January 14, 2021
2020 started out with great anticipation as Ian and I counted down the final two months to meeting our son Julian. Little did we know that those two and a half months would be the only ones we had with our community up close and in person.
Once the pandemic shutdowns began, Julian was about 2.5 weeks old and Ian and I were on our own - thankfully we had our family and community still connecting virtually (including our wonderful church family). It’s been a strange truth to be able to know exactly when the pandemic reached the States by how old our son is. Pandemic parenting is all we know - the benefits of not missing a milestone of Julian’s because we have been working from home and the struggles of not having the support we thought we’d have to help us parent or get through the hard weeks while juggling full-time jobs.
Well, our experience of pandemic parenting is about to change as we prepare for the arrival of our daughter in early June. While our journey to having a viable pregnancy with Julian was much longer and more difficult, we are grateful that it appears, so far anyhow, that our journey to welcoming our daughter is shorter and so far without the struggles we faced before. I have had healthy doctors’ appointments thus far and am grateful to have made it halfway through this pregnancy with healthy results from tests and ultrasounds.
As you may recall, but certainly may not because February 2020 was 5 years ago, I will be responsible for having all of my duties covered while on parental leave. As June gets closer, I will be sure to communicate my coverage to Staff Relations, church Council, and to the collective congregation. In these announcements I will be sure to provide you all with who you can contact for questions or needs, how you can reach me while on leave, and what my leave will include. I will be working with church leadership to ensure you all have clarity around what can be expected and when I will return to the office.
While many of you have only met Julian through digital worship, over a zoom call, or perhaps at a parking lot worship service we hope you will get to meet him in person once health safety measures allow us to meet in person again. What is really hard for me to believe is that at that point you might be meeting both of my children for the first time. But I am excited for that day - whenever it might be and however it might look.
Ian, Julian, and I welcome your prayers as we await Rutabaga (our nickname for her … Julian’s was Urchin). Specific prayers include one around my health, Rutabaga’s continued growth and wellbeing, Julian to continue to grow and explore as he reaches his first birthday next month, and Ian to be well as he continues to be a great father and fantastic partner.
We are reminded of how grateful we are for our health insurance, fantastic team of doctors, supportive jobs, and a robust community. For all the ways you have supported us as we have raised Julian this first year - generous donations to the church which have allowed me to stay employed, health insurance that helped us feel a little more prepared during a pandemic, and books/gifts/cards that reminded us we are not alone in this journey. Thank you so very much for your support, Calvary. Ian and I cannot imagine how much more difficult this year would have felt if it had not been for your care and support!
Thank you for welcoming our son last year and we look forward to the welcome we will all get to offer when our daughter arrives later this year. As a friend put it, not many people can say they had a baby at the start of the pandemic safety measures and one towards the (hopeful) end. We didn’t know we would be ones who could say that, but we are so thankful we will get to.
In deep gratitude and love,
(along with Ian & Julian)