Jane went to kindergarten today. Just for an hour - I didn't register her or anything. And, actually, Annie and Clara went to kindergarten today, too. And me. Henry really wanted to bring Jane to class and his (awesome) teacher, Mrs. Atkinson, agreed to the whole thing. So here we are. I sat at the front of the class with Jane (and Henry and Annie and Clara) and answered the kids many questions about when she was born, how long has she been here, when will she be one, when will she be five, and what day is her birthday. The kids liked looking at her tiny little toes and imagining that they could have ever been that small. And Henry beamed and beamed and looked pretty proud. Me, too.
(All pictures taken by Miss Annie Kantor, my personal photographer.)
Well look at this! We have a baby! And she's beautiful and sweet and tiny and light as air and pure delight. Pure delight.
Miss Jane Patricia arrived in the wee hours of Tuesday, April 12... about 42 minutes after we showed up at the hospital. Contractions were about one hour apart and then - bam - five minutes apart, so a quick getaway to the hospital was very necessary. Thank goooooodnesssss that my mom and dad were still here staying with us after Joe's first communion so we didn't need to load any kids up and drive them around Oakville - they stayed safe and sound and snoring in their own beds. And we rushed off to quickly welcome another little girl to our group.
We (maybe just me?) were convinced that we were having a boy so... Jane remained nameless for the first three hours of her life. Even my obstetrician tried to help us out by giving us some suggestions (and we were open to that... she actually helped us name Henry). We wanted the middle name to be Patricia, after my Grandma Girodat, but had a few ideas swimming around for a first name without anything sticking. Jane was near/at the top of the list and then I checked the meaning - "God is merciful," one website said. So, in the year that Pope Francis declared the Year of Mercy, we picked it. Jane Patricia.
I was so happy to have Mom and Dad still here... their flight was that afternoon but there was enough time to come to the hospital to hold their fourteenth grandchild on their 47th wedding anniversary. That, too, was pure delight for me.
Jane has enjoyed the company of lots of friends and family, but her brothers and sisters are the most doting. Everyone is in love with her face, her sighs, her fingers, her toes. There is a lot of sitting and holding and staring. We are good. And God is gracious, God is merciful. This baby is such a blessing to us.
Welcome, Jane Patricia. We are so glad you're here.
This sign is so funny to me. That lady looks just like me.
This is everyone's reaction when Clara comes near Jane.
Saturday! To be honest, given the events of the week, Saturday seems like forever ago. But it has only been five days, and it was a big and important day for our little man Joe, so I need to do some remembering and recording. Here we go.
We've been looking forward to Joe's First Communion for a long time... his class has been preparing at school and we were doing workbooks at home and talking about it since... his Baptism. Maybe not that long. But for a while. So April 9, 2016, came quickly and all of a sudden our little boy is wearing a suit. And a belt. And dress shoes. And he wasn't complaining about it. But even better than that, he was also dressed in something very powerful (but invisible... like a superhero). After all his preparation, we were confident that Joe was dressed in his armor of God. The Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Belt of Truth, the Sword of the Spirit, and with his feet prepared with the Gospel of Peace.
He looked good, inside and out, and was ready to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. And in his own words (which I'm stealing from his journal from school), "I went up for my First Holy Communion and I couldn't stop smiling for a second."
So we hope it's the same every time... every single time you receive Communion, Joe, we hope you can't stop smiling for a second.
And look who's here to celebrate with us! Thank you, Grammie and Papa, for travelling all this way for Joe's special day.
Joe's nice friend, Luka, for any of his family members who may or may not be reading this blog.
Joe and Emma
When I learned Joe's first communion was going to be April 9, and my due date was April 15, with knowledge that our babies have all been about a week early... my sincere prayer was that I would be able to be with Joe on his day. Baby inside or outside, I was determined to be there. As it turns out, Baby stayed inside and here we are. Phewf.