Saturday, October 16, 2010

Five Months Plus Some

Alright, alright.  I'm back to perpetuate the norm.  Modern moms are to blogs as hand-pushed chicarrones-paletas carts are to the sidewalks of Watsonville, California. 

So this is how we live for now:
A)  I quit teaching.  Despite what I was told, I didn't think I'd feel like quitting work because it's work I love doing.  I know this because I spent about eight or nine years working jobs I didn't love.  This was until I added Mom to the list.  That's that, no looking back.  Best job ever.  I'll go back and teach when it's time. 

II)  Levi is HUGE, beautiful, engaged in the goings-on around him, dexterous with his hand work, rolling, standing with some help, looking, laughing, gooing, gahing, blabbing, drooling.  He is bright, content, and sickeningly amazing.  (You know, all those things your kids are or will be.)  That said, he is so uniquely him.  There was nothing before compared to what there is now that he exists and is thriving.
   i)  He gingerly handles leaves on trees when he's brought close to investigate for himself.
   b)  He rips single strands of hair out of my head with the force of ten angry Hurricanes Katrina.
   small 3)  Aaron asked, "Do all babies smile this much?"  The answer is no.  I hope we can keep fueling his smile fire for a long time.  
   *)  He has gone for a swim in the Madonna Inn Pool and for a shower in the hotel's charming 'Swiss Belle' room.

3)  I've got some time now to work on some me things.  I'm in the beginning stages of many of these.  Here are some of them, or at least the ones I'm willing to share with Joan Q. Internet:
   - Coming to terms with grammar abuse.  With the advent of blogging and Facebook, my critical nature extends to being a smart aleck about the butchering of the English language and its conventions via the written communication of friends and online acquaintances.  Aberrant apostrophe usage is the salt in my open wounds.  I need to get over it.  Not everyone is borderline OCD like I am.  Plus, even grammar Nazis make mistakes.  Obviously, I mean, we're likened to Nazis after all.  If you find some mistakes in my blog, let me know.  Unless they're sentence fragments.  I've already reserved the right to use these as needed.
   - I'm a dilettante...almost so much so that lately I don't do or try doing many things I don't already know how to do.  This WILL change.  I vow now to master Adobe Premier since the words my brain tells my fingers to pour out fall short of the firsthand brilliance of my family.  Memory is best, but it needs reminders, so I will create video documentation of where life has brought us Emmerts for posterity's sake.  I promise.
   -  I need to be more gracious and forgiving of the shortcomings of the people I love, not only because they are of mine, but also because I am called to.  This is one of the things I fall asleep praying about every night.  I keep balling it up, but there's hope yet.

I need to go get some things off my chest.  (Namely some mom milk.)  Whoever you are, if you have time, listen to Dirty Three pretty soon.  They'll get you right where it counts.  No, not there, but just where you need it.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Something for the Kids

All of the proceeds for this (digital) kids' record benefit research for Smith Magenis Sydrome.  If I don't dig all the music on it, I do certainly dig the cause. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

This is the Life

I've been sort've demotivated lately about writing things down here, and the main reason is because what consumes my thoughts is pretty niche. I don't record and share recipes (although I use decent ones to make dinner for Aaron and myself that taste good.) I don't sew beautiful things, but I know people who do and I've received and appreciated samples of their amazing work. I don't know about obscure bands unless Aaron plays them for me and I either get bitten by their bug or I pass on them. I know a couple of online shops that sell neat things and I know of some good home design, but I don't sell it or share it here at the online version of the Emmert Family Ranch. I love the job I get paid for. I'm going back to do it part time come Monday, and I don't really write about that here either.

My mind has become one track, and I'm certain if you know me you know what has streamlined my thinking. I write about it all the time. And if all this sugar is rotting your teeth, then I'm sorry, but my reality from May 1st on is the sweetest fruit I've tasted.

