Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008


So they say as you go through this thing called parenthood and come up against challenges you find yourself repeating history - doing the things that were done for you when you were a child. Or at least you call your parents or siblings and say, what did you do when I kept eating the Christmas tree? How do I make him lie down? How do you keep him from putting mashed and partially eaten eggs in his hair? Sometimes the advice is good, sometimes not, and sometimes the precedent is set and serves as a guide.

On MY first birthday, I had this uncle named Ernest who was that uncle that always made you laugh. I mean he was always telling stories or jokes. This was my dad's mom's sister's husband. That was fun. Anyway, this was the aunt (Mog) and uncle that my dad lived with while he was in college and I suppose that gave him the right to give my dad's first born son the gift that all mother's dream of their son carrying around the house as they learn to walk. A real hatchet. In answer to your question, I don't know why. It may be one of those things where you say, "it seemed like a good idea at the time" sort of things. But I don't know. Some people want to go back in history and see a famous event like the signing of the Declaration of Independence or Christ's birth. Interesting as those would be, I would love to see my mom's face as the hatchet was opened on my first birthday. I am sure her face said, in the politest sort of way, "what kind of family gives a 12month old a hatchet?"

We have made it a tradition to use this hatchet to help cut the Christmas tree every year and soon Brown will have to hear this story every year. (oh, here goes dad again, telling how he was given a hatchet on his first birthday. Does he think we were deaf last year?) But it has been a fun tradition. So, since Brown is one year old, by virtue of family tradition and the power vested in me by no one in particular, it is time to wield the hatchet on the Christmas tree young man. So we placed his hand on the handle and we now have a cedar tree in our living room. I thought I would sort of have to hold his hand on the handle. But he took to it fairly vigorously. Next year, I will get him a chainsaw.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Well, that classic of all firsts for Brown has arrived today - his first birthday. It is about 6am as I write this and a 6am call this day last year is what we got after 4 hours of sleep in a hotel to tell us that we better get over the hospital quickly if we had the urge to see our daughter born. Of course, this "daughter" gave us our first surprise in his first few seconds of breathing as given my years of medical training, I was able to astutely determine that Brown was a boy. Reflecting on his first year with us, I think back to all the firsts that we have had which most every parent will remember: first time we held him in our arms, first cry, first time to take him outside the hospital, first time to sleep under our roof at home, first middle of the night feeding, first fever, first set of shots, first cut to bring blood, first smile. I distinctly remember the first time he reached out his arms wanting to be held by me. First bites of food. First roll over. First time to come back in the room and him be in a different place (scary). First babysitter. This first son of ours has given us already a wealth of memories and for this we give thanks to God. We thank each of you for your prayers over Brown and look forward to what his second year will bring.