Sunday, November 29, 2009

being thankful

For the past eight Thanksgivings, we have observed a family tradition of going around the table and sharing thankfulness from the past year. Each person talks for a little while, and everyone else listens. It is a simple and precious tradition, and it gives me a chance to reflect on the things that I realize I sometimes feel entitled to.

So, this year, I say thanks for:

~a partner who respects me and continues to show me that he loves me;
~Henry, who has changed my life in beautiful ways already;
~the wonderful rollercoaster that is pregnancy and motherhood;
~a few important experiences that have taught me that change is both good and possible;
~my grandmother, who was a strong woman and who was not afraid to die;
~the love of good friends who function as extended family, in that they have demonstrated their permanence in my life; and
~the continued blessing, providence, and renewal that God provides to me as I continue to acknowledge, love, and respect Him.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Note to Retail Employees

In this edition of "things not to say to women who have recently had babies:"

Yesterday I was in a store that sells baby clothes. The woman at the register asked: "Are these for your baby?" with one of those big, overly sweet smiles.

"Yes, they are." Henry was in the stroller, about ten feet away, being wheeled around by a friend who is a few years younger than my mom. We had walked in together a couple of minutes earlier.

She looked at my stomach; no, she studied my stomach. "So...are you pregnant? Or...."

"No," I said, "My baby is six weeks old."

"Oh!!" she exclaimed. Profuse compliments on each of my purchases followed. "Wow, these shirts are sooooooooo cute. You really picked out fabulous stuff!"

I wonder if, when you work in a childrens' store, it might be better just to assume that the customers are not pregnant. I really did feel skinny, right up until that moment.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rise and Shine

I have never been a morning person, especially not in November, when the rain pounds the windows and the wind howls and it's way too dark to arise at 6:30 or 7:00.

But now, this is what greets me first thing in the morning.

My Boys


Friday, November 13, 2009


Before I became a mother, I was worried that I'd be one of those people who would roll over in bed and smother their baby. I was worried that I wouldn't wake up when my baby cried, that I wouldn't even hear him. I have slept through epic thunderstorms and gunshots and hurricane-force winds. But other mothers reassured me: no, you'll definitely wake up. You'll hear him. Your innate maternal sensitivity to your baby's cry will kick in.

Here is the nightly scene at my house:

Henry (tossing and turning): Waaaaaaaaah.

Korwin (wakes up instantly): Kelly, Henry seems like he is hungry.

Me (still dreaming about french toast): Who?

Korwin (exasperated): You know, Henry! Our baby.

Me (rubbing my eyes now): Oh, you think she is hungry?

Korwin (disbelief): Kelly, Henry is a boy.

Me (big yawn): Oh, right. A boy. Okay, well, sure then.

I actually woke up a few nights ago and realized that I thought I was nursing Henry but instead, he was just pressed up against my chest with his pacifier in his mouth right where the nipple should be. I couldn't figure out why he was crying.

I guess being a parent doesn't exactly catapult you into the 'light sleeper' category.

Henry Korwin Smith

I am a mother. I have a son. Today, he is five weeks and two days old.


"The key to to let go of fear." ~Roseanne Cash