At times I've felt the weight of committing my schedule and an unending devotion to meeting the needs of a helpless individual. When I've had to stay home because I am the food, it hasn't been so bad. If someone asks, this is where I'll be. To be fair, it's only been a few months, but I just don't see anything bad yet about this hand we've been dealt. I only feel thankful so far. Although my sleep state might suggest something on the contrary. Being awakened in the middle of the night seven times in as many hours may have slapped a few gripes out of me.  Oh, and listening to hunger screams from the backseat when we're stuck in traffic also has conjured some irrationality.   My very physiology is affected when I'm impeded in any way, even temporarily, from helping a kid I can't yet explain things to. 

None of this happens too often though.  When I'm wakeful and concentrated on being a mother, my heart is glad.  As if you couldn't tell.

So I'll try to stick a boulder over Old Faithful here and pipe down for a while about The Hawk.  Call me if you're in need of sharing in any Hallmark moments and I'll throw on some cheese at the words, 'Levi', 'son', 'sun', 'buns', 'smiles', 'kid' and about six million other words.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Your Eyes...They Turn Me

We've been having all kinds of fun these days.  Levi has added new words ('words' is used loosely) to his repertoire.  To his usual "eeeyahs", he's incorporated, "gah!" and "oooooh".  There's more.  Ask him to tell you about it when you see him next.  Laughs, smiles.  Every day is a party. But there's work too--adding ounces to a solid 13-lb frame and practicing keeping the head up independent of so much help are some of the daily jobs taking place.

Here's what life looks like these days, excepting one major activity: dancing in the kitchen.  Video to follow.

The verdict is in.  Baths are less confusing.  Maybe even nice. 

       This look is called 'Lamel'*.

*Rhymes with 'clamel', or 'camel' if you insist on the conventional.

Monday, July 5, 2010

From a Novice's Perspective

One of my favorite friends told me recently that just when it seems like you think you've gotten the hang of parenting, something happens to make you remember how hard it is.

I'm new at being a mother.  I may sort've gloat about my good sleeper and eater as I drift through this wonderful dream come true it is to be Levi's mom. But I hope that when I inevitably become in any way complacent that I slap myself out of my stupor and immediately give thanks just as I do when things are sweet.  All kinds of times are on the horizon, and some of them will be hard.  Whatever has been hard so far has been worth Levi.  What is to come is worth him too.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

So Fine

Yesterday began thee most rewarding way to spend time.  Levi now stares back at me, and then we smile huge toothless or toothy grins (depending on who's who) for about ten infinities.  It's taken a month for us to become best buddies.  I'm set.  What else is there?

We stood together in front of a mirror and Levi smiled at my reflection, skipping his own (which makes sense developmentally on his part).  As a human, I have this horrible ego problem where I like to be appreciated and maybe even looked at as an intelligent or strong person by people that I like or love.  All of this becomes a crumbly, crusty piece of nothing when he smiles at me.  I love the way he looks at me simply because I love him so much, and maybe his expressions show that he's learning to love me too.

An ego is such a waste of time, but I must mention that it will be totally acceptable if Levi someday feels at least remotely about his father and me the way I feel about my mom and dad.  If he looks up to me even when he's taller than me, I'll be honored.  But today I don't have to be smart, strong, nice, funny, or anything else because I'm Levi's mom, Aaron's wife, and my Father's daughter.  I'm free, humbled, and incapable of conveying how much this rules.  

Earlier this afternoon Levi and I drove aimlessly up Highway 1 on another day when the silvery ocean was the same as the sky since nothing separated the two.  He snored peacefully in his car seat behind me.  The mastery of creation overwhelmed each of my senses.

There's no logical place to end this entry because so many great things seem to be beginning.   

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Beautiful Boy

Levi likes to smile...

WHEN THE CAMERA IS OFF.  Usually.  He's a natural but he's not your circus monkey.

Other things of note:

Milk coming out the nose.  Twice.  He inhales deeply and frantically for some reason, then milk trickles out and it hurts.  We wipe it and he carries on feeding.  Peace is restored, life is good.

Sleeping for seven plus hours at night.  Kid, you ARE a natural.

Digging on the Grateful Dead.  Box of Rain specifically agrees with Levi.  He also seems to like Chopin, Pink Floyd, M83 and Talking Heads' Slippery People.

