Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Letter 2010

There seems to be certain things that become widely accepted once you become parents. You instantly relate to any discussion regarding parenting, an experience that’s been lost on you as long as you could remember without a kid. You also feel compelled to cover the back window of your car or SUV with a lot of unnecessary family or activity-inspired stickers of various shapes & sizes. After the birth of your first child, you also become aware that with some time & effort you can finally fill a page with things that may be mildly interesting and entertaining to some friends & family.

And so it began, on Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2010 when Blaine Andrew Dixon was born at 2:16 PM. When I called Roger, my father-in-law, from the delivery room to tell him what his name was, the actual name was apparently lost in translation. I met the grandparents in the waiting room a few minutes later to tell them the great news in person, welcomed with hugs & tears of joy. Awkwardly, I was asked by my mother-in-law Lois what the impetus was for selecting the name “Duane Allan”. A fair & honest question, indeed. The miscommunication was quickly corrected, and a potential lifetime of uncomfortable explanations to inquisitive friends back in their respective hometowns was averted.

We brought Blaine home in the snow two days later, and upon sitting down for the first time in our house with the little man still strapped into his car seat, I had a good cry in the living room with our dog, Alexandria (or Alex. She has an identity crisis), finally succumbing to the totality of the event that every parent feels. Life had certainly changed for the better for all of us.

Since then, it’s been the predictable sleepless nights, groggy mornings leading to being notoriously late for work, and evening dinners eaten well past 8:30 PM, before attempting to fall asleep and stay in a dreamlike state for more than an hour at a time, doing it all over again the next morning, coming all too soon. Put all of these incredible days together, and it’s the fastest ten and a half months we’ve ever experienced. But what am I telling you parents that you don’t already know?

Also, predictably, Blaine’s gotten nothing but endless love and affection from his grandparents and extended family. His birth even inspired the impossible: Bill & Ida Dixon purchased their first computer. They look at it inquisitively, as if it should be doing something more than just sitting there on the desk. Ida resists coming within three feet of it, as to not provoke it and suffer a nasty bite. Outside of card games, Facebook and Skype, it gets little use of its true abilities. Nevertheless, Skype has been a huge help in keeping in regular contact with everyone. It doesn’t replace slobbery kisses from an infant, I’ll grant you, but we can’t complain with technology like this, linking us over the miles.

2010 was a year of obvious “firsts” for Blaine. There was his first family vacation to Leech Lake in Northern Minnesota in July, getting passed around to a sea of adoring women (some of whom were complete strangers) in a crowded restaurant in Malvern, his first Nebraska Cornhusker Football Tailgate in September, His first Halloween (a vicious, man-eating tiger!), his first trip to the magical Land of Christmas Trees, and, of course, his first meeting with Santa Claus (predictably, not a big fan).

Of course, Blaine won’t remember any of these “firsts”. Those big events aren’t necessarily for our newborns, are they? They’re for us. And we’re perfectly fine with that. There was his first real smile, his first try at real solid food, the sheer euphoria of the Jumparoo, and his first real laugh….one that made the past 5 months of our ridiculous baby talk and funny faces all worth it. Finally figuring out the art of the forward crawl, or pulling himself up to reach the keys on the piano. We’ve got ‘em all. And we can’t wait for more of the good stuff,…more “firsts”… over the years to come.

We wish you Happy Holidays, and many “firsts”, for you all in 2011!

J.B., Lisa, and Blaine

1 comment:

Jodee Leader said...

I love your Christmas card this year. The picture with Santa is a hoot! We have several that look similar!