Dina and Lola picked this raspberry (yoghurt) beret for Eliza in gay Paree.
Opinions are Like A$$#*!@$ January 14, 2010
We are experts in pregnancy, childbirth and parenting. That’s the way we feel tonight at least. Our neighbors M and T came over tonight. They are 25 weeks pregnant with a little girl. Eliza’s soon-to-be BFF. After tonight’s discussion of midwives, homebirth, birth methods, and newborn sleep technology they have gone home. I feel like they have given us this huge gift…listening.
It’s amazing how much this transition from non-parent to parent makes me want to gush about everything I’ve learned. What to avoid. What to purchase. Which advice to take (mine) and which to ignore (everyone else). As much as I try to say “this worked for me.” And “this is what I’ve learned.” I’m sure I’ve also used non-I-statements and an extremely direct tone. But M and T listened, rapt. And they gave us credit for all the things we’ve learned, the challenges we’ve faced, the obstacles we’ve overcome, and the great job we’re doing.
We should have paid them $75 bucks for the hour.
The other change that’s happening for us now that Eliza is toddling, yammering and feeding herself small pieces of cheese…are the beginnings of a next step. Deliberating considering, meditating, we are back at the beginning. Debating the appropriate moment to produce our next family member. Little TBA Cockrill.
California’s First Child January 9, 2010
Eliza is not the first grandchild in either my family or Howie’s family. There are seven other children in Howie’s family (Elizabeth’s Billy, Anabelle, Olivia and Jonny…and Ashley’s Reilly, Beck and Ginny). I have a niece, Hannah who’s 14 and is my mother’s first grandchild. Even so, Eliza has been the first in many ways.
The first child born to their only son, for Howie’s parents. The first grandchild in 14 years for my parents.
Here in California, Eliza has undisputed “first child” status among our best friends. At parties in the mission, she’s the only baby sleeping in the closet of someone’s bedroom. At weddings and barbecues she’s passed around between friends who coo and express amazement at her adorable face, her mature mannerisms and her fast developing diction. Even before she was born, she had a set of committed admirers who were awaiting her arrival. My friend Elizabeth even skipped her traditional holiday with her parents (and soon-to-be husband, Karl) to make sure not to miss Eliza’s birth. That’s LOVE I tell you.
Three days ago, we had our friends Annie, Jeremy, Elizabeth and Karl over for dinner. It was our first gathering after the holiday (where we were all apart) and after Eliza’s first birthday. Eliza is keen on entertaining large groups of adults wherever she goes…so we all sat in her nursery on the floor and let her lead the festivities. She laughs…we laugh. She puts something in our mouth…we pretend to bite it…then bite her. She plays music…we sing music. And on and on. One child and six adoring adults- the picture child-centeredness. I often have pangs of guilt for our (yet-to-be-conceived) second-child when we interact in this way. Eliza has two parents who give her all of their attention…and then this group of friends who are so attracted to her newness and novelty that they’d prefer to sit and play with her than eat dinner.
And then…Annie gave Eliza her first birthday present. Backing up, I should say that Annie is a poetess, song-writer, and philosopher. For the last year, each time she has seen Eliza she’s had the most surprisingly specific things to say about her development. “Her feet have grown to the size of the palm of my hand…that’s twice as big as they were last month!” And now I know why.
Since her birth, Annie has been chronicling Eliza’s life. Jotting down her thoughts about Eliza’s growth on a weekly and sometimes daily basis in the pages of a 2009 “Peace Calendar.” In between pages which provide biographies of revolutinaries and descriptions of social movements, Annie captured firsts in Eliza’s life, like rolling over, growing hair and standing up. She also captured the events in the life of our community, like Elizabeth and Karl’s wedding, losing Ken and watching the inauguration of our first African-American president. Annie’s journalistic style is that of socially-aware, artistically-driven, bohemian aunt. Alternatively gushing about Eliza, speaking candidly of the emotional ups-and-downs of the adults in her life, and noting the dark clouds and silver linings in our political landscape.
This is Eliza’s gift. Letters from her first year, written with tender affection by her loving fairy-god-aunt, Annie.
But let’s be honest. The gift is mine and Howie’s.
Sleepless in Hilton Head January 3, 2010
It’s 10:21 in Berkeley and 1:21 here in Hilton Head. It’s been a whirlwind trip east that is finally whirl-winding down.
We arrived in Atlanta on the 25th and spent time with hordes of family members…graciously hosted by my aunt Sally and uncle Jim. Then we drove east 5 hours to their house in Hilton Head for a reunion of Howie’s Davidson crew. I’m sure a summation of the two trips will be forthcoming. Howie has enough pictures to paper the interior of our house.
Tonight I’m laying awake thinking of all the things to do back in the bay area…re-order the house, make time for the farmer’s markets, get back to work, find a baby seat for my bike, see what’s left of my garden, reunite with friends…and so on and so forth. My mind is a-buzzing. I tried counting down backward…but then my mind wandered to the blog. That’s something else I need to do…start blogging.
So here I am, 1:30 am on the east coast almost exactly one year after Eliza was born. Back on the blog…thinking about stuff…sharing stuff.
Eliza has become a wonderful, chatty, engaging, gaze-holding, one-year-old. The changes that have taken place in her over the past month are monumental. She’s so much more communicative…so much more active…so much more child-like. Hence the plans for the bike seat.
Tonight is a great example of the changes that have taken place. At bed time, I got Eliza for her last nursing til morning. She was asleep when I got her out of the crib…and I nursed her quietly while reading. At some point, Howie also came to bed. When Eliza was finished nursing she drunkenly looked up and saw Howie. She crawled across the bed to him with her eyes half-closed and said “Daddy.” Then she pulled herself close to him using his shirt and said “daddy” and hugged him close. He snuggled her back and said “I love you.” She looked in his eyes and touched his beard and smiled and said his name over and over. I’m not going to lie…there was a tear in my eye watching her communicate so clearly with her dad.
Okay that’s it for now. Stay tuned for new pics and vids.