a couple who desperately wanted a child. They had waited a long time with no success, and they were very sad. The couple spoke to each other and said, "Let us visit a healer, so that we may have a child that way."

So the couple went to a great healer. The healer said, "I will help you. But my potions and ministrations will do nothing for you if you do not have Belief. You must seek a spiritual path to your child, not just a physical one."

So the couple visited a priestess. The priestess instructed them to find a beautiful, ripe melon, cut a hole in it, and place their wish inside. They were then to bring the melon to the ocean at the full moon and leave it at the water's edge. "The goddess Yemaya will accept your offering and grant your wish," the priestess said, "but only if you have Hope in your hearts."

When the couple heard this, they were frightened, because their journey had been long and they were not sure how much hope was left inside them. So they visited the Wise Women of the Desert, with whom they had been long acquainted. The Wise Women lived in a Magical Dome where miracles often took place.

The Wise Women embraced the couple and peered into their hearts. They saw small embers of hope there, just barely glowing. So they blew on the embers and put kindling around them and said to the couple, "You shall have a child, and that child shall be precious beyond imagining. But you must have Love in your hearts in order for that child to grow." They kissed the couple on their foreheads, gave them blessings and powerful amulets, and sent them on their way.

On their way home, the couple encountered another couple. The young man and woman were on their way to be married, but they needed someone to solemnize and bless their marriage. "We will do it," the couple said, and as they blessed the young lovers, their own Love was magnified a hundredfold. The young couple thanked them, not knowing that they had given a far greater gift than they had received.

And at that very moment, a child began to grow inside the woman. The following winter, she bore a baby girl, who was indeed precious beyond all imagining. They named her Gabriella.

The couple brought Gabriella to the Magical Dome in the desert for a blessing. When they entered the Dome, they found there not only the Wise Women, but all of the spirits, healers, priests and priestesses, and others who had helped them on their journey. They formed a circle around Gabriella and each one presented her with a gift: one offered Wisdom; another the power of Healing; another Solace. Curiosity and Music, Compassion, Laughter, Self-Knowledge, and Courage -- these were all laid at her feet.

And Gabriella looked around her, looked deep into the eyes of her father and mother and all of the godmothers and godfathers gathered there, and knew that she was loved indeed.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ordinary Miracles

Gabriella is a miracle. Her very existence is improbable, long sought, but against the odds. I think about that every day when I wake up and see her break into a huge toothless grin.

She exists. That's a miracle.

What's wonderful about our lives now is that against the backdrop of the Big Miracle, there are all these other, smaller wonders taking place. The kind of tiny, quotidian miracles that are just part of having a baby. The smiles. The growth. Seeing her focus her eyes on a toy, and then reach out for it. Watching as she squeezes a stuffed animal and tries to stuff it in her mouth. Hearing her learn how to laugh. Watching her raise her head and push at the floor with her feet.

Her little brain is developing so fast, and her wee body gets bigger every day. I swear, if I'm away from her for an hour, she looks different when I next see her. Compared to what happens around here every single day, the miracles I heard about in church growing up seem, well, kinda lame in comparison.

Walking on water? Whatevs. Gabby's wiggling puts that to shame.

Turning water into wine? Yawn. Gabby turns her parents to mush whenever she smiles.

Parting the sea? Yeah, yeah, part, schmart. My kid is grabbing at toys and she's not even three months old!

I'm overcome with a sense of wonder, and a strong feeling of gratitude. And, I must confess, not a small amount of maternal pride.

I can't help it. My kid's a miracle.