Friday, April 13, 2018

A Letter of Love: Daisy's Birthday Letter

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. – Maya Angelou

Dear Daisy,

Forty-two days ago, Lily and I took you to get your ears pierced. Your father and I randomly decided that eight  seemed like a good age, and so during a break in the rain, squeezed in between errands and a workout, you, me and Lily headed to the tattoo parlor.
Of course, the wait was more than an hour, and after the grumbling (from all three of us), we decided to walk around the corner for an afternoon ice cream. We left our contact info up front and walked the two blocks to the nearby gourmet ice cream shop. As we walked in, a gentleman was paying for a to-go pint of ice cream and before we knew it our three scoops of lemon marshmallow were dripping down their cones complements of the gentleman in the plaid shirt.

We sat there, almost stunned by the strangers’ generosity, ice cream melting down our cones. Then, out of the blue, you asked if you could buy strangers some ice cream.
So we did. We went up front and bought a few gift certificates. You and Lily made the rules – they had to be passed out before they called us for the piercing appointment and they had to be passed out to strangers. And so, in the rain, as we wandered downtown Walnut Creek, passing out our gifts, the last stanza of the poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” flooded through my mind:

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear the lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

You, my love, at a mere eight years old, instinctively know what Yeats, took a lifetime to learn: That the truths of the “deep heart’s core” are essential to life. I look you and I marvel at your generosity. I admire you deep-rooted kindness. I delight in your creativity. I love watching your newfound confidence emerging. I look forward to our Saturday morning bike-rides and I love watching you on the ball field.

At night, we have started a new little ritual. After I tuck in your sisters, I sneak into your room and climb into bed. I pick up my book (the one that you have chosen for me to read from your books) and we read together for a few minutes. I read my book, and you yours. We sometimes talk, and we always snuggle, and when I finish my chapter, I always lean over for one last goodnight kiss and I always hear your heart whisper to me with every beat: love, love, love.
I love you more than all the stars in the sky and all the water in the ocean.

Love, Momma

Sunday, March 11, 2018

20 Questions

Last week was Daisy's birthday. In lieu of a babybook, I ask the following 20 questions to my birthday girl (starting with the third birthday, although I changed some up this year for her). You can see Daisy's previous answers, hereherehere and here and here

  1. What is your favorite color: gray
  2. What is your favorite toy: drawing table and art supplies
  3. What is your favorite fruit: watermelon
  4. What is your favorite movie or TV show: lego and friends and Peter Rabbit the Movie (Momma's Note: her favorite shows and movies and books are always whatever she just last watched. And Violet is currently obsessed with this show, so it was the last thing that was on. Likewise, on her birthday we took a friend to see the Peter Rabbit movie.) 
  5. What is your favorite season: summer
  6. What is your favorite animal: zebra  
  7. What is your favorite song: “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift, Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson or anything by U2 
  8.  What is your favorite book: any book (Momma's note: see above. She's currently reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle and loves it. She always is currently trying to read all the A-Z mysteries in order.) 
  9. Who is your best friend: Adell, Violet & Sadie
  10. What is your favorite thing about school: reading and science
  11. What is your favorite sport: I like to watch the skiing on the Winter Olympics. I like to play soccer. I want to try a triathlon. 
  12. I am best at: being smart (clearly, she’s modest too). 
  13. What is your favorite snack: granola bars & grapes
  14. What is your favorite dessert: cupcakes
  15. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be: Alaska 
  16. What is your favorite thing to play outside: hula hoop, jump rope, ride my bike  
  17. What do you want for your birthday dinner: Dos Coyates (We went out and she got Nachos. Then we came home for yellow cupcakes with homemade chocolate sauce with rainbow sprinkles.) 
  18. What do you want to be when you grow-up: singer / musician 
  19. Where is your favorite place to go: Hawaii 
  20. What is your favorite game: the scrambled states of america 

Saturday, March 03, 2018

A Violet love letter: 42 months

Dearest Violet,

On your three and a half year birthday you threw a shoe at my head. You then yelled at me that I was a terrible mom, and that you were going to take away my coffee. This was brought on because I wouldn’t let you cross a major street without holding my hand. To sum up, at forty-two months you are stubborn, independent and fierce.
In all honesty, sweetheart, life with you these past six months hasn’t been all roses and sunshine. It has been hard. You are at a cross between a tyke and a toddler. A big kid and a little girl. However, one of the things that I love about parenting you, sweet third baby of mine, is that I feel that I have found my confidence. And finding my confidence in motherhood has been nothing more than finding confidence in myself. It has been sidling up to failure, getting cozy with doubt. It has been questioning the unanswerable and praying the unthinkable. It has been understanding that my role here is to love and love and love. To teach, to train, to model. To bite my tongue.

Gaining confidence in parenting has given me the understanding that this work is hard, that the fruits of our labor are slow to witness. It allows me to trust that there is growth, just under the surface, not yet visible, and know if and when we will see it is far less important than watering daily.
Besides your wildly independent stubborn (ahem, who do you get that from I wonder?) streak, you are creative, funny and smart with a booming personality. You love to play puppies and babies and family. You truly believe you can read music and play the piano and ask weekly when you can start lessons. You are constantly asking to “go for a run” with me and your favorite game to play is catch. Your favorite afternoon activity to help cook dinner, and you squeal with delight when I tell you we can make a new batch of play-doh. You love any Llama Llama book, and you live in a world of Harry Potter spells, and kiddo, you really do need that 45-minute afternoon nap. Every time I turn around you have pulled out the all painting supplies, every marker we own, and multiple pairs of scissors to make a "project." Besides your blossoming crafting skills, you have been experimenting with idioms and colloquiums quite a bit. You are constantly telling me that you are “not in the mood” for something (usually a nap) and when something surprising happens you say, “holy moly guacamole.”

Additionally, you are developing more independence. You insist on brushing your teeth yourself. You never want me to buckle your car seat. You are anxious to read “by yourself,” and are always correcting me if I miss a word. I love watching you gain more independence and seeing the confident young girl you are, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that it is a little bittersweet watching you morph from my baby to my little girl right before my eyes.

Violet, you are a delight. You are sweet, adventurous and imaginative and always, always asking for a snack, and you are absolutely perfect for this family, even though you only allow me to wear "shirts with holes in them." You brighten my life in a way I could have never imagined. So, while these last six months have been a little tougher, a little harder, I live for the snuggles and cuddles in between.
I love you more than all the stars in the sky and the water in the ocean.