Category Archives: Growing up

Birthday awe


Two years ago today you came into the world.

The next morning I learned of you through the most memorable phone call of my life.

Twenty-four hours later I touched you for the first time, and held you in my arms, your little newborn body, long toes and round rosy lips making an impression on my soul so large and deep I was sure I couldn’t love you any more than I did right then.

I was wrong. So, so wrong.

Now, when I can grab you long enough as you run by from one adventure to another, I rock your long body in my arms. But your legs hang over, heels hitting my thighs. Your arm reaches around my shoulders, fingers tickling my neck. Your head, full of soft brown ringlets, rests in the crook of my arm. Your toothy smile just bearing with sentimental me.

I sing “Rock a Bye Baby” but now, rather than being soothed, you giggle and shake your head, denying “baby” status. Sometimes you even request another song altogether, at which time I know my moment of cradling has passed. You jump from my arms to dance as I sing out of tune, in awe of you the entire time.

Happy birthday, Maevey Gravy.



Filed under Adoption, Birthdays, Curls, Family, Growing up, Love, Maeve, Open Adoption, Parenting

Good morning! Where are your pants?

I’ve written recently about Maeve’s newfound interest and pride in being able to take off her diaper and try to redress herself. This has led to bare cheeks and wet sheets. Our fix thus far has been putting her diaper on backwards at night. Although she’s still been able to crack the code and shed the diaper, it’s happened much less often.

Well, she recently greeted me with a new one. Diaper on, thank goodness, but pajama shorts … well, rearranged.

After retrieving my camera and re-entering her room, she declared, “Cheese!” (Is this kid used to a camera in her face or what?) I asked her where her pants were, and she looked at me thoughtfully then began looking around, and then outside, of her crib. She seriously didn’t recall what she’d done with them.

After containing my laughter, I pointed out the exact locale of her pants-on-the-lam. She looked down to her neck and chest, thought a moment, and giggled a most-contagious giggle. Ha! The girl in a diaper with pants on her neck cracks herself up. 



Filed under Adoption, Children, Diapers, Family, Growing up, Love, Maeve, Parenting

My baby’s all girl


During a recent weekend visit to Nan and Pop’s lakeside cottage in Pennsylvania country, I saw just how much the little one we used to bottle-feed every three hours ’round-the-clock is, well, not so little anymore:

She held and “petted” a caterpillar (or two or three; good-goddess, I stopped counting) after seeing her six-year-old cousin Cleo do it, and this mama stood back and held her breath in fear she would hold them a little too tightly. (Silly mama, no need to worry. She’s quite the gifted caterpillar-holder if I do say so myself. No squishing to be had.)

Maeve greeted her Nan (Tom’s mom) with “Hi Cuuuu-teeeee!” every time she saw her and I have no idea where that came from. Actually, now that I think about it, in addition to “grandma,” she calls my mom “Cookie,” which actually is my mom’s nickname for her. Maybe Maeve’s just repeating to them what she hears them say to her, convinced these must be their names. Ah, to be so loved! 

One morning she walked with her daddy down to the lake and watched her cousins, and aunt and uncle go out canoeing. I took the solitary moments to relax in the shade back at the cottage, listening to the birds, admiring the flowers and watching the trickle of a gentle fountain. When I finally saw them in the distance, trekking up the long driveway toward the cottage, she was riding on daddy’s shoulders.

The girl is a bubble-blowing powerhouse. Couldn’t. Get. Enough. As in, each evening we had to distract her and hide “The Bubbus!!” when it was time to head inside.

Maeve kicked a soccer ball with her Pop (Tom’s dad), back and forth, back and forth. (Well, he kicked forth and she kicked as close to back as her little legs and 22-month-old coordination would allow.) At some point during the weekend, I was passing through a room and overheard Tom saying something about the next Mia Hamm. Rrright. No pressure, Maeve.

While at the beach a few afternoons, she walked right into the water, afraid of so little and open to so much. Loved to be twirled and spun, floated like a fish, and lifted high into the air only to come gently splashing to the water below. Deep belly laughs. Random swallows of lakewater were no deterrent from such summer splendor. During her first few moments in the lake she put out her arms and belly-flopped forward — something she’s taken to at home, onto the floor, a pillow, or a blanket she piles into something resembling a landing zone. Although I saw it coming and was mere inches away, I couldn’t prevent her face from going under a bit. By the look on her waterlogged face, she’d clearly mistaken the smooth lakewaters for a soft — yet still firm — landing-pad friend.

Maeve fetched countless buckets of water from the lake for her castle-crafting cousins Cleo and Owen. Although the buckets lost about one-third their water by the time she made her way through the sand up to the castle workstation, she was so pleased to be part of the project. As she traversed the beach to her destination, she’d proudly singsong, “Watah Cleooooo.”

At one point, Tom was asleep in our family cabana and from the water she said — in a voice far too quiet for him to ever hear her some 50 feet away — “Wake up daddy, up! Watah! Watya doin’? Watah!”

Maeve took way too easily to Cleooooo’s pink butterfly purse, wallet and pink phone. (We are in so much trouble.)

Oh — and most shocking to this mama-in-denial: She rode (with a helpful push) on a tricycle for the very first time.

Yes, a tricycle, people.

(What? Don’t scoff! This may not sound like a big deal, but need I remind you that this apparatus is designed for childhood mobility independent of parental influence? Next she’ll be asking for my car keys. And 20 bucks. And there had better not be any eye-rolling or lip-smacking.)

Is there a Pause Button on her somewhere that I’ve managed to miss? I ask all of you, surely much wiser than me in this Thing Called Parenting:

Where did my baby go?


Filed under Adoption, Children, Family, Growing up, Maeve, Parenting