We take one small road trip per day.  Last week we discovered alpacas.  This week, emus.

Hikes:  Our first hike as an immediate family of three took place on May 30th.  We went to Corralitos Creek with cousins Kyle and Drew.  Levi slept peacefully the whole time packed up cozily on mama.  A bat flew overhead in the middle of the day and we checked him out.  Drew searched for and successfully located several redwood salamanders.  Our second hike took place today, June 5th.  We all-terrain strollered through the mighty redwoods of Nisene Marks.  Levi seemed curious or possibly bewildered.  He had some milk by a creek.  His father and I sauntered the way John Muir did, pushing Levi through and over terrain steeper than what we imagined other one-month-olds have had access to.  Aaron says that Levi is already a brave little man.

Brave, cute, so on, so forth--our love for this kid is supreme.  I've never known of a stronger, more real contentedness.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Darlin', Walk a While with Me

Dear Levi,

It's taken me 25 days to finally try to write some of this down.  My words will do reality an injustice--as they often do--because in this case they are incapable of conveying how it feels to be your mama.  Regardless, I have a moment to attempt this because you're napping next to my right hip after you fell asleep when I sang Over the Hills and Far Away to you.  You started dreaming and I watched the look of repose change when your brow furrowed and your bottom lip swiftly curled into a frown.  Then, just as quickly, your dimples and lips conspired together to form that beautiful smile of yours that I KNOW is not inspired by gas.  Well not always, at least.

Here's the short of it: three days of working to get you here and two hours and fifty minutes of breathing, pushing and dreaming wakeful delusional dreams were nothing compared to how your emergence has focused the blurry lines of my life and become the heart of my existence.  I have never heard a more beautiful song than your first cry.  Holding your perfect slippery body for the first time and locking eyes with you have made me live.

There's lots of love in this world aimed right at you.  I'll spend my life giving you all of mine.


Friday, April 23, 2010


(285) days pregnant
(countless) hormonally-charged pregnancy dreams, including falling off a crumbling Bay Bridge to be brought to the surface by a benevolent dolphin and eel savior
(65+) estimated articles of infant clothing, washed, and sorted according to size
(11) prior blog posts that are confusingly introspective and/ or reflectively verbose
(lots of) wondering and waiting
(25) extra pounds of body weight, all in my bowling ball of a midsection
(three or four) jars of Nutella eaten
(nightly) fetal hiccups that are preparing a strong diaphragm for the consumption of the best, most nutritious beverage on Earth
(maybe five) annoying comments about my changed body.  Somehow, a pregnant body is an acceptable topic of brutally honest conversation.  "Puffy."  Enough said.
(more than five) beautiful comments and assurances about the baby, the body--mostly from my kids at school.  "I hope he's cute," says one fourth grader.  Big tummy hugs from Kayla, tiny massaging hands of Celeste accompanied by squeals of delight at his physical responses to the attention, and generous parents (who may or may not have a lot of resources from which to draw) picking out brand new cute things for their children to give to the baby
(two) annoyingly needy cats who sense that a change is on the horizon
(many) supportive loved ones who keep checking on Levi's progress via phone, message, the Internerd, etc.
(many) times I have had to tell these loved ones that I don't know when he's coming, but that he's coming
(one) car seat, locked and ready to be loaded
(one) hospital bag packed
(two) parents longing to see and feel those little feet from the outside
(enduring) gratitude to everyone else waiting patiently for and supporting this kid already

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kid-Ready Pad

An (almost) entire room's view

You may enter.

A tree to read under...dig the Mammatus flyer by Stacie next to Babar and the giant giraffe

A photograph of a giraffe that almost ate me once, Grandma Ruth's version of Noah's Ark, the Lorax (to protect the Truffula Trees) and Angel's owl

Grammy Monica's artistry is all over the place.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Who You Are and What You Do

My views on subjects range from extremely cynical to idealistic to the point that I'm a child again who insists on believing something mostly because I want to and less because empirical evidence either supports or refutes it.  I am able to separate this part of my nature from my employment and I'd like to be able to separate this part of my nature as much as realistically possible from the way I bring up my children.

