Our little monkey LOVES to be barefoot. When we’re riding in the car, give it just a few minutes and he’ll have both socks in his hands, stretching them out and smiling and laughing at you the entire rest of the ride. In the living room the other day, we were playing, when he stopped (he’s sitting upright and even criss-cross all on his own now, amazing!), looked at me, then looked down at his feet curiously, eyebrows down with determination, and with a swipe, pulled off both socks off his feet. Then, without missing a beat, he looked at me, eyes glowing, a smile across his face that shows off those two tiny little bottom teeth, and he laughed. Within moments, he was moving around again, giggling, making noises, and just plain having fun.
I could learn a lot from him.
Every day I could lose count of how many things I worry about, whether it be work, money, the future, what to write about so my blog doesn’t have tumbleweeds blowing through it like a ghost town. It’s every day, and it’s completely unnecessary. Worry changes nothing and it solves nothing. It merely keeps us out of the present and unfocused from enjoying the moment at hand.
But my little guy has taught me, with the simplest gesture, that you just have to unshackle yourself, smile and enjoy the moment for what it is.
Sometimes you just gotta’ take your socks off and be free.
I admit that coming up with what to give my wife was difficult. When it comes to the holidays, I always feel like I’m that predictable guy who often ends up purchasing friends and family either books or movies (some of whom love it, some of whom, well, you can see it on their face). I’m trying hard not to be that guy anymore. I admit, a lot of it came out of wracking my brains to figure out what to get someone and then seeing some movie that I heard them mention they really liked or a book they wish they could read again. At first I think I’m doing something thoughtful by remembering these little nuggets of information, but as time passes I usually end up thinking ‘why did i buy that for them?’
So, I needed to make this one count. This was Meg’s very first Mother’s Day, after all.
All I can say is, Shutterfly to the rescue. I love this site. A few years ago, when we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, I had spend the months prior slowly compiling photos from our wedding into a wedding album. We had hired a photographer, but we didn’t order a formal wedding album, so this seemed like a great way to go about it – and it was completely worth it. Yes, it did take me months of staying late at work (so that Meg couldn’t see me working on it at home) to complete, but while we were driving to our vacation destination and I pulled that leather-bound album out to give to her, completely customized, every photo hand-picked, every page laid out to my specifications, it was wonderful.
That’s why, a few years later, with our son now in the picture (no pun intended), it seemed that maybe the way to cherish this first year a mom would be for me to lay it out in a book for her again. So, I spent a few days going through photos that we’ve taken of the little guy over the past several months (and believe me, there were plenty) and put together a great medium-sized book of his almost-first year, with a photo adorning the cover of Meg holding him in his arms the day he was born.
So yes, in a way, I still reverted back to my book gifting.
The present was set and wrapped (although next time I will try not to take AS MUCH of my time prepping the book, as my order total doubled to get it mailed in time for Mother’s Day), the cards were signed (one from me, one from the baby and some from the cats) so now all we needed was for the day itself to come off well.
Unfortunately, the little guy did not wake up on the most pleasant side of the bed that morning, so it was a crankypants start to the day. He’s a baby, though, so he gets a pass. However, to ease the rest of the day, I got up early, made some breakfast (nothing too fancy, just toast, eggs, hash browns), and brought it upstairs to our waiting mommy with The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” playing via YouTube on my phone, and a DVD of an old Shirley Temple movie (one of her favorites) ready to go in the DVD player for her.
Our little Mr. Crankypants didn’t seem to lighten up throughout the day, even when we went to visit each of our own mothers and tell them how much they mean to us. It was okay, though. What mattered the most was celebrating my wife, his mommy, and all the wonderful things she does for him, for me, for us, each and every day.