Sunday, August 14, 2011

the greatest gift

When you have your first baby you are innundated with piles upon piles of "stuff" needed to keep a child going and growing.  Most of it I was hesitant to keep and I thought we could get by without too many oversized plastic contraptions with toys attached to them.  I quickly learned that they are essential.  The good news?  We are all set with our contraptions.  We have what we need this time around.  The better news?  It opens up this whole new world for friends and family to provide for other needs.  In the past month we have had some of the best home cooked meals, most wonderful quality time with others, and random chores done around our house.  All of these amount to one of the greatest gifts that anyone can give: the simple gift of time.  Whether our friends have had 20 minutes to entertain Julia while I grab a quick a shower, an hour to whip up a quick meal, or 3 days to come up for a much needed visit, it has meant the world to us. 
For the past 4 weeks we have been blessed with some wonderful visitors who were not only able to meet Charlie, but also able to share in one of the most exciting times in our lives.  Spending more than a few hours with a family adjusting to a newborn can be an interesting experiment.  This experiment is not for the faint of heart and it involves a great deal of transparency into the real life working of our family in the midst of sleep deprivation and moments of complete uncertainty of how to handle a newborn.  In our case, our friends and family witnessed the fact that although I am up at 5am, not much gets accomplished before noon, they witnessed a 2 year old who loves the attention and definitely knows how to get it, during week 2 our visitors were able to see a raw moment that involved a trip to the ER for Julia, week 3 got better, but those visitors saw that Julia was having a harder time saying good-bye to the people she loves.  By the end of this month, our friends and family had enough material on us to write a "what to do/what not to do" book about parenting.  We are thankful that each of you have hung in there with us, stayed up until the wee hours of the morning with me, loved on Julia a little bit more, and cherished some of those newborn snuggles with Charlie. 
People often say that they don't always know how to be helpful.  In my case, I have had many moments of feeling so overwhelmed that I don't know how to articulate what I need.  Despite this all of the important things have been addressed and I have learned that just the presence of others has been beyond valuable to us. 
And for that, we thank you.
Week 1 - 2 whole visits from Chrissy (and baby V)!

Week 2 - Charlie spent 3 whole days in the arms of his Babci and mommom.  He was so spoiled that he now can't stand to be put down!
Mimi wins the award for the most visits, the prime witness to most of our frantic moments, and the very special honor of being present for his arrival.  Thank you mom and dad- we don't know what we would do without you!

Bec, Zoe Zoe and Ben hung in there for a busy weekend. 
Zoey came at the perfect time - Julia really needed a friend.
And so did I.  Thanks Bec! 

Aunt Kirstan finally arrived!  Julia was so excited to see Aunt "cookie", but was disappointed that we weren't going to the beach.  Kirstan gets the best of all worlds because she is their only aunt...the favorite one that spoils the heck out of them.
And Jilly and Kris rounded out our visits this month.  They added the fun element, which Julia loved.  I'm sure there will be many more visits to come, but when they left, it felt extra lonely around here.
Wow, what a month!
August 13th - 1 month old!
So I have learned a lot from this past month.  It seems strange to think that I will reenter the world and have some free time :), but when I do, I realize that gifts don't have to be neatly packaged.  Sometimes it's just listening and offering advice, bringing a sleep deprived family a Starbucks treat, making some homecooked goodness to share, or offering to hold a baby to allow a new mom the luxury of a few moments to herself.  Anyway you share it, I promise, it will be greater than anything you can buy!

1 comment:

  1. So fun! I want a photo with Charlie and you! I know you are so overwhelmed by visitors but I would love to be your next visitor :)