My idealism has little to do with my life as a teacher, where I aim to try to teach my kids how to think in regard to their opinions about life, about their tastes, and about the individual responsibility they hold to learn things about the world.  This is totally separate from teaching them truths about what is right and what is wrong.  It is their parents' job to plant those seeds.  My job to try to lead them toward what is safe and healthy while they are in my charge during school hours (at the very least).

My knowledge of the shortcomings of this world often trump my idealistic side--which is where a sharply cynical view sometimes causes me to be too negative.  I pray I'll continually work to find some sort of balance when in a couple of weeks, I will have the official title and responsibilities of LIFELONG PARENT.

As a mother, I undoubtedly want Levi to know The Truth, but I don't want to write about this here and now.  Here's what I will write: I want Levi to be able to discover his views on certain subjects independent of the strong opinions of his mother and father as much as I'd like him to know that many of our opinions are well-informed (and frankly, are good opinions at least according to our perspectives.)  I know there will be things he carries with him his entire life that he got from us, but I want to give him the chance to do his thing and possibly teach us as well.  I don't know if to this day I never stick my finger into a cake and lick off the sweetness because my mother's opinion on such actions has never left me.  I do know that her opinion is the one I too hold and whether it's because of my memory of the look on her face upon perpetrating such actions inhibits my curious finger from sampling frostings, or because I've made a conscious adult choice to agree with her, or if a mix of both have caused me to steer clear of acting impulsively at least in regard to this specific activity.  This is a silly tie-in, but I wanted to illustrate the potential power of a parent's suggestion.

I want Levi to be able to take his thoughts with ours and come up with a good sense of what he wants to be and what he wants to do.  I know he'll stick his finger into cakes and I know I'll make a face about it accompanied by some words.  But when he makes much more important choices and expressions of thought, I want to listen to his perspective when and if he thinks things like rock and roll, or animals, or Shakespeare or TV are wastes of time.  If he has an opinion about something he likes or dislikes, then I want to see what and why he thinks it, if he'll let me.  I picture a far-into-the-future conversation: "Tell me kid, if (insert subject here--Led Zeppelin, if you need something tangible) doesn't move you, then what does? 

Again, I'm not talking about his relationship to the Righteous Path here.  I'm talking simply about what he chooses to spend his time on.  One might call what I'm talking in circles about here "hobbies".  If he wants to make music (oh how we'd love that), then let's do it.  If he wants to make quilts, work really hard to lay down the groundwork for providing for his family once he grows up, or take anything else God has given him in some unique way and run with it, then let's do it all if we can.  My thoughts on this matter spill beyond my role as a mother since I am also a wife, daughter, friend, estranged friend (to at least one), and family member.  If you have been divinely gifted with some sort of talent or positive compelling notion, then it's apparent to me that you should act accordingly if you can and if your heart drives it.  This goes for Levi, Aaron, mothers, mothers-in law, and all other intelligent creatures whom I know or even many whom I don't. 

By now you know that I communicate with heavy use of examples.  Here goes another.  I'm the wife to a husband who was made in the image of God FOR ME.  Part of what made me notice that he was special years ago was his God-given gift of speaking to the world via his natural capacity to create music.  Maybe Aaron's "rock and roll life is over" now that he's the major provider for our family, but the need for his gifts to pore over creation have not and will never diminish as far as I'm concerned.  He needs to make music and the world needs for him to, so he will keep doing it in whatever way is practical. I realize my biased standpoint in this matter, but I feel that this example speaks to others who feel compelled to have opinions and inclinations that have caused them to make the world better for one person or for one hundred persons.  If you question why you do something, then think about what makes you do it.  If you've made one unique positive change for yourself and for someone else, then maybe you should keep doing it.  I'm glad you're doing it, because I'll do something else.  Aaron will do another thing and Levi will maybe do something different.  Let's do it all and if it's good, then let's be glad.  

"Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do...Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."  (There's what I mean in a more succinct way than anything I could ever think or write.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Dear L. Hawk,

Here continues a number of things I'd like you to know.  Since our conversations are generally one-sided at this time in your 35-week existence, I'll continue to create documented access to them in the event that I forget to tell you certain notions I'd like for you to consider someday.  If you're like your father, it's likely that a blog about thoughts and reactions to life may not be the top literary fodder of your choosing.  You may dig music blogs, far out graphic design, and science fiction fantasy worlds best.  If you're like your mother, you will like reading (and maybe writing) about what living things inspire hours of contemplation and their relation to you as a unique little human.  You could be either of us, some of us, or very little of us.  Regardless, we already find you more fascinating than the most righteous otherworldly fantasy universe and endless spiral of thoughts into the "Why is this the way it is?"-dimension COMBINED.

I should come clean.  I think so much all the time about things I want to tell you, that I'm pretty sure I won't forget them when we finally get to talk.  That's one thing you should know ahead of time.  I'll tell you about the same things often if I think it is worth doing so.  Your father can attest to this.

To further the previous point, your physical strength is still something of a marvel.  You can powerfully control the shape of my round stomach as if it is as effortlessly movable as silly putty is in the hands of a five-year old.  It goes from round to misshapen in seconds and stays that way until you decide to manipulate it back to its original position.  You can kick right, arm swing left within seconds of the first movement.  It seems obvious to me what you're doing but others can't see it as well because they don't stare at my stomach the way I do.  You never hurt, you're just intense and sometimes surprising.   

Another thing: while lying in bed between rapid-fire jarring, scary, or monotonous pregnancy dreams, I sometimes wake up and think of something or someone else you should know.  Your great grandma Ruth was one such someone.  She was a beautiful woman: a very patient and affirming grandmother.  She was reverently pious (as opposed to sanctimonious) and a good wife and mother.  She helped to build a very strong foundation for me to build from.  I'm eternally grateful to her and unwavering in my recognition of certain truths thanks in large part to her influence.  She made your aunt Kimmy and I picklecicles (sweet AND dill), and had a large brown bathing suit she'd wear when we'd finally convince her to come swim with us.  For lunch, she fixed tuna fish English muffin sandwiches tailored to our preferences.  She wanted us to "find something quiet to do" while she finished Grandpa Charlie's business statements.  She tapped her brakes with an unnecessary frequency while driving.  You would've loved her.

Non-cohesive streaming thought #82: If family planning was/ were (insert whatever is the correct rule for conditionals) totally up to us, it would be our intention that you not be an only child for various reasons.  I won't go into them here, but you should know that there are others who will also be the centers of our universe as this blog's summary suggests.  The main center is the other determinant in whether or not there will be more Emmerts.  God's plan trumps all others.  We hope we'll get more of you, though, because we love you.

I should stop writing now.  I think you may need a protein boost so you can keep up the hard work of kicking around, building body mass, and hiccuping when necessary.

Tons of Love,

Monday, March 8, 2010

On Accountability (Business--Not Pleasure)

There are certain truths that people choose to acknowledge, evade, or delude themselves into not believing.  In the following, the word "we" refers to most living, breathing, cognizant adult individuals.  

  • We all operate from different perspectives.  
  • We are all to blame for something.  Maybe not all of something, but at least part of it.  None of us is blameless in any given situation, including when someone feels hurt.  
  • We are called to give without expecting to receive anything back; otherwise the true spirit of giving has been corroded by selfishness.  "I did this for you--now you need to do something to equal it."  WRONG.  It is near impossible to genuinely meet such expectations.
  • It would be helpful if we could realize that our emotions can (and will try to) lead us astray and that our expectations for others are usually not the same as anyone else's.   
  • It's okay to change sometimes.  Learning to communicate differently than how we did ten years ago might be a good idea.  
  • Honesty is surefire.  We should be able to be honest with true friends and family. 
  • Life on earth is too full to pursue negative relationships or to hold on to something that has died.
  • Life's path looks different according to each person who pursues one. 
  • We are wrong often.  Some of us accept this.  Some of us need to.  Some of us never will.
  • If we didn't give in to focusing heavily on what we "deserve", we might finally see that the intentions of loved ones may not necessarily be to hurt us.  Misinterpretation can be clarified if we work to communicate without abrasiveness and with genuine love in our hearts.  If we know that loved ones actually love us, then why should we jump to the conclusion that they are trying to hurt us?  It's likely that they're not, so we need to work harder to...
These points are not the stuff of some chain email.  They are things that are heavy on my heart.  I'm blessed to have had lots of help in attempting to climb these mountainous truths.  I'm still learning.  Aaron, mom, and dad--I owe you one.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Baby, Sing with Me Somehow

