Monday, August 01, 2016

A Letter to my Bug

Dear Lily,

On Saturday you turned fifty-four months old. I had to count out your months and look at your last few letters because I keep forgetting you are already four and a half. 

I still remember when you hit about two weeks old and I stopped counting your age in days. Mostly because of my fried brain and lack of sleep, and navigating life with two children under two, and I just couldn’t keep track any longer, and I started crying. Actually, bawling. It was totally devastating to refer to you in weeks instead of days. You were growing so fast that it took my breath away. And now, going to four and half, or fifty-four months, or 1,642 days, or how ever we want to count it and my breath starts catching because it just seems impossible.

Tomorrow I’ll probably be waving to you as you drive off to college and in a week I’ll be watching your children graduate from high school. I know that when you’re four and half time stretches on forever and ever so that every hour feels like an epoch, but trust me: time flies.
At the Chevron Family Theater Festival. We saw the play the Wizard of Oz, got our face painted and made masks. All in all, a very fun afternoon. 

While you've grown in so many ways over the past six months, one of the biggest things you've really started mastering is swimming. Like, you kick your feet and pull your arms through the water. Swimming for hours and hours like a mermaid swimming. You have left behind the floaties and have donned your magic rainbow goggles to become a swimmer. You cannon ball and swim laps. You play elaborate made-up games by yourself or with your sister. It’s been so amazing to watch, you started this summer completely fearful of the water. Afraid to let go of my hands, afraid of not wearing your swimming vest or not having fins. I spent the first few weeks of summer having to convince you to get into the water, and now I use all my mad-parenting skills trying to pry you out of the water. It’s been really cool to watch this transformation. 
You did a "little" swim team this summer with swimming practice several times a week that culminated in a swim meet where you earned a medal after your "race." 

Your love of cooking and baking has also really taken off in the past six months. You love to help daddy make pancakes on Saturday mornings, or roll out the pizza dough on late Friday afternoons. You constantly want to help me in the kitchen whether its making the balsamic dressing for our salad or baking muffins for breakfast. You love to test if the pasta is ready by throwing it against the wall to see if it will stick and are forever asking how exactly the yeast causes the bread dough to rise.

Additionally, your love of stories and books has also risen to new heights. You constantly love to listen to your stories podcasts, and in your humble opinion, the best day of the week is library day. It's not just that you love the stories, but you've been very interested in learning how to read too. Earlier this year you asked me to teach you. At first, I was very hesitant. Four year old seemed so young to learn, but then you were insistent, and started recognize and spell several words on your own: STOP, MOM, DAD, SHEEP, RAT, DOG, GO, and so this summer, the reading lessons have begun in more earnest. And even though I never intended to teach you letters and writing and reading until you were closer to kindergarten, and even though I feel a little silly getting so geeked out over something so little, I'm not really certain which of the two of us is more excited about this. 
One weekend we drove up to Lake Tahoe, which honestly was a bust. There was a wind storm that whipped the sand around and caused crazy white caps in the water. So we switched gears and played mini-golf and ate ice cream up at NorthStar. 

My little bumblebee,  you are  a wonder to behold. Sometimes you are a tempest. You are wild and angry, but there is something beautiful about you, something amazing, and even in the worst of rages I can look at you and see my baby, my darling girl. I hold you and rock you until the sobs subside. Other times you are calm and peaceful. You are inquisitive and nostalgic. You are thoughtful and compassionate and observant. I see glimpses of the woman you will become. To me, you are magical. 

I could have never seen it fifty-four months ago when I was crying about you growing up so fast, but being with you at this age is wonderful. I love you more than all the stars in the sky and all the water in the oceans.

Love, Momma

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