Ruby’s Birthday

Ruby’s birthday was last month–she turned two! I just wanted to jot down a few memories of the day before they get lost in the deluge of time. It was a crazy day, I had just gotten back from visiting my parents in Fargo the day before so everything was a mess. But I made a cake, and put sprinkles on it, and had Wesley and Amy over for cake and presents.

Ruby loved the cake. She blew the candles out all by herself, although she put her nose right into one of the flames and got a smoke smudge on it. She carefully ate every sprinkle off of her plate before beginning to try to pick every sprinkle off of the rest of the cake. She seemed intent on this until Kyle pulled out her presents (unwrapped; remember how the day was a mess? It’s a good thing she’s two and doesn’t care). She saw the box and jumped off the chair to get the goods. I was glad we didn’t have a tantrum over the cake. Kyle and I gave her a baby doll, who she named Baby Sherman, and a baby doll stroller, which has been a huge hit. Ruby likes to sit in it, she likes to put her dolls in it, and one day she even convinced Amy to put to the real Sherman in it. (He actually fit pretty well, but he didn’t really like sitting in it.) Basically, the stroller has wheels, so it’s the best thing ever. If I ever fold it up after she goes to bed, the first thing she does is come and unfold it. She’s even run Sherman over with it a few times.

And just like that my sweet little girl is two. We’ve been looking at pictures of her when she was a baby, and she inevitably points to herself and says, “Baby Sherman!” I’ve explained–but she doesn’t seem to understand–that once upon a time she, too, was a tiny and adorable baby. This whole getting big process happens so slowly, but it seems so drastic when I look at pictures from when she was Sherman’s size. I would say I miss my baby Ruby, but I really don’t. It’s important to love her at the age and size she is now instead of becoming nostalgic for a moment that has passed. The present is so ephemeral; it’s good to appreciate who she is right now. It won’t be the same again.

Kiss it Better

I had a bug bite on my wrist the other day. I was scratching it hard, so the skin around my wrist was really red. As I was scratching, Ruby walked up to me–totally unprompted–gently took my wrist in her her little hands and planted a tiny little toddler kiss on my bug bite.

“All better,” she said before walking away.

Ruby Sings

Before Ruby talked much, she sang. It started out that she would sing along to the last word of the line. She would sing musical interludes. She even started singing along to her own lullabies. Now she sings many lines and words, and her songs are becoming identifiable even when she’s not singing along to music.

It’s pretty much the cutest thing in the world.

The Inadequacy of Goodbye

How do you put all of the feelings, the love and care that you have for a person into a word, a hug, a goodbye?

Lives touch each other, but sometimes people move in and out of your life. We may be connected by blood, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always live close.

So I said goodbye.

And this time, goodbye came with the knowledge that I don’t know when I’ll see you again. I know I will, but when? Money and distance are large barriers at this point in my life; and traveling with small children is a challenge.

So I said goodbye.

And I hope that the things that word fails to adequately express, the ways that I will miss you, are somehow communicated, even though the words and gestures of love are small. Because I care, and I will miss you.

Best of luck in Florida, may God bless you and keep you safe.

Ruby Sees Jesus

My mom got Ruby a book of gospel pictures for her birthday, so we go through and identify Jesus, animals, water, shoes, noses–you know, whatever is in the pictures. But now Ruby will point out Jesus in pictures hanging on the walls of the church or in our home. It’s pretty cute.

Today we were driving down the road and I hear Ruby gasp and exclaim, “Jesus! Jesus!”

“Do you see Jesus somewhere?” I asked, but I was kind of confused. There aren’t exactly a lot of pictures of Jesus that you can see in the car. But then I looked in the rear view mirror, and I realized that the guy driving the car behind us had shoulder length hair and a beard. Ruby, whose car seat is still rear facing, could see him very well. And as far as she was concerned, she was seeing Jesus.

I guess He drives an old beat up brown van.

Sleeping Sherman, Restless Ruby

Longtime readers will remember what a crisis it was to help Ruby to be able to fall asleep on her own. Sleep, for Ruby was a challenge, to say the least. The other day, I decided it was time for Sherman to start learning to fall asleep on his own. So I would swaddle him, put the binky in his mouth, and just pop the binky back in every time he spat it out. Over the course of two or three days, with absolutely no drama, crises, or trips to the ice cream shop so that I can run away from the crying (which would happen no matter what method we used to put her to sleep) Sherman started falling asleep on his own when we put him in the bassinet.

It felt like a small miracle.

This is just one way that Sherman is a very different baby that Ruby was. Ruby was a trial of a baby. She had a hard time with things like falling asleep, and especially when she was a small baby she would wake up and cry for hours at a time. She’s never really gotten the hang of sleeping through the night, although she goes through phases where things are better and phases where things are worse. Sherman’s always been laid back. Falling asleep is a piece of cake for him, nursing was easy for him to learn, and he doesn’t really cry unless he’s hungry or needs a new diaper–a solvable problem.

In short, Sherman is far and away an easier baby.

But one of the interesting things that I’ve noticed in comparing the two, is that it doesn’t matter that one was easier and one was harder, I love them both immeasurably. If Sherman was colicky and needed to be held and rocked and sang to, I would hold him and rock him and sing to him because I love him. A crying baby is very distressing, and it’s simultaneously heart wrenching and insanity inducing to realize that there’s little that you can do to soothe your sweet baby.

Not that I’m complaining, you know, about my sweet, easy Sherman. He’s just not the ball of fire that Ruby has always been.