I was born helpless.  I can't remember my first memory so I rely on the memories of others.  My mom told me the minute she saw me she loved me.  My dad told me I fit into one of his big hands and that my first diaper didn't do its job.  Both folks said the same thing in different ways.  Both of them felt the same way.  My existence meant they were going to be the best parents they could be.

I have a very childlike bias towards my mom and dad.  I'd still tell anyone else on the playground that I have the best ones on the planet.  I mean it.  I really think this still even though I've known for several years now that no one is perfect--that even they are human.  A lot of times, they have separated their own struggles from how they raised me so that I have not had to personally discover some of the heartache they have known.  They have made me self-confident.  (Some would argue overly-confident.)  I know love and I'm able to love because I've been loved unconditionally by two humans and by God since before I was born. 

There are all kinds of parents.  There are ones who've done things much differently than the ones I have known, but who've loved their children equally as much.  There are ones who love their kids, but who haven't tried enough or have simply failed to get these individuals they've helped to create and nurture until adulthood.  There are ones who didn't know what to do, but they figured it out anyway.  There are ones who didn't know beforehand that being a parent is scary and life changing.  There are ones who don't realize that the existence of a loving spouse and a child are the best means to try to work toward silencing the screaming demands of the overly-selfish self-centered nature that seems to come free with the deal of being alive.  There are other parents I won't mention here.

There are all kinds of children.  There are ones who cause their parents to realize that they better consult a Greater Plan.  There are ones who drive their parents to wait on God and trust that they have raised their children to be able to discern what good choices are as compared to the others, even though they will also make some bad and hopefully not many dangerous ones.  These children might cause their parents to have to wait a while to see the fruits of their hard work and love as their child's overall path leads them to something greater than just what the physical world offers.  There are children who love their parents but say mean things to them because they haven't figured how to maturely deal with anger without trying to make the ones they love feel as low as their emotions trick them into feeling.  There are kids who have lots of hope.  There are kids who are hard to understand.  There are kids who help teach their parents how to be better parents if their parents will let them.

I don't know what kind or kinds of kid mine will be, but I want to learn things from him while I teach him.  I want him to know the love and security I've known.  I'm thankful this has been made so clear to me.  I wish that every child and parent alike could know such security.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

An Open Letter to You

Dear Kid,

Last night you were rocked to sleep as I danced to disco and club favorites.  You already do your own thing--you started dancing only after I stopped to rest.  Your dad danced all night long with extra soul included since I was taking it easy.    

I missed not getting to unleash the dance beast.  I worried I was jarring you around too much.  My back started feeling older than its 28 years.  Sometimes I wonder if my body will ever work the way I was used to it working up until I started making you.  (I wonder that much less than I wonder about you though.)  Even if this body can't walk as far and move as effortlessly, I'm happy it seems to be a suitable temporary dwelling for the beginning of you.  If I lament not being able to clean the entire house without feeling repercussions later in the day, I rejoice that my body knows what to do for you without me even giving it any orders.

By the way, one of your grandmas said your mom and dad "are the weirdest dancers" she's ever seen last night.  I think we work pretty well off each other on the regular dance floor as well as on the dance floor of life.  I don't think it's weird.  I think it's fun.  I hope you'll dig coming up with sweet moves with us too.  

Speaking of moves, I've identified four of the moves in your repertoire so far:
1.  The classic punch/ kick
2.  "The Bulldoze": where you slide a bigger part of yourself--maybe your bottom or your head--across my belly
3.  "The Whoa": where no one can tell what you just did but it's big and impressive
4.  "Rhythmiccups": where your hiccups come at perfect intervals for a few minutes at a time

You're the most interesting person I've come into contact with.  People always want to talk about you to me.  They can't wait to meet you either.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Since October: She's a He. He's Levi.

