September 26, 2009

Fall Back

It was 33 degrees in Brookline this morning, and it's still only September. After having one of the most miserable, wet, and cool summers on record, I can't say that I'm completely ready for this. I really do love living in a place that has seasons, but I have to say that a pretty hot summer makes the shift to brisk, crisp mornings that much more welcome. I don't really feel like we had a summer at all, so part of me is anticipating the long, cold, Boston winter with some serious dread.

However, this will be Beckett's first fall, and the first in our new home. And because he has become so alert and observant, I really enjoy watching him experience it. On our way to daycare last week, Beckett gazed out the car window at the changing leaves, his blue eyes (although they're turning more green every day) peeking solemnly out of the hood of his brown sweatshirt. I am excited to go apple picking, and I want to can some homemade apple sauce for November, when Beckett will start eating solid food. There is much to look forward to with this beautiful and bittersweet time of year.

For a kid who refused to go to sleep while there was a shred of light in the sky, Beckett has taken to his new earlier bedtime like a champ. Subsequently, his recent 4 am wake times have been a little tough. Lately, we've been pulling him into bed with us for the last hour or two, snuggling and dozing together. Our bedrooms are in the basement level of our condo, and the space has become noticably cooler and more dry. We'll need to pull out the sleep sacks again for Beckett, who now squirms up to the top left corner of his crib every night to wedge himself into the warmth and comfort of the bumper. Apparently the bumper on the bottom right, bottom left, and top right are just not nearly as comfortable. No matter where you put him down in the crib, you will always find him in the top left corner come morning. Weird, right?
Jim celebrated a birthday last week (I won't say which), and he got a card from Beckett in the mail, sent by his daycare providers. It was decorated with a rainbow of little foot prints, and said "Happy Birthday, Daddy. I love you! Your son, Beckett".

Sigh. Too bad I don't have a baby book, but this card is definitely going in the Ikea box.

September 18, 2009

Four Months

A friend recently said to me that the first year is the 'longest and shortest of your life'. So far, I completely agree. Long because every minute of the last four months has been remarkable, indellible, and new. Short because it seems like yesterday that we were in the hospital, the three of us cacooned together in that little room. I can hardly remember what Beckett looked like then, so in that way it feels as though it's been an eternity. At the same time, the days are a whirl of breakfast, bottles, tummy time, dropping off at daycare, work, picking up at daycare, reading, bathing, feeding, bed, maybe dinner, washing bottles, and finally, sleep. I believe it when people say that it goes by too fast. It has already gone by too fast.

The four month mark really is amazing. Beckett is smiling and giggling, squeaking and shrieking with more vigor every day. His expressions are more nuanced, his urge to communicate more emphatic. Instead of spontaneously screaming for food/sleep/diaper change, he starts off slow - a little whine, a jut of the lip, a warning. Sometimes he looks at me with an expression so complex, I almost expect him to talk. He is also more physical. He bats balls and grabs things and pulls his favorite toy (who we affectionately call Doodle) into his little mouth. He grunts and strains to stand up in my lap and reach for the keyboard on the laptop. We went out and bought him one of those doorway jumpers last weekend, and he is really getting the hang of it. This morning he pumped his legs like a pro, laughing and smiling at his independence.

Beckett rolled over from stomach to back a few times around the one-month mark but has only done it a handful of times since. That is, until he hit four months. Now he's rolling over like maniac, although I can't say that he loves it. Yesterday he pushed up and fell back like a tree falling in slow motion - tiiiiimbeeeeeeerrrrrr!!!! - and knocked his head on our hard kitchen floor. I can't tell if he screamed because he was hurt or surprised, but it was probably a little bit of both. We'll practice that on the carpet or the living room rug from now on. I tried to get a video of him doing it later that night, but he flat out refused to perform for the camera. Instead he just looked at me, grinned, and drooled.

Life has been crazy lately in the Day household. Jim starts his new job soon - one that requires an enviable commute of a short walk down the hill. No, he's not working at our local Starbucks. I am in the midst of a very busy but exciting time at work, and feel like I spend most of my time vibrating from too much caffeine, energy, ideas, and a predictable annual need to organize organize organize. Because of this, I am trying to be even more vigilant about documenting Beckett's firsts and keeping up with this blog. I am also trying to figure out how to pull together a Flickr account, where we can store more photos, and which will be linked to the photos on this blog. Stay tuned!

September 12, 2009


I turned thirty this summer. For a big milestone birthday, it actually went by without a lot of fanfare or personal trauma. Most of the time I feel good about thirty. Having thirty years of life under your belt gives you a certain amount of respect. I actually do know what I'm talking about. Why? Because I'm thirty.

