One thing my husband and I always make fun of my mom for is, on the day we got married she exclaimed “I have a son! I have a son!” with a bit of frenzied excitement. Almost too much excitement, but I was the first of my mother’s three daughters to get married, so she was riding high off wedding buzz and was easily pardoned. This week I learned to have a bit more sympathy for my mother because this week my older sister Ginger gave me my first nephew and asked me to be his godmother. As Brian and I were leaving the hospital I had an ear-to-ear smile and honestly felt like I could do a pretty damn good impression of my mother, only I’d be saying “I have a godson! I have a godson!”
The newest addition to my family is a perfect baby boy, Joseph Frank Pingitore.
He was born on March, 30th at 6 lbs. 15 oz. and 21 inches. I think… it seemed like everyone had a different number for his length, from 20-22 inches. Already you can tell who he’s going to take after:
Baby Joey is a skinny little guy, but he’s got long legs and the cutest big baby feet I’ve ever seen. I wish I had a picture of them! (Ahem– Auntie Lilly, hint! hint!)
I am over the moon for this little guy, and so is everyone he meets! It is near impossible to put into words how happy I am to have this new spark of joy in my life, so I can hardly even imagine what my sister is feeling.
I guess that really says it all, doesn’t it?
One thing that I am looking forward to is seeing everyone playing their new roles, especially my sister as Supermom and my mother as a Bushia (“grandmother” in our family’s Americanized Polish).
Although I won’t be able to see Baby Joey as much as I wish I could since I live further away than the rest of the family, I will be sending him my love each and every day.
Brian is also happy to be an uncle for the first time. Most babies, after their eyes develop and they can focus, really love looking at Brian’s beard, so I’m sure he’ll do swimmingly with Joey. I’m waiting on more pictures to come from my Aunt Lilly for a really good one of me and Baby Joey, but I adore this one of him and Brian.
It’s just one of the sweetest pictures I have, but of course, I’m biased.
Looking this post over I keep noticing how many superlatives I keep using, and how I am constantly fighting the urge to use exclamation marks to end each sentence. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve marked on my student papers telling them to take it easy on the exclamation marks, or how many times I warn my creative writing students to beware the threat of sentimentality in their writing. Lucky for me, I can give my own inner critic who insists on restraint and control a swift kick in the pants. (I’ll give her a hand up and brush her off later, not to worry.) In the meantime, while I’ve got a whimsy for the dangerously sentimental, here’s a poem by Mary Oliver that I think befits the occasion:
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
I love the final question in this poem. I hear it almost as a challenge. I think I felt the same kind of awe holding my nephew that Mary Oliver felt when she wrote this poem, as if everything were a prayer coming alive, charging us all to make more out of our “one wild and precious life.” …I might as well ride this wave all the way in and say that all I hope is that I can be as much as an Auntie and godmother to Joey as my godmother and Auntie was for me. (Cue the waterworks in Illinois!)
Almost before I can do much of anything for Baby Joey he’s already made me obnoxiously proud AND he’s brought good luck to my team, the Butler Bulldogs!
It has been a blast rooting for the Bulldogs. Sometime after I graduated in 2005, Butler students started a new cheer that goes “BU…TLE… R YOU a Bulldog? Hell yes!” Every time I hear that cheer I wish there was some special way for me to answer, because I have the great luck of being a Bulldog twice over, as an alum, and as a professor. The Butler campus is my Camelot, my Shire, my Secret Garden. I’m a Bulldog through and through… I’ll save “Ode to Butler” for some other time. For right now I have to deal with these butterflies in my stomach in anticipation of the game tomorrow. I really hope this team can go all the way and bring the Championship title home to Indy. Maybe then everyone will finally understand that Butler is NOT a Cinderella team any more, but rather that we all feel more like this:
I am a dog.
Not an underdog.
A mean dog.
A junkyard dog.
A dog that belongs behind a big fence with a big sign that reads BEWARE in big letters.
And yes, my bark is as bad as my bite.
Forget about my size.
Worry about the fact that i just ate a t-bone steak and i’m still hungry.
Worry about a beast that doesn’t know when to quit, no matter what seed you put me at.
And if your ball lands in my yard, consider it gone.
I am not an underdog.
I am the top dog.
And you’ll be seeing me around your neighborhood from now on.