Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Dear Ian,

Tonight you had another "first" in your life, although to most it wouldn't seem like much. Your Daddy and I took you to Florida State University to watch the Marching Chiefs create this year's band at "March Over." Here, the new, auditioning band members - formerly known as gunkies, but now politically correctly referred to as rookies - are put through their paces in front of the returning veteran members, and then they get to join up with the vets. It's really a neat experience. I remember when I stood across from the vets. I had waited for that moment for a long time; I had grown up around the Marching Chiefs. Hmmm. Maybe I need to give you a little background information.

You come from a musical family. On your Daddy's side, your Great Grandma Graves and your Grandma Brooks can play piano, and your Grandma Brooks can even play the accordion! Daddy plays the piano and the french horn, and your Uncle Kurt and Uncle Ryan play trombone and trumpet. Daddy and I actually met in our high school band at Leon High School. I come from a long line of band romances, as a matter of fact. Your Great Poppey and Great Grandma Davis met in their band. They marched drum and bugle corps together, and Great Grandma practiced REALLY hard to be able to sit next to Great Poppey during band class. They both played trumpet, and Great Grandma Davis was also a majorette. Your Grandma and Grandpa Davis met in Marching Chiefs. Grandma plays the flute and piccolo, and Grandpa plays the tuba. When I was born, Grandpa Davis was still in Marching Chiefs, and he performed at the football game that afternoon with pink balloons tied to his sousaphone. Like I mentioned before, your Daddy and I met in high school band. We both play French Horn, and I play piano as well. Even Uncle Brian and Uncle Gary played instruments! They both played tuba in their middle school bands, but once they got to high school, they both went on to play football and soccer. I, like your Great Grandma Davis, am a baton twirler, so during marching season, I twirled with the band, and then I played horn during concert season. When I say I grew up around Chiefs, I got to participate with the Alumni Band when I was younger when Grandma and Grandpa Davis marched, and almost all of my twirling coaches were current (at the time) or former Chiefs. It was such a big part of my growing up, and I can't wait to share it with you.

So, now that you know how much of a part music plays in your existence, back to tonight...

I really wanted you to enjoy seeing the Chiefs tonight, and I really think you did. You sat so still when they played, really seemed to pay attention to Dr. Dunnigan as he spoke to the group from the Tower of Power, and you clapped at the end of their performances. You were prepared, though. We have been listening to Chiefs CD's in the car (a little loudly, so that you would be prepared for the experience), so I think that when we finally did get to marchover, you seemed completely at ease. Plus there were TONS of new people for you to smile at, so you were completely in your element.

I know you will most likely not remember tonight, but I will. Being exposed to music and the Marching Chiefs really influenced my decision to take up a musical instrument and to learn to twirl. And I have to say, there is nothing quite like standing in front of, or being surrounded by, that wall of sound. It is awe-inspiring. I look forward to the day when you can understand and experience all of that, and I'm glad that we got to start that process of understanding tonight.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Nicknames... You have a few

Dear Ian,

Yes, your name is Ian. Daddy and I officially decided on your name about two weeks before you were born after much deliberation. We loved the simple, yet masculine, sound of it, and we worked hard to find a name that people couldn't nickname or shorten into something cutesy. (For example: Jeffery, although not a bad name, could be shortened into Jeff. Matthew into Matt, you get the picture.) Not that names like that are a bad thing; we just wanted you to have a solid name that would stand the test of time from your infancy to adulthood. You see, the challenge of naming a baby is that you AREN'T naming a baby - you're naming a future adult. That's harder work... Anyhoo. Back on track. We more or less pulled Ian out of thin air, but as I was doodling family names, I noticed that the name Ian was formed from the last three letters of your Grandpa Davis' name. Neat! Your middle name, Thomas, is in honor of your Grandpa and Great Grandpa Brooks, as well as your Great Grandpa Colombrito. So there you are: Ian Thomas. We are so proud of the name we gave you... But then on the other hand, I worry that you will never learn your name because we call you so many random nicknames. Correction. I call you random nicknames; Daddy only calls you one in particular.