I haven't written about this kid in a spell. Work took up lots of the few wakeful moments of personal productivity of which I was capable. Also, to be honest, I didn't want to write down a bunch of the cliché things I always hear from mothers who've been pregnant, dads who try to describe an indescribable love for their child, how I should "love my belly" and so on.

But a few seconds ago, I realized, "So what?" Cliché or not, these things I've heard have been genuine and true and I don't get tired of hearing them. I do get tired of not being able to articulate how I feel, how it feels, how I wonder what it will feel like, correctly. But I don't care. If people didn't try to conjure words to describe things then there would be less crap in the world. But there would also be fewer instances of those times when you feel like someone else gets it too. The good thing about that would be fewer people would think that their own individual plights were just so unique and important. The bad thing would be if those pieces of language-documented emotion didn't sometimes knock you out because finally, someone gets it. I'm not gonna lie, and I don't care if Aaron thinks Holden Caulfield is a stuck-up ingrate; I still feel like Holden's character was able to articulate things I felt and thought about but couldn't put together on paper. Or on blog. And I wasn't even like the guy. I mean, I had privileges many children I know now don't. But I understood him because the world pissed me off lots of times and blew me away lots of of other times.

Another reason why I've mostly stayed out what the kids call 'the blogosphere' is because once, recently, I tried to find this particular post I wrote years ago when MySpace was something I spent a great deal of time blogging on. I wanted to find written documentation of a Christmas memory where my dad and I saved a cat whose head was stuck in a can. I wanted to find this because I was trying to get my eighth graders to write down and share favorite memories.

Turns out I never wrote down the cat story. I wrote down some other drivel that embarrassed me as I read it in my head. It embarrassed me because maybe it sounded trivial. Trivial because it didn't correctly convey the feeling I remember feeling. The entry sounded like it was written by a kid version of me who was full of it and thought I could write my heart and head and convey it properly. Well it was written by a certain kid. That was the version of the truth for then.

Now, what hasn't changed is I still think there is power in using sentence fragments when freewriting. Starting sentences with "And..." still will be a part of my written life. And now that I have time to write things down again, I'll go forward throwing caution to the gales fully knowing that maybe a few years from now I'll embarrass myself to myself. It's fine, though, because I'm pretty sure Levi will still like me.

One stipulation before I attempt to reveal aspects of life with Levi so far: I hereby promise not to betray my son to anyone via typeface. If he's riding in the front car on an emotional Giant Dipper, you won't read about it from me. He needs to be human and not have the Internet tell everyone about it when he's feeling off. That's that.

What I know so far is this kid has had the power in six months to make me love his father more than I ever did before. There is no frilly language to add to that since I'm not the romantic I used to fancy myself as. But here's some romance anyway: I would slay any beast that ever hindered my close proximity to this man that God made to make Levi with me.

And this kid, Levi. He kicks all the time. I wonder pretty much every minute what he will be like. So far I know he's strong and capable of impressive fetal athleticism. I know his heart beats and that night time is the right time for playing. I have seen an ultrasound image of his little face complete with Skeletor nose looking straight ahead as if into the eyes of whomever is looking at his photo. I have seen his beautifully-knit spine and all 33 of its vertebrae. I have seen his little frog leg. It looks like a mini-Aaron replica. Someone I don't know well laughed when I told her about that, but I was fully serious in my thinking. It seems likely that Levi will possess thighs that are powerhouses like his father does. I hope he will like animals even though his cats climb on top of him while he's in my belly. I can't wait for this kid. Even if he doesn't particularly care for cats at first.

Levi has changed my physiology. One notable feature--in fact, the only one I will mention at this moment--is that the inside of my belly button has seen light it has never seen before. The nerves underneath the tender skin inside are confused and I laugh every time I touch it because this part has been ignored for nearly 29 years. I don't know why it's funny. Maybe it's not. But it's weird.

I am happy to be bestowed with this gift called Levi Hawk. I will never be able to tell you how it all really feels but I will humbly try another time again, maybe.