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February 23, 2011

With a Little (Okay, a Lot of) Help from Our Friends

As we rang in 2011, John and I held Jacob in our arms in our cozy Brooklyn apartment, counting down the final seconds of 2010 with the crowds we watched gathered in the heart of New York City.

Although we had the television on for ten minutes, tops, we were saddened by the display of what our society considers celebrity—the people’s outrageous clothes, their goofy attitudes, the too-casual way they presented themselves.  We found ourselves apologizing to Jacob for the world we’d brought him into, and newly determined to build an encouraging, inspiring environment for him to grow up in.

Every weekend of this new year, I’ve been reminded that that environment already exists.  Whether they are friends from kindergarten, high school, college, work, or church, we are utterly surrounded by phenomenal people with kind hearts, great senses of humor, and a tremendous variety of gifts and talents.  I’m grateful Jacob has such a wealth of personalities to learn from.

But what’s been especially wonderful this year is the many friends we’re making as a married couple—and as parents.  When we moved to Brooklyn last year, I was often asked why the change from Manhattan.  “Brooklyn is where the babies are,” I’d reply. I’m starting to see that the reason we’re here is because it’s where the parents are.

In the almost one year that we spent on the Upper East Side, we only managed to make friends with the priests at our church.  They are fantastic men, but not really people you can hang out with all the time.  Before we even arrived in Brooklyn, however, we had made new friends, met their friends, and reconnected with old friends.  By the time the Super Bowl rolled around this year, all our invitees were couples that were either pregnant or would be bringing a little one along. How much had changed since the first time we watched the Super Bowl together—in my freshman college dormitory, celebrating our first (dating) anniversary and hoping for many more!

Every night when we pray, we thank God first and foremost for our little family.  Right behind that is our extended family and our friends, the many people we are blessed to share our lives with.  Sometimes those worlds all melt together into one.  I love that my parents are now Grandma and Grandpa, and the girls I grew up with, the friends we went to college with now have “aunt” or “uncle” in front of their names.

With so many incredible people to help show him the good things in the world, I’m not worried about the environment Jacob is growing up in.  Rather, I’m grateful for the many new people he’s helped bring into our lives and a renewed appreciation for those who have been here all along.

  1. Alex says:

    I may or may not have teared up reading this for two reasons:
    1. I totally agree with your outlook of the world and the duality of looking out at such a crazy messed up world and looking inward to our own lives – full of such amazing people.
    2. I’m an Aunt!

  2. Kara says:

    What great perspective, that it is all about your perspective. When I look at the world, I’m fearful about what my son is up against. The immorality will be easy for him to find. But then I adjust my perspective and see the amazing people in our lives and think my son just might have a chance!

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