Turning thirty made me think about a lot of things, not the least of which is that it has been more than twenty years since my family left Brooklyn. Although Jim and I make at least a few trips to my former hometown each year, and my familiarity with the 'hood is pretty good, I haven't actually been a resident of New York since I was eight. So given the long stretch of time that we've been in Boston, it is pretty extraordinary that we are still connected to the mother's support group that my mother and three other women began when I was just a few months old.

For those of you who don't know this story (and because there are absolutely no strangers reading this blog, I imagine that most of you do) my parents moved to Brooklyn from Virginia in the summer of 1979, just days before I was born. My mother didn't know anybody, but like most people in New York City, she walked everywhere. And eventually, through various hilarious chance encounters on the sidewalks of Brooklyn, she met three other women and began a mother's support group. All of the babies were born in the summer of 1979, and despite (or perhaps because of) many personal and cultural differences, we are all still very close friends.

My ideal vision of new parenthood has always revolved around this romantic notion that I too would have the same experience. That Jim and I would meet several other like-minded, interesting, diverse couples with babies exactly the age of our child. Like my parents, we would celebrate holidays together, throw joint birthday parties, help each other babysit and organize annual picnics. We would support each other as parents, but also as friends and professionals. Because we're nearly the first of our friends to have a baby, my vision isn't exactly a reality. But that's okay, because Beckett has a special place in this world. He's the leader and the example. He is the first grandchild in both Jim and my families and he is the first of his generation in our extended "New York family".

In July, my best friend Nora (one of the four original 'babies') and her husband Dan invited all of the families to their beautiful Brooklyn home to celebrate Beckett's arrival. We camped out in her little backyard, enjoying the mid-summer sunshine and fabulous food, everybody taking turns holding Beckett. Most of the time, he slept in Nora's old pram, which her mother had pulled out and cleaned just for the occasion. 
Later, in the kitchen with Nora's father, we marveled and sighed at the enormity of this milestone. Later that night, we met up with friends for dinner, taking Beckett on his first dinner out. We strolled by the little house where my family used to live, just down the street from Nora's, and we took pictures of Beckett and I standing next to the stoop. It seemed important to capture the moment, a new generation standing in the same place that my mother and I stood 30 years ago.

This past weekend one of the families threw a party for us in Brooklyn to celebrate our thirtieth birthdays. Once again, we enjoyed the late-day sun in a Brooklyn backyard. I listened to the mothers tell the stories of how they met for what seems like the thousandth time. Although I've seen a few new mothers strolling past my house, I have been too shy to chase them down the street, or strike up a conversation in the coffee shop. I have a new appreciation for what these four women did to give each other support during this magical but mystical time. So as much as it was a celebration for the babies in our thirtieth year, I think our mothers deserve a little recognition. Without them, we probably wouldn't have remained friends, particularly after my family moved back to Virginia, and then Boston. It is because of them that Beckett will not only have his blood family, but an extended family in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

Thank you mom, Betsy, Sally, and Laurie. We love you all.

September 8, 2009


I'm all about firsts lately. After going to a first birthday party for our good friend's daughter last week, I couldn't help but think about how much I've enjoyed watching her experience the first year of her life. I feel honored to have been part of it. I loved watching her grow from a mewing newborn to a hilarious little person. All this celebration (and exuberant cupcake not-quite-face-planting) made me think about our son Beckett's first year, and that we were already a quarter (actually, almost a third) of the way through it. How in a span of just a few months, how many firsts he's already had, and how many we have already forgotten. 

I'm not really good at the whole baby book thing. The keepsakes of Beckett's birth, the little hat they gave him to wear in the nursery, his social security card (complete with envelope - his first piece of mail!) are in a cardboard Ikea box in the closet of our den. The intention, of course, was to put them in some sort of album or scrapbook. But everything I've ever wanted to put in a scrapbook usually ends up in an old duty-free bag at the bottom of a closet. I'm sentimental until I have more important things to do, when a very organized, obsessive-compulsive, label-making demon possesses me. Then the plastic duty-free bag with the ticket stubs from our trip to Thailand ends up in the trash.

So despite the fact that I never intended to start a blog, I've started one. I hope that our family and friends will check it periodically. Even more so, I hope that I will maintain it properly. Because it is really for our son Beckett, who despite being the star of the show, won't remember being in it.

He won't remember the first time he dipped his feet into the Gulf of Mexico, and the feeling of the sand between his toes. He won't remember that at a little diner in Saratoga Springs, while we ate breakfast with our good friends Jessica and Jon, he brought his hands together for the first time. He won't remember that just that night, he found his left foot with his left hand, and how his father was convinced (until he found his right foot with his right hand) that he was left-handed. Or meeting his great-grandfather in Newport, and how he gazed up at him with such adoration that everybody in the room simultaneously cooed with delight.

To Beckett, I hope you enjoy these firsts as much as we will.