Sunday, August 13, 2017

Trois Ans

Dear Violet,  

Here’s the deal. Your third birthday has come and gone, and I am embarrassingly late with this love letter to you. But, my excuse is that we are nearing the end of summer, and gearing up for the upcoming school year. Our summer days have been filled with adventures, swim lessons, spontaneous playdates, library trips, yard work, and many bowls of frozen yogurt, and it’s all going so very quickly now.
Truth be told, I have been struggling to write this letter to you. I have a hard time describing your personality. Because the truth is – this past summer has been a challenge with you. There is a lot going on in your head – and you are strong and fearless – a frightening combination for us. For example, a few weeks ago, you insisted on jumping off the diving board at our local pool. You just barely learned to swim this summer, but before I could even get to the other side of the pool you marched to the end of the board, placed your toes over the end, and jumped in with no hesitation. Or maybe it's independence and stubbornness because you insist on walking through parking lots without holding a hand. Or the argument that we have on a weekly basis that you cannot scooter, alone, six houses down, across a busy street, to visit your friends. I am fully convinced that there are no less than 1,432 opinions running through your mind each second of every hour, all day long, and you make these opinions known in very loud and boisterous ways. You do not sit back or sit still or sit tight. You go and be and do and try, tornado-ing through life with a very clear and direct agenda.

But here’s the other thing: you are gentle and loving and kind, mirroring the emotions of those around you and displaying such empathy for the world. The other day, Lily fell. She scraped her knees and banged up her elbows. You saw it happen, and you rushed over as soon as you heard the crying and it took all of three seconds before tears welled in your eyes and you cried too, looking back and forth, between me and your sister, doing your best to comfort her.
Fearlessness and sensitivity are a difficult combination to work with. They’re tough cards to be dealt, but they are also amazing tools to carry through life.

And here is my wish for you, dear Violet, that you continue to honor the weight of life. That your fears never stop you from daring to think new thoughts, try new things, take risks, fail, start again, and be happy. That you continue to discover that there is more to life than afternoon dance parties and summer bike rides – and that you remain sensitive to the good times – and the bad. In life, there will be moments of pure magic and green grass and perfect days, and they will lift your spirits. It happens naturally, like the cooling effects of a summer thunderstorm. You’ll know it when you feel it.

But, empathy isn’t a trained behavior. It’s an inherent reaction that comes from a good and beautiful heart – the kind of heart that you have. I can’t wait to see you grow into someone who cares so much. Someone who is so very aware of the weight that life holds. Being sensitive can be a hard trait to carry through life, but it’s a good one – I promise. You’ll see.
Sweet Violet, I guess what I am trying to say that I can’t wait to watch you grow: To dance, wild and free.

I love you more than all the water in the ocean and all the stars in the sky. 

Love, Momma

ps: Breakfast was twenty minutes ago, no you can't have a snack. 

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Violet is THREE

Yesterday was Violet's third birthday. In lieu of a babybook, I ask the following the following 20 questions to my birthday girl (starting with the third birthday). You can see Daisy and Lily's third birthday answers, here and here. So, this morning over a coffee (for me) and a cup of orange juice (for Violet), I asked the following questions: 
  1. What is your favorite color: blue and purple  
  2. What is your favorite toy: blue and purple toys. (She loves to play with dolls and stuffed animals. Also, She is always playing with magnet blocks).
  3. What is your favorite fruit: oranges, apples and melon. But, I really like popcorn.  
  4. What is your favorite movie: Blue La-La (Cinderella) or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (which isn’t a movie, but she loves it so).
  5. What is your favorite thing to wear: skirts. shirts with mickey mouse or minnie mouse. twirly dresses. (This is a new development. It used to be something that was “cozy” but lately, she’s been all about the dresses and skirts).
  6. What is your favorite animal: puppies! or bears, too.
  7. What is your favorite song: “Bake Sale” (from Silly Classical Songs) or “You’re Welcome” (from Moana.) (She calls this "My Welcome Song" which is always makes me smile). 
  8. What is your favorite book: Biscuit books! If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. Guess Who Mickey! oh, and Give a Dog a Donut! (She really likes any books that are primarily with dogs or animals. We can never leave the library without a book from the Charlie the Ranch Dog series.)
  9.  Who is your best friend: Reagan and Sadie (our neighbor, who is almost 8, and always shares her snack with Violet.)
  10. What is your favorite breakfast: daddy's pancakes 
  11. What is your favorite lunch: macoroni and cheese 
  12. What is your favorite dinner: pizza movie night (on Friday nights we make pizza and watch a movie together as a family. Basically, it's our favorite night of the week). 
  13. What is your favorite snack: popcorn (see answer number 2) 
  14. What is your favorite dessert: cupcakes
  15. What do you sleep with at night: my minnie mouse pillow
  16. What is your favorite thing to play outside: in the mud kitchen or swimming or catch with my ball.  
  17. What do you want for your birthday dinner: spaghetti and meatballs. cantaloupe and chocolate cupcakes with blueberry cream cheese frosting. (On the hottest day of the year we slow roasted tomatoes and simmered sauce on the stove all afternoon long.)
  18. What do you want to be when you grow-up: i don't know (We always think she'll be a veterinarian since she loves animals so much. Or a professional swimmer since I can't get her out of the swimming pool.) 
  19. Where is your favorite place to go: swimming! (For her birthday party we are going swimming with a few of her favorite people, and then celebrating with a few cupcakes. And yesterday after camp, we spent three hours at the pool jumping off the diving board.) 
  20. What is your favorite game: pretend puppies with sisters. or maybe candyland.
Don't you put on your sister's swim gear when getting ready for a quick Trader Joe market run?