Sorry to say, this nickname thing started before you were even born. Daddy and I decided that we would find out before your birth if we were having a boy or a girl, but then we kept the news to ourselves. Sorta drove the Grandmas crazy, but it was fun. We got to bond with you first :) While you were busy growing and developing in my tummy, it just didn't seem right to keep calling you "The Baby." So, at first, you were Spawn. Scifi and video game references abound. But your old Ma and Pa took a lot of flack for this. So we gave you "names." When we referred to you as a boy, we called you Cletus the Fetus, and your girl name was Mavis Lurleen. When other's started referring to you by these names, we got a little worried and decided it was time for a change, and that's when you provided us with the perfect unisex name. You had grown up a bit and taken up most of the room in your belly accomodations, so you were constantly kicking and squirming. Hence your new nickame, Fidget the Midget. This really didn't point to girl or boy, and it rhymed, and it suited you well. So from month six to your birth, this is how we referred to you... Your Grandma Davis even sent you cards addressed to Fidget Brooks. A hoot, I think, for our mailman.

So, now you are here, christened with the name Ian Thomas Brooks, yet we still call you by random names. As I list them, I realize how often your names point to food items, and I also realize that I have a thing for alliteration. But here we go... Your nicknames, as of your tenth month.

Buddy (Daddy calls you this the most, but sometimes your Grandpa Davis does too.)
Wee Man
Angel Boy (Grandma Davis' name for you)
Doodle Bug
Pumpkin Pie
Puddin' Pop
Wild Man
Boogie Bug
Monster Man
Pea Pod
Sweet Pea
Monkey Man
Love Bug
Lovey Man
Big Boy (all mommies call their little boys this, I think)

Sigh. Like I said, it will be a miracle if you ever learn your name. I need to work on that. However, you will most likely be able to spell your name sooner rather than later. Whenever you are headed toward something you aren't supposed to be heading to, I will spell out your name. Here's a scene from this morning:

Ian: *crawl, crawl, look back at mommy and reach out to touch the wine rack, which is way off limits.
Mommy: Little Man, come to me. You may not touch.
Ian: *reaches out a little further, still looking at mommy with that "whatcha gonna do about it" look.
Mommy: I-A-N. No, no.
Ian: Giggle and look adorable. Your current defense mechanism.

The good thing is, you at least react to every name we call you, which is nice. It's good to know that the selective deafness affliction hasn't caught up with you yet. So our parent homework for the week (correction, MY parent homework for the week): call you by your name. But it's so much more fun when we snuggle to call you Snuggle Monster.

Love always,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Disclaimer - Mommy Gets Mushy

Dear Ian,

You gave me the greatest gift this weekend.

On Saturday, Daddy, you and I traveled to celebrate your cousin Payton's first birthday party. While I was holding you and watching her open presents, I was thinking about how fast her first year went by and how fast your first birthday is approaching. I was sitting there feeling happy and sad, reminiscing about the births of the two of you and thinking about your futures, feeling very sappy-mommy-like, and then you leaned over and put your open mouth on my cheek. I looked up at you and asked, "Did you just give me kisses?", and when you heard the word "kisses" you leaned over and did it again. Thinking it was a fluke, I asked you to give Daddy and Grandma kisses, and you responded by doling out two very wet, very sweet smooches to their cheeks.

This touched my heart.

From the moment you were born, sappy as it sounds, I felt this out-pouring of love for you. I have to admit, I spend a lot of time telling you that I love you, kissing your cheeks and giving you hugs. For some reason, I never really thought about you reciprocating those actions and demonstrating feelings. As much time as I have spent around babies and young children, I never really payed attention to or noticed when they started demonstrating affection. Your little kisses took me completely by surprise and melted me.

I know you probably don't officially recognize love yet; right now you just feel secure and confident in our care, but I'm overlooking developmental science and saying that I think you love us just as much as we love you. And you sealed that with kisses this weekend.

I love you, and smooches to you Sweet Boy.