Monday, 15 September 2014

Evangeline Kyle.

“Now I know why they’re called ‘a bundle,’” I whispered to my beloved as our baby lay leafed up like a cabbage in the swaddling that garnered our nurse’s praise: tight, secure, previously unknown yet welcomed like a fond memory. Over the last several hours came an outpouring of texts, emails, messages, comments, and phone calls; amidst which we shared Evie’s sense of calm, surrounded by a presence pressing, tender, and almost unbearable. Even her name, a tribute to those before her, as if by christening her with the invocation “You are your kin, your kin is you,” she really would continue the character and qualities of her legacy, cradled in them like the swaddling clothes. Angelina, Great Grandmother, Iron Matriarch of the Farol Family, Major’s Wife, mother to six sons and one daughter raised in the same stalwart respect and loyalty, such that in her last days they were all there, children having moved from the same home in Batangas to live in the same area of Southern California, children with children’s children and children’s children’s children, all formed in the same living reverence. And Kyle, Dear Cowsin, Forever Young, with his indomitable smile, who in teaching his younger brothers to be older brothers themselves shifted the paradigm for brotherhood: not roughness, not dominance, but with humility and gentleness he taught them to stand on their own feet; Kyle, who joined his grandmother before starting his first day as a UCI anteater, ending his lifelong battle with lupus. Together, Angelina the Iron Matriarch and Kyle the Forever Young, Kyle and Angelina, Angelina and Kyle, they gird her, establishing the principle by which we intend to raise her, that love is given before it is known.

- J

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Before You Meet the World.

By the sheer grace of God, we've made it this far, Baby Girl.  Month 9!  You've grown (according to my app) from the size of a raspberry to a watermelon, gentle flutters to sharp jabs, tiny blob to big ol’ baby!  I'm beginning to understand why parents confront nostalgia with every new school year or birthday (“I can't believe my baby is this old!”) Even now, I already have my share of emotions—“Hurry up!” constantly alternates with “Slow down!"

Your crib sits squished right next to my side of the bed in the corner of our small bedroom with no space between. Still, it won't be the same as carrying you in my belly. Your dad often asks, "Do you love her?” and I can't explain it. This morning I wanted to sleep in a little since you wake me up so much throughout the night. But you got your tiny hiccups again, so I just laid awake and placed my hand on my belly, knowing it won't be for much longer I can share this sensation with you. I feel like I’m protecting you from the world. I know I’ll miss our moments like these.

People always ask if we're ready for you to turn our world upside-down. I don't think we'll ever be. Each day will present new challenges where your Daddy and I will stare at each other and either laugh or cry.  We'll endure sleepless nights.  We'll rub your back. We'll wipe your tears. We'll listen to you vent.  We'll share your excitement and shoulder your burdens.  We'll watch you grow and learn and wonder where the time has gone. Most of all, we'll pray with you and for you to know and love God, because, Baby Girl, we know we cannot be everything for you.

We cannot protect you from all the pain or guard you from every danger or guide your every step in this world, but we can offer you up to Him who promises to be our Shield, our Shepherd, and our Salvation. And by doing so, you'll be in the best hands possible for He will guide you, deliver you, and bless you beyond understanding. If you need proof, just ask your parents.

- M