Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's Only Just Begun...

Everyday, I am amazed at how much Gavin grows.  He is such a joyful, sweet baby and I cherish every moment with him.  And every time I look at him, I think about the future and what it holds for him.

While Gavin was napping yesterday and today, I watched Nanny 911 and World's Strictest Parents.  It's so sad to see parents who have lost control of their children.  It's also a little nerve-wracking because I hope that we are never in a situation like that.  But parenting doesn't come with a manual.  Everyone just does the best job they can.  And I feel sad when I think about teenagers who rebel against their parents and go down the wrong road, because parents don't foresee that when their children are little.  When you hold your baby in your arms, you don't imagine that you may someday have a broken relationship with your child or that your child will make decisions that will horrify you.  My mom once told me that children bring you the greatest joy and the greatest pain in life.  In fact, when Gav was in the hospital for dehydration, I told her that I already knew it was true.  I felt more love and more heartache than I had ever felt before, and it's only just begun...

I know that most people parent as they were parented, and in our case, both Matt and I had great role models.  Matt's parents divorced when he was young, and he and his brother were raised primarily by their mom, who did an amazing job.  She managed to raised two wonderful, caring, responsible men who have both become terrific fathers.  And I like to consider my parents superheroes because they not only raised me and my three siblings, but they were foster parents to over 50 special needs babies.  They even ran a support group for other foster parents of special needs kids called Kids Are Special People.  So Matt and I consider our parents to be experts when it comes to raising children.

Matt and I have already learned quite a bit as parents over the past 2 1/2 months.  One thing that we have learned is that having a night-time routine works great for us.  Every night at 9:00 p.m., we give Gavin a bath together, then I nurse him, and put him to bed at 10:00 p.m.  We don't have any toys or distractions in his bed, which seems to have made a difference.  Even if he's awake, he will wiggle around a bit until he gets comfortable, then he'll just close his little eyes and drift off to sleep for about 7 hours.  It has been great for Matt and I.  But if the routine gets messed up, Gav will want to stay up later, so we try to follow it every night.

We have learned many other things about parenting as well, but I know that we will continue to learn for the rest of our lives.  And what a wonderful and joyful responsibility it is!

Here are a few photos of some of the greatest joy and the greatest pain in my own Mom's life - me and my two beautiful sisters:


  1. Wow, that is so awesome to know about your parents and fostering special needs children.

    And way to go on the evening routine!! :)

  2. That was sweet! I love you are thinking about parenting so much! We are not perfect...but we hope if you ever need help or want to bouce ideas off us too, we are here for you