[This is an opening salvo….]
We do not and cannot have the oversight in our kids’ lives that we once may have had — their speed is now too great, and their reach is now far too broad. We must, therefore, be all the more proactive, rather than reactive, in the way we teach them to navigate their world — in the ways in which we teach them to be good, kind, wise people.
[I need to play with this idea a lot more.]
One of Jakob’s favorite things to do these days is to make movies on my computer… so what better way to spend a few hours this afternoon?
Today was a wonderful day, filled with family and long-time friends… the best way I can sum it up is by posting the pictures and the speech that I read.
I want to welcome everyone to this ceremony today. And, I wanted to speak to that notion of everyone because it gets both to the heart of the day and of how we feel about Theo.
Today is the day that we welcome Theo into the Jewish community by giving him his Hebrew name, but it is also the day we welcome into our larger community, made up of so many wonderful members of our family and friends.
In all our lives, the notion of community is important. But for us, this community has really meant something very special. The people in this room were with us at CHOP, were on the other end of phone calls and emails in those first few months when we really werent sure what was going on day-to-day. And as much as today is a celebration of Theo, it is also a celebration of all of you and the role you play in our life and Theo’s life.
Theo’s Hebrew name is Todros which means gift. Kat and I both feel the gift that Theo is in our life every day, but Theo’s life also makes us so powerfully aware of the many gifts in our lives the gift of a wonderful marriage that only seems to grow stronger every day, the gift of two wonderful little boys who smile and laugh with ease, the gift of family who are willing to walk this path with us, and the gift of friends who give of their time and their love over and over again. And we know that Theo’s appreciation of all of you - all of these gifts that he is surrounded by - will continue to grow as he does, and we know that for as much as you are all gifts to him, his joy, his strength, his laughter, his life will be a gift to you as well.
So we thank all of you for coming today, for traveling to share Theo’s naming with us, but more importantly for sharing your lives with Theo and with us.
Later today is Theo’s baby naming… a few months later than usual because of all the “fun” we had this fall with him.
This is the poem I’ve asked my mother to read. It really speaks to my hopes and values to him.
A Wish For You
by Donna Dargis
If there could be only one thing
In life for me to teach you,
I would teach you to love.
To respect others so that you may
Find respect in yourself.
To learn the value of giving,
So that if ever there comes a time
In your life that someone really needs,
You will give.
To act in a manner that you would wish to be treated;
To be proud of yourself.
To laugh and smile as much as you can,
In order to help bring joy
Back into this world.
To have faith in others;
To be understanding.
To stand tall in this world and
To learn to depend on yourself.
To only take from this Earth
Those things which you really need,
So there will be enough for others.
To not depend on money or material things
For your happiness, but
To learn to appreciate the people
Who love you, the simple beauty
That God have you and to find peace
And security within yourself.
To you, my grandchild, I hope I will teach all these things,
For they are love.
For those folks who feel like there hasn’t been enough of the boys… here’s a movie of Jakob singing. Theo movies to follow soon!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted some family photos, and let’s face it, pictures of Jakob and Theo are a lot more fun than anything I could write.
The boys are doing great… Jakob loves being a big brother, and after all the horror stories people told us about how Jakob would change and get jealous when there was a baby in the house, I’m pleased (o.k. — thrilled) to report that he’s as sweet as can be. He gets very concerned when Theo cries, ("Mommy, Daddy, Theo’s crying!!!") and when he and I leave for school in the morning, he loves to kiss Theo before he leaves.
And Theo just gets cuter every day. The hardest part has been making the transition to thinking of him as a healthy baby. Kat and I still get more nervous when he has an extended crying jag than we did with Jakob. Fortunately, those crying jags are pretty few and far between. After all he’s been through, he’s an amazingly sweet, good-natured little boy.
And we’ve got Kat’s family in town this weekend. Today, Kat’s mom got to make cookies with her two oldest grandchildren, and judging by the pictures, a good time was had by all.
I hope everyone out there is getting a chance to relax, recharge the batteries, and spend some time with loved ones over the next few days. I’ve got a ton of thoughts rolling around, and I’m hoping to get some rest and then do a ton of blogging over the break.
Happy Holidays all!
Just a few photos from the camera phone from some after dinner family time tonight…
It’s been over a week since I posted a family moment. Thought folks might want to see how everyone was doing.
Let’s get back to what’s really important… more pictures of Theo and Jakob. There’s a bunch of new photos of Theo and Jakob up on flickr. I imagine those are much more interesting than anything I might write.
What was most fun about the photos from the roof deck is that Jakob needed very little prodding to pose with his brother. Jakob is a camera ham.
You asked for it… you got it…
Pictures of Theo!
He’s definitely happy to be out of the hospital and home. The doctors thought that being out of the hospital might help the weight gain, and so far, so good. As of Monday, he weighed 7 lbs, 11 oz, and our next weigh-in is on Friday. He’s a happy and alert little boy, and he’s gotten very adept with his hands very quickly. Kat is happy because he has really long fingers, so she might just have her piano player in Theo. (Although, giving credit where credit is due, Jakob loves to play piano too!)
Theo’s proving to be a good sleeper, and I think he’d be an even better sleeper if we could actually let him sleep. We’re waking him up every three hours to fatten him up, and we’re hoping that, if the weight gain continues, we can let sleeping babies lie.
Jakob is thrilled to have his baby brother home. Every morning when he wakes up, one of the first questions out of his mouth is "Go see Baby Theo?" He loves to help feed Theo, and he loves to sit next to Theo and pat his tummy. It’s about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.
Sitting in my favorite chair in my study, typing this blog entry while Theo sleeps contentedly in my lap.
Welcome home, Theo.