Tuesday, April 16, 2013

For Boston, for Boston...

"For Boston, for Boston, we sing our proud refrain. For Boston, for Boston, tis Wisdom's earthly fane. For here all are one and our hearts are true. And the towers on the Heights reach to Heaven's own blue. For Boston, for Boston, till the echoes ring again." 

I sang (and played, as a proud bass drummer in the Screaming Eagles Marching Band) the above song on an almost weekly basis, many times over, during my time at Boston College. Until yesterday, never have those words carried such meaning. 

I was not born in Boston. I didn't grow up there. But Boston was, is, and always will be a part of me. It is where, on the first day of "Band Camp" my freshman year of college, I met the love of my life; The man who would become my husband and the father of my children. It is where I made friends, that though now far in distance, are always close in heart. It is where, with the guidance and support of so many wonderful professors and mentors that I became certain that I wanted to be a Social Worker; a career that has brought me much joy and fufillment. It is where I learned what Social Justice really means, and what being "men and women for others" is all about. It is where I grew as a woman, as a person, and as a citizen of the world. 

My husband, Matt and I moved from Boston to Maryland (where I am from) in 2006. However, a piece of our hearts has always remained behind. We have always said, "If our family wasn't in Maryland, we would live in Boston in a second." Yesterday, as I learned of the tragedy at the Marathon, a day I always looked back on with such excitement and joy, I was devastated. My heart ached. It ached for those killed and injured, for the people all around who were traumatized, and for the city as a whole. 

Boston is a place that gets under your skin. It is filled with "transplants," people who have come from all over the Country and World and made it their home. And it is filled with some of the finest home grow Bostonians anyone would ever want to meet. And other than the difference in how these two groups of people say "Car" (caaaaaah), you wouldn't know them apart. For they all love Boston. They all call it home, and they were all affected by the events of yesterday. And yet, I have no doubt that the city of Boston--as we have already seen in so many stories of strength, compassion, and love--will come back stronger than ever. They will represent our Nation to the World as an example of courage, strength, and peace. 

As I looked at my boys last night (3 years, and 3 months), boys who wouldn't exist without the city of Boston, I was immensely grateful. Grateful that although bad things happen in this world, that the bad things are far out-numbered by the good things. One day I will tell my boys of what happened on April 15, 2013. And they will know of the evil, but far more, they will know of the bravery of a city that I love more than any other. 

And so, from this day forward, those words, "For Boston, for Boston..." will carry far more meaning. For each time I hear or sing my dear Alma Mater's fight song I will not only remember a wonderful University, but more so, a brave, compassionate, and love-filled city. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Zachary: 3 Months

Dearest Zachary,

Today you turned three months old. And while today was a very sad day for our country (some bad people hurt many innocent people in Boston, a city that is very special to your Daddy and me) I didn't want to let the day pass without posting your monthly letter. (Though your monthly pictures will have to be taken tomorrow, because I forgot to take them today!) Because no matter how many bad things happen in the world, it will never change the fact that you and your brother make your Daddy and me very, very, happy.

You continue to be such a happy little baby. You have really started to develop even more personality and more of an ability to interact with your world during the past month. You grab for toys while in your bouncy seat and you bring anything that you grab straight to your mouth where you instantly try to gnaw on it. Daddy is convinced you're teething, but that would be REALLY early. However, if you are teething, I'll take it since you're still a very happy little guy. I can only hope you remain this happy and easy going once you really do start teething!

You continue to smile and coo a lot. You have so many little sounds that you make and sometimes lately it seems that you're trying to be a part of the conversation. At dinner tonight we were joking with Ryan. I asked Ryan if he eat some of his meatballs (knowing he hadn't) and he kept saying, "Yup! I did Mama! I ate some!" all while smirking. We went back and forth, me saying, "Are you suuuuurre??" and Ryan saying, "Yup! I'm sure I ate them!" while giggling. You were in Daddy's lap and all of a sudden you said "Naaaa-aaahhh!" rather loudly with a big smile. As if you were in on the joke and calling B.S. on Ryan!

Speaking of dinner, you seem desperate to eat real food. Just like Ryan did when he was your age, you stare intently at us while we eat. You clearly seem to know what we're up to and you want in on the action. While I started solids with Ryan at 4 months I will wait a bit longer with you because Ryan's little belly wasn't quite ready and he went from being a not great sleeper to a terrible sleeper once he started real food. So, you'll have to wait a bit more...sorry buddy!

You're already quite the flirt and you use your smile and personality to your advantage. At dinner time you're usually pretty content to sit in your bouncy seat right near the table between Daddy and I. But you've realized that if you coo cutely, smile, and then whine just a little that Daddy or I (most often Daddy, because he just got home and missed you all day) will pick you up. You smile at almost anyone and love when people make funny noises at you, especially Uncle John. He just cracks you up!

Since your last letter you've started spending one day a week at Nee-Need and Pop-Pop's house while I go to work. It is going quite well! They are smitten with you too and thoroughly enjoy your sweet self. Although, last week you must have had a belly ache and you were breaking Nee-Nee's heart because nothing she did could make you feel better. But eventually you were able to fall asleep, and when you woke up, you were all smiles again.

You continue to be such an easy baby and everyone who meets you is amazed at just how low key you are. You are on more of a schedule than your brother ever was by this age. You're usually in bed by around 8:30 every night and you wake up around 7:30/8:00. You wake up once or twice a night to nurse and you continue to go right back to sleep.

In other developmental milestones you are trying so very hard to roll over, but you aren't quite there yet. Part of the reason for this is because you don't get nearly as much tummy time as your brother did. The reason for this is because as soon as we put you on the floor Ryan immediately wants to hug and "snuggle" (aka: smother) you. This irritates you and you get quickly upset which makes your time on the floor limited. But, we know you'll be rolling over before we know it, and in the blink of an eye you'll be running. You're already growing way too fast!

Zachary, you are such a perfect little addition to our family. We love you to pieces and we love watching you grow and develop every day. Happy 3 month-day!

Love always,


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