Saint Lucy’s Day

I wrote this a year ago and posted it on Facebook. I’ve added a few links here and there and gratuitous baby photos at the end, but otherwise I’ve left it the same and I am just archiving it here.


Today Lucy is one hundred days old. It is two days before her due date and one day after eye surgery to keep her from going blind from the oxygen that has helped her breathe for these fourteen weeks. It is Saint Lucy’s Day. Saint Lucy, whose name means “light,” is the patron saint of the blind.

When we started saying to each other last summer, “I like the name ‘Lucy,’ do you?” I was thinking about a December child, one who might even be born on Solstice. I thought it was a sunny, optimistic name that might fit a little girl bringing hope and light into a dark, cold month.

Today, at dawn, it was below freezing but it was beautiful. The sky was lit up in the east, all purples and pinks over the lights of Children’s Hospital as we drove towards it. It was exactly the kind of winter day I had pictured months ago. It was the kind of sunrise that everyone comments on, the kind that makes us say, “I love living here.” You can see photos of it by going to Twitter and typing “Denver” and “sunrise” into the search box.1

I dropped off my husband, and instead of turning the radio to NPR like I would have done, he plugged my iPhone into the stereo before he got out of the car. He chose the playlist I made for Lucy, and Emmylou Harris sang “If I Needed You.”

In the night forlorn the morning’s born
And the morning shines with the lights of love
You will miss sunrise if you close your eyes
That would break my heart in two2

The moment crystallized then for me—my thoughts of our child, her perfect name, her vision which will be okay, and of that sky, all coming together today.

And then I turned onto the highway and headed to work, west towards the mountains, and the song switched to the Beatles, to “Good Day, Sunshine,” and I thought, a moment like that can certainly get a mother through a day, a long month, and maybe even a whole hard year.


Lucy, yesterday:

baby looking out window

baby next to window

baby kissing window

  1. Searching Twitter archives for something like this isn’t easy, but it was impressive enough that a local new station created a slideshow which is still available.
  2. Lyrics by the great Townes Van Zandt.

Happy Birthday, Lucy

I want to tell about the last twelve months, but I have no words. Or I have too many words, or the wrong words, or not enough time to think about how to choose the right words—I’m not sure.  But I can’t let the day go by without saying it’s Lucy’s birthday.

baby in incubator

I thought about just using a song’s worth of Kasey Chambers’s words. But I don’t want to be sued by a record company, so I will just tell you that her “Beautiful Mess” is kind of Lucy’s and my theme song. I hope that you will go listen to it on her website and then buy all her CDs.

baby in incubator

I prayed that the sun was the hope
And the rain was an angel
I came out of the treetop and into the cradle

squirmy baby in arms

I lay under the covers for a hundred days
I closed both my eyes till a relative came

baby with cannula

baby in bouncy seat

baby asleep in pack n play

baby with funny look

So send me to the grave with the age old question
How’d I get into this beautiful mess?

baby in bed

baby on bed with cat

baby asleep in carseat

baby in moby wrap

And it was never my intention, never my style
But everything about you is worth my while

close up of baby face

baby in bed with toys

baby sideways on couch

baby on lap smiling

‘Cause you make it all worth my while

baby peeking through hole

Where I’m Writing From and Other Stories

This is the condensed version. I may expand on some of this in future posts. I’m fairly confident that anyone who currently reads this knows what I’ve been up for the last few months, but for the sake of posterity and as a way of easing back into writing more often, I’ll summarize.

At the end of May, we happened into a litter of kittens and their adolescent mama. We took them all to the vet and then brought them inside and cared for them.

mama cat and three kittens

In early June, I started teaching a summer class. Graduate-level class + summer school + never taught it before + other job duties = a lot of work.

By late June, we had found a home for two of the kittens. It became apparent that the little black one, however, had moved in for good. His name is Hamlet and he is delightful.

cat and kitten in cardboard box

At the end of June, I flew to Washington, DC, to attend ALA. It was overwhelming but exciting. I’d been home less than 24 hours before I left again for a short campus visit and job interview.

crowded room of people watching presentation

In July, I finished teaching my summer course. In August, I helped my superviser prepare for the start of classes. I am neither teacher nor student this fall, but working for a university meant I was involved in various back-to-school activities.

In late August, the husband and I decided to move 1234 miles west. I flew out to meet a friend in our new city, chose a house on September 1st, and returned home to pack everything up.

We donated several hundred books to a library book sale, threw the wedding china and too many unfinished craft projects in a moving truck, and filled the backseat of the car with cat carriers. By September 15th, we were standing on the porch of our new residence.

cat carriers in backseat of car

kitten sitting in hallway of empty house

I skipped over some things, but that’s the gist. We like it here in our new place. We aren’t quite settled in yet, but so far October’s shaping up to be a good month and the fresh mountain air and sunshine makes us happy.

cat looking out window at sky