Monday, January 3, 2011

First Christmas in two generations

This Christmas ornament is hanging on my tree:

From christmas

This Christmas as I hung up my ornaments it took on new meaning for me. That's my mom and my dad, just a few weeks after I was born at my first Christmas. They were 28.

This is the picture we took on Christmas day this year:

From christmas

That's us, a few weeks after our son was born, and I'm 28.

Crazy, right? So weird to see my parents in the picture and know the reality of what they were feeling and going through.

I've talked a lot about parenting with my mom and dad as they've been here the past few weeks. I'm so thankful they got to come and be here for Judah's first weeks and for my transition into being a mother. It's been so good to have my experienced mom's thoughts, even small things. Things like, "Did you eat something that he might be reacting to that might be causing the spit-up tonight?" Or, "Go ahead and feed him a little early this time since he had to wait and cry last time - reassure him that he won't have to cry and wait every time."

From christmas

Most of all, though, I've been struck by some things that my parents have said over and over again as we've talked about parenting over the past weeks. We've discussed how strange it is for me to watch friends and former classmates walk all different (and often unexpected) paths in life and wonder how much of it is related to the parenting they received. We talked about how you make parenting decisions, the confusion of parenting during the teen years, discipline, etc. My mom said that in the end, one of the only things she's sure of in parenting is that as a parent it's your role and responsibility to love your child, to to make sure they know they are loved unconditionally.

From christmas

That really struck me, and I don't remember hearing her clearly state that before.

I want that to be my primary responsibility too. Love. Love my children. The rest we have to figure out as we go, and we'll make mistakes, and some stages will be harder than others, and ultimately my kids will make their own choices. But I have to love them.

PS - old posts about Christmas Past:
Christmas, beach vs. snow.

Christmases growing up in Indonesia.

Christmas in Chicago, Indonesia, and South Asia.

Christmas Pig Feasts


Rach said...

Such cute pictures! I loved having my mom around to give me advice. How's breastfeeding going? I hated when Judah had to wait to eat and would cry (only if we were in the car and I couldn't get to him, of course)....broke my heart! Don't their sad little wails just kill you?

CM said...

What great pictures!

Kacie said...

Nursing is good! One of the easiest things of all, really. He's a champion eater. I started pumping this week and am working on building up a supply so I can go back to work in a couple of weeks. And yes, when they have these sad little cries when they have to wait in the car, it just drives me crazy to not be able to meet the need immediately! I'm really not buying the "let them cry to teach them they're not the center of the world" philosophy... at least not at this stage.