Friday, August 10, 2007
It's been a long time since I've written you here.
Here's what's going on:
Grandma Nancy and Great Uncle Glenn have both died in the past few months. We are working on this discussion every day. Sometimes you talk to her and we believe she's really there -- sometimes you ask to visit Glenn and then remind yourself, "Oh, he died. It's o.k."
Loss is a central theme for us, as we have moved to a new house in a new town. We have had so much going on, and you are such an easy-going child, that we didn't think about how much you would grieve over your old baby-space.
You have an amazing memory -- just yesterday, you pointed to a spot in the front lawn of Dad's school and said, "We had a picnic there last year!" You are referring to September of 2006; you've been to the school dozens of times since then and never mentioned it. Because of this memory, you hold on to details from our old house. Even with more space and freedom, it's not the same. It's not the same yard and bedroom and poorly installed flooring. It's so much more -- it's older and lovely, with character and no central air conditioning. We actually didn't mind the lack of cool air, excepting those 100 degree days in July.
Your vocabulary and ability to do things on your own have blossomed. We have been working so diligently on potty training, but you still seem quite comfortable pooping your pants. We keep asking why you do, and you just don't know. You do find it quite funny though, so I'm not sure that's helping. You will get a new bicycle and I've added pretty underwear into the bribe too. By the time you actually use the toilet all the time, you'll have a digital camera and an iPhone.
We've had visitors and trips to the zoo, but we've also had a fair amount of time at home. You've gone to school a few times too. You love us, but you miss your friends and teachers. You do so much on your own, and with confidence. You understand what we are saying and it's getting a little dicey. We have to be careful. You are so funny with your funny voices and quips about your imaginary friends. Also, you are obsessed with talking about peni*es; no man or boy is safe (and you have a loud voice). We don't want to freak you out -- "Half of the world has them!" "It's no big deal!"-- But we want you to know that their existence, the shear number of them, still doesn't make "Do you have a peni*?" a great conversation starter.
So here's what's unexpected today.
You are no longer my baby, but growing into such an amazing girl. You put your face on my belly and talk about how where you used to grow. Today, you lifted up my shirt and sat right on top of me. When I asked you what you were doing, you said, "I'm getting back inside." And oh, the ache. Not the ache to have another baby, but that cosmic ache that all parents feel -- the push-pull of our children growing and moving away from us. Maybe you'll know the one someday. But this is not unexpected. This is: we were at the top of the stairs ready to go down. I said, "Can I hold your hand?" and you put it in mine, like a gift. Warm and soft. And it felt so...light. Just sitting there willingly. And I realized how much of you still needs me -- how much is still small. I love to smell your hair while you cuddle next to me on the couch. When you've been running around and I can feel the warmth of your scalp on my lips, it is the perfect moment and we are a good team, our little family (growing smaller).
(Next up: These are the doctors in our neighborhood and Mom's not in school anymore.)