Saturday, November 10, 2007

Friday morning:

I have two days off this week, yesterday and today, ostensibly to go to the state teacher’s meeting – but I’m not required to go, so I am working from home instead. I do have mountains of paperwork nipping at my heels and little ambition to slay these paper dragons. Time enough remains of my four day weekend for me to procrastinate with a little blogging.

Such is the life of an educator: perpetually hounded by stacks of ungraded essays, worksheets, and adolescent inquiries into the good, the true and the beautiful. The rumor is that the better I get at teaching high school the less grading I will have to do. My assignments will be multi-layered and student centered so that they will work on them more and I will work on them less. Perhaps this is true. In any case, the first year of a teaching position is the hardest and I am very glad of these days off to ease some of the pressure.

I am hanging out with Elliot this morning, trying to let Jes sleep in a bit. Daddy/baby bonding is going well. I was talking to my friend Stephanie in Florida, who had a daughter Hannah just a few months ago, and she was wondering if I was looking forward to the first smiles. I was unaware that my frequently smiling son was ahead of the developmental curve. He can also hold his head up by himself; he could do this at just a few days old. Apparently that’s a milestone that is also supposed to be upcoming. Precocious man gets his super powers from good genes, good food, and lots of love.

We went on a little outing yesterday to buy me new sweaters for work. My third floor classrooms are either saunas or frozen depending on the miscalculation of the day, so I need to work on my layering skills. We went to Kohl’s and used his stroller as our shopping cart. We did our first backseat diaper change and are managing all the details of diaper bags admirably. The devices meant to ease our way in the world require collegiate logistical skills. How ever did people manage in the days before all this stuff? Just fine, I’m sure, but with less credit card debt. Though it is cool the way his car seat simply locks into place on the grocery store carts. Jes was out with Kelly’s mom last week, and she was struck by how nice it would have been to have that kind of gismo when her kids were young.

For those of you (Kim & Rob, Mike & Christy) heading into this insanity I recommend getting a Graco Pack N’ Play and using Pampers diapers – though we are currently experimenting with biodegradable Seventh Generation diapers, that are not as good as Pampers, but better for the earth. Both Pampers and Seventh Generation have the leg seal and the pseudo-Velcro fasteners down, but the Pampers are more absorbent. The Pack N Play is a bassinet/crib combo with a changing station – it’s our living room crib and when he’s not being held (which is most of the time) he chills out in the Graco and looks at his mirror. Oh yeah, get a baby mirror. Parents as Teachers are big on the importance of the mirror in self awareness and motor control.

My brother Andy is in town on business and we’ve had a chance to get together Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. He’s lived in California since 1983 and we occasionally have years where we don’t get to see one another. He’s on his way over now to get me so we can check in on our sister Sandy. She’s had the flu, so we are minimizing possible baby contagion by heading over there. We are picking up a baptismal gown that I, all of my siblings, and many of my nephews and nieces were baptized in. My maternal grandmother made it and it’s beautiful. She passed away from a heart attack when I was very small. One of my earliest memories is holding my mother’s hand by the graveside during her mother’s committal. I mention this to explain why we’ve made a certain ceremonial choice.

Neither Jes nor I are religious in any conventional sense, but I was raised Lutheran and I have a certain amount of cultural and family baggage that is prompting us to do a Lutheran baptism this weekend. Oddly, as it’s more them then for either us or Elliot, my parents are currently out of the country and won’t be able to attend, but a picture of the proceedings will keep familial relations rolling smoothly until such time as Sunday School starts to be an issue.

I used to argue theology with both my father and mother on the grounds that ultimate truths were at stake. As I got older I realized that as much as I wanted them to accept my thinking, I needed to accept them and their beliefs. I’ve ended up doing a fair number of oddly religious things in order to honor the people who gave me life. I chalk it up to a cultural heritage and roll with it on the existential premise that we all supply our own meanings. We’ve asked Beth and Brad to be godparents and I’ve charged them with talking Elliot out of any crazy cultish beliefs that he might become embroiled in.

Maybe the baptism is some kind of Pascal’s wager. Nope. It's just a gift to my parents and a slight moistening of our son. Actually, the ceremony will be redundant as the cat has already taken care of it.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Post a Comment

<< Home