Thursday, August 7, 2008


I subscribe to's Word of the Day. I toyed briefly with the idea of writing a blog each day (or maybe... once a week) based on the word that showed up in my inbox. But, at the risk of committing to something I'm sure I can't do, I'll let this first post suffice, especially since it's taken me a shameful amount of time to get this posting up.

Yesterday's word was: Spoony
spoony \SPOO-nee\, adjective:
1. Foolish; silly; excessively sentimental.
2. Foolishly or sentimentally in love.

Used in a sentence: "Nevertheless, because we're spoony old things at heart, we like to believe that some showbiz marriages are different." -- Julie Burchill

I have to say that these days, I'm feeling pretty, well ... spoony. I'm not quite sure how to define it, but I tend to be driven by the seasonal rhythms of the year. "This time last year, I was..." "Late summer is always when we..." Consequently, the time surrounding the birth of my children has me especially spoony. Emotional. Weepy. Nostalgic. I am remembering, these days, of what it was like 2 summers ago, when my oldest boy was nearly 2 and just starting 2-day preschool at Haygood. My youngest boy was battling a furious case of jaundice, and I was on a 24-hour nursing lock-down with the baby, taking a break only to go and vote against Cynthia McKinney, only to find that we weren't in her district (bummer).

This year, on Cooper's birthday, we voted again in a run-off election. I tried my darndest to get an annual August-run-off/Flemming-family-voting-outing picture, but neither boy was cooperating. So, just to spite them, I'm including the picture that Matt cajoled them into taking with me. You're welcome to compare it to the picture from 2 years ago, which makes me look like a beached whale. (Please be gracious - I was 3 days post-partum!)

It's amazing how fast these two years have gone since Cooper's joined us. A lot has happened. The boys have developed into such hugely beautiful creatures, whose grace and love permeate every inch of our lives. They're funny, adorable, charming, smart, athletic... a parent's dream. They've just passed the stage where all they can do is engage in parallel play. Now, they play together, leaving Matt and I time to ... read, blog, make breakfast. Other than the occasional refereeing we have to do, everyone is getting along beautifully.

And yet, I am so deeply nostalgic (spoony?) for those early days of infancy. When Jackson was born, I was pastoring a 2-point charge in New Jersey. My office was in the parsonage, and I spent most of my time at home with the baby, writing sermons in my office during naptimes, making pastoral phone calls while the baby was nursing, scheduling meetings after bedtime. It was so lovely. We cocooned, that baby and I. We spent every waking (and sleeping) second together. I connected with mothers of other babies, and birthed and nurtured a friendship that was originally based on our mutual pregnancies. Having been unsure of my ability to be a mother, I was overwhelmed with the love that poured forth from me so freely.

By the time Jackson hit his first birthday in October, we had moved to Atlanta. I'm not sure what it was - hormones or this intense connection that I have to seasonal patterns - but his first birthday wrecked me. I saw pictures of pregnant ladies and would break down crying. I couldn't walk down the "infant" aisle at Target because it broke my heart that I didn't need anything from there anymore. I boxed away clothes into the "sad box" with a heavy heart and deep longing. Then, 3 days before Christmas, I found out that I was pregnant. Way pregnant. Nine weeks pregnant. Almost out of my first trimester pregnant. With a baby bean.

Cooper arrived during one of the most tumultuous times of our lives. He was a breath of fresh air during a time of difficulty. Truly, the light shined into the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it. My maternity leave was a reservoir of peace. Cooper's spirit of joy and ease was an incredible gift during that time. We wound up spending quite a bit of time together in his infancy as we learned how to be a family of four, with two babies, not even 2 years apart in age. As Cooper grew into a more active, vital part of our lives, Jackson turned his energy toward a little baby doll that we'd bought him because it came with a toy car seat. For several months, the doll sat in a toy box and the car seat got a lot of trips to the grocery store. Jackson and I would walk in, carnival-mirror images of one another with our car seats in hand.

But after a while, that doll (whom Jackson named Baby Tyle), became an object of Jackson's nurturing energy. When I changed Cooper's diaper, Jackson changed Baby Tyle's. When Cooper napped, Baby Tyle napped (although he was much easier to put down, and tended to cat-nap much more frequently, and at times that directly coincided with Jackson's desire to do ... other things. But I digress...) When I bathed Cooper, Baby Tyle got a bath, too. We spent lots of time on the couch, in restaurants, at bookstores nursing our little babies together, with J's t-shirt hitched up and Baby Tyle unceremoniously fwapped onto his chest with his little arm wrapped around Baby Tyle's head. As Cooper began eating solid food, so did Baby T. We even made Baby Tyle his own sling. It was such a healthy choice that Jackson made all on his own. Instead of getting jealous, he got parental.

Not that it's always been smooth sailing. I used to have to "swaddle" Jackson to sleep, well after his 2nd birthday. It was the only way I could have time to spend with the baby (and nap a bit myself). Cooper was frequently left to sob while I tended to the needs of the older boy, and they have certainly turned their aggression towards one another in some unhealthy ways. But, all in all, they are amazing little people who love each other, the Beagle, and us in wonderful ways.

As I write this, Cooper is zerberting every inch of exposed skin that he can find on any person (or puppy) that stays still long enough for him to do so. We had a family slumber party last night, with mattresses on the floor, blankets and pillows and (healthy) junk food and movies. We ignored time and fell asleep when we got tired. We woke up in a big, family heap and made pancakes, enjoying not having to be... anywhere, any time.

As much as I would like to re-engage in this miraculous creation of tiny people, I can't help but be filled to the brim with joy and satisfaction. These boys in my life - all 4 of them, counting the Beagle - have made my cup full. As nostalgic as I am these days, I know that a year from now, I'll be excessively sentimental for these times. And for that, I'm grateful. And a little spoony.

1 comment:

Loving Landon said...

the boys were zerberting each other in the nursery today - it was very sweet. It is obvious that they have a loving relationship.