Yesterday I put the peanut butter in the dishwasher, a few days before that I put bibs in my underwear drawer and a week before that I pumped hand soap onto my toothbrush. I haven't actually known what day of the week it was at any given point in time over the last two months and it seems as if I've recently spent more time explaining the jumbled words that come out of my mouth rather than having actual conversations. Oh yes, sleep deprivation will sneak up on you when you least expect it. I’ve actually put the lid of the toilet down before sitting on it, thinking it was the seat, even though my husband hasn’t left the seat up in years. Danny and I thought we had seen it all, but these last two months have been our most amazing (and amusing) adventure yet.
Our precious Lennon Daniel has taken us places we didn't know existed and he's made us feel things that we never could have imagined, both for him and for each other. Oddly enough, labor was surprisingly fun in a weird way. Yes, it was fifteen hours of agonizing pain for the most part, but knowing that our little guy was on the other end of it all made it feel like some sort of challenge, like a twisted, cruel game show. Every time a minute was eliminated between contractions it was as if the ante had been raised, like we'd been promoted to the next round. And finally, at the end of what truly felt like a show, thanks to the bright lights, nurses, doctors, family, and even the housekeeping lady who kept coming into our room at inopportune times to take out the trash, we were ultimately rewarded with the grand prize of a brand new baby.
As much as I felt like Mel Gibson in the gut-pulling torture scene at the end of the movie Braveheart through out the process, I quickly realized that there really wasn't anyone or anything that could detract from my excitement to meet my little one. Not the pain, not the anxiety, not even the epidural guy sticking around to ask Danny for his thoughts on Sam Bradford while I was in active labor.
Once our little man finally showed up Danny and I were wide-eyed to say the least. Overjoyed, nervous, ecstatic, confused...the flurry of emotion was unreal. We had always felt like we were family before that day, but witnessing the creation of something that connected us on a level greater than feelings was enchanting. It's true that you can't really describe it, and it's also true that there is nothing like it. It's both magical and extraterrestrial-ish at the same time.
Over the days that ensued, we continued to marvel at what we "did." Every time Lennon smiled in his sleep or did something absolutely adorable, like yawn, one of us surely took credit for his cuteness with a simple "you're welcome sweet pea." Oh yes, we've definitely become those parents. Immensely proud and excited by everything he does. From his neck strength to his "big poops" (said in baby talk), we're impressed, and we aren't afraid to admit it. We've embraced our new family dynamic, and the fact that our lives absolutely revolve around our little bundle, with open arms. In fact, we wouldn't have it any other way.
I guess you could say that the dynamic of our new family is somewhat related to the first nickname that Danny gave our little Lennon. On the day he was born, the first term of endearment that popped in his head was "franchise." Yup, I said franchise. And soon after that, he started calling me "coach" and referring to himself as "the owner." Lennon's the star of the team, I call the shots, Danny supervises. It seems to work so far. Other nicknames that have come and gone have included Tarzan (because he was born lean, mean and muscular), Angry guy (because of the ever-present scowl he had on his face for his first few days of life), and Houdini (because no matter how tight we would swaddle him, he would ALWAYS find a way to squirm out of it). My sister also likes to call him Joo-joo bird. "Joo-joo" means "little bird" in Farsi, so in essence she calls him "bird bird." Not so cute translated, but pretty darn adorable when you hear it in person. At the end of the day though, he will always be my little sweet pea.
The bond that Danny and Lennon have created has been one of the most precious things I've ever witnessed. Danny holds him protectively in his big strong hands and they interact through a gaze that truly speaks thousands of words. And gaze aside, Danny takes every opportunity he has to talk to him. He likes to ask him what life was like "on the inside" and he speaks to him in the broken Spanish he learned in school to "expose him to other cultures." He sings to him and lulls him to sleep (Bruno Mars' "Count on me" is officially Lennon's bedtime song) and he has been trying to teach him how to crawl since he was two days old. He says he'll have him moving by six months...refer to paragraph number five.
As cliche as it sounds, little Lennon is the light of our lives. And we're not really sure how we've navigated this far without him.
In other Fells family news, it seems that this year the adventures are never ending...Lennon and I will soon be joining Danny in Denver, to cheer on our favorite Bronco, for the 2011-12 NFL season. Although we miss our STL Ram family tremendously already, we're excited about the next chapter. A new city, a new team and the new opportunities that follow in suit. I couldn't be more proud of Danny and all that he's achieved over these last few years. I can't help but smile when I think about how he continues to beat the odds as an accomplished NFL athlete who started out as an undrafted free agent out of the Division II football program at UC Davis. He's the hardest working guy I know and I appreciate him and the physical sacrifice he makes for our family everyday. That guy inspires me in more ways than I could count and I think Lennon is blessed to have him for a dad.
If I've ever expressed a sense of gratitude in any blog I've ever written before this, multiply it by a million for this one.
I am incredibly grateful for the love-filled relationships that I share with my family and friends. I am humbled by the divine process of life and the miracles that perpetuate it. And I am completely in awe of my beautiful boy.
Gifts from God are truly the greatest gifts of all.