So our first Christmas, with twelve-day-old Jo, was magical.
Co's Christmas tradition, since childhood, has been to go to one aunt's house for Christmas Eve, and another aunt's house for Christmas Day. (They're actually her father's first cousins but she calls them aunt.) They live about an hour away. A few Christmases after we'd been together, I was invited too. Co's family knew she was a lesbian -- I was so, so impressed that she'd come out to them in the absence of a girlfriend, i.e. when she "didn't have to" -- they are Catholic, and all pretty religious. Most of the kids (including Co) went through Catholic school, and one uncle is a deacon in the church. Well, nonetheless, they were so loving and welcoming of me, the lesbian Jew. Before I met Co, I'd never celebrated Christmas before. Well, without movies and Chinese food, that is. At first it was a little weird for me to say "Merry Christmas" and be around all those decorated trees -- it just wasn't familiar -- but I've come to really enjoy it. I am overwhelmingly touched to be welcomed into another family. I just can't get over how amazing and loving it is. Maybe because I've always been on the fringes of my own family (we don't have any grandparents, on my dad's side due to death and on my mom's side due to residence in Crazytown), the idea that another family would want me and be so kind to me brings me to tears every year.
We took Jo to Aunt M and Uncle V's for Christmas Day and he was an angel. He slept in the car, and fussed only briefly when he needed to nurse or be changed. Co's cousin's 3 month old baby girl (who we didn't get a chance to meet) is a fusser, and everyone said Jo was sooo good in comparison, which made us feel very bad for the cousin. He got to meet Co's brother, his crazy uncle J., who he resembles greatly. A lot of the male cousins, along with crazy uncle J., were actually afraid to hold the baby, but all his great-aunts were eager to cuddle him. Co and I were officially freed from dish duty, which is a serious honor in that family. (The whole men hang out while women do dishes thing would piss me off, but honestly, to me it's all part of an alien culture in which people decorate trees and put lights on the bushes, so it rolls off my back.) We dressed him in the Santa suit one of my students gave me, but only briefly, since it made him shriek.
Yesterday we took him to Midwife Apple to weigh him. It was so nice to see her: she delivered him, and she was enchanted by him. She said I was a natural (yes, I'm glowing) and how nice it was to see us a little family. Jo weighed in at 8 pounds, 4 1/2 ounces, and since he should be back at birthweight (8 lbs, 5 oz) today, he's on track.
Update from today: when he is "quiet alert" (one of the phases of newborn consciousness) he will imitate us sticking out our tongues and opening our mouths. He is brilliant, don't you think? ;-)
Here he is in his adorable hand-me-down hat from baby Gus. Co calls this picture "Little House on the Prairie J."