Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby

Lucy! You are Four! Years! Old! today (well, yesterday). We are so proud of you, and love you more than ever. This week you learned all of the countries in North and Latin America. Wow. Today you showed dad where all of them are on the map -- we are amazed. On Monday you started studying and by Thursday, you knew them all. (Confession -- until you reminded me where Belize is, I couldn't have shown you.)

After a long and cold Spring, Summer has arrived early and with a vengeance. It seems appropriate -- you have been asking for short sleeves and sun dresses for months. You dream of sunny days. So perhaps the greatest gift today was the sun.

There are parties to come and pictures will surely follow. I can't believe it's been four years since you arrived, my sweet girl. I know you're set to show us who you are this year, more than ever. I'll try to be ready for it, whining, laughter and all.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

You can't always get what you want.

Lately I've been feeling itchy for you to grow more independent. There was a part of me that knew I shouldn't wish for it, but there are times in the day where it would be so much...easier. And now I feel lazy for writing it down. But you know the times -- in the morning getting ready and at night. Our struggles are rooted in the fact that you know how you need or want things to go, but you aren't quite there developmentally. And I want to help.

Simultaneously, I've felt this need to hold you close, draw you in. Last night, we went out without you and it felt...strange. The author reading and signing wouldn't have been appropriate content for you, but we were at one of your favorite places -- Powell's -- and found ourselves browsing the selection of "Clifford the Big Red Dog" books you are so wild for. As I write this, I'm thinking that I set out to write about your sudden shifts -- your development -- and, of course, this is really about mine.

As the sun has appeared more and more, you are expending more energy outside. You are coming alive! With the increased activity comes a deeper need for rest, for moments to yourself where you can chill the eff out when you find yourself too wound up. So maybe it's the literal increase in movement that's caused me to feel the metaphoric movement away from me. And that's just so damn typical, isn't it?

Yesterday when you and Dad picked me up, I opened your door to give you a quick kiss. You looked at me, sighed, and said, "You are so beautiful Mommy." This moment was a balm on my otherwise frustrating day with teenagers and so what I need. You seemed to sense what I need, and it is so awesome to see this development.

But I still long for you to need me, to make me go through the entire bedtime routine with the kisses, the hugs, the calling back in, the holding for four minutes on the floor and, finally, the silence.

Tonight we were drying your hair and your eyes were closing. You said, "I feel cold." You were unusually tired and when we laid you in bed, you rolled over and fell asleep. You didn't even make it through our little stories. We kissed you on the cheek, turned out your little pink and green flower lamp, and left the room. I waited by the door and found myself regretting each second I wished for this moment.

"But if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need."