Sunday, March 20, 2011
My big girl...
You're getting so big that sometimes I want to freeze time. Mostly though, I love watching you grow. I feel like nobody has ever been more proud of anybody. You're my pumpkin pie. My little peach. My first born. You're special because you made me into a mommy.
I ask you, "How come I love you so much?"
And you say, "Because I'm your girl."
When you grew your teeth, one of them came out with a tiny notch in its surface. I caught you looking at it in the mirror. "Why do I have a crack in my tooth?" you asked. I told you that everybody is perfect when they're born and that we all have something that makes us special. "Like Cheesy's little dot," you said. Your sister has a strawberry birthmark just under her hair line and you recognized it as one of her perfect things that make her special.
I was scared for you, when Cheesy was born. In the first few days after we brought her home, I thought to myself, "What have I done to our perfect little family?"
Daddy fell asleep in the grass and you woke him by placing your tiny palm on his cheek. "Come on, daddy," you said. "You can nap when the sun is gone."
Louisey toppled into my arms while I was changing her shirt and we laughed at how floppy she was, and small and I was nervous because she was taking me away from you. I loved her, already and I wanted her so badly, but I was worried because I wanted you to have me all to yourself, too.
I was there when you woke, in the morning. You crawled out of your blankets, looking so grown up and big after I'd been staring at Louisey's soft newborn head all night, and you stood up tall on your knees and plopped over sideways in your blankets. "Two sisters, toppled over," you said, and my heart hurt and I couldn't breathe.
That morning...how brave and excited you were, was a magical moment for me. You weren't scared. How were you so brave when you were only barely just three years old? How did you know that our family wasn't taken apart, but that it was made into something new and bigger and happier? How did you know that, when I wasn't sure that I knew it? You toppled over, just like your sister and I thought, "You are the big girl, now and oh! How I love you."
What would I be without you?
Louisey is special because she's my baby. My little one. The one we chose to have because we wanted a second baby. We wanted a playmate for you. We wanted to complete our family. She was lucky because she was born to parents who knew what they were doing. We didn't go crazy when she cried. We didn't buckle her into the car to drive her to the hospital, because this much crying just couldn't be normal... only to have her fall sweetly asleep before we got there. We had already leaned about babies because of everything you taught us.
When you were born, you were a little red headed baby with black-brown eyes and we had no idea how to take care of you. We were three kids, you, me and daddy, and we learned about how to be people, together. A little ramshackle family without any money or a clue. You taught us as we taught you. You lived with us in our tiny apartment in a tiny town where it always rained. You made that old place, home. You made me happy. You made me a mommy, which is best thing I'll ever be.
You and I, we danced in the empty space of our new house on the day we closed the papers.
We held hands and you blew kisses to the dinosaur skeletons.
We placed our feet into the icy water of the lake.
You slept in my arms in a hotel room, half way down the coast.
You made me brave, because I didn't know how to be brave on my own.
You taught me to look at people in the face when we passed on the street.
You brought 6am to me.
You let me finally be alone without being afraid.
You showed me how to see the world.
The world is mostly good, I know now. And it's mostly beautiful and covered in things to see. I'm seeing them for the first time. When I saw them before, I wasn't me. You hadn't made me, yet.
I can't give you all the credit, though. You only showed up and you happened to be just what I needed. I did all the hard work of changing, but you gave me my reason.
Thank you. That's all. Thank you for turning the grey air blue. Thank you for helping me to breathe. Thank you for being my girl.
I love you like the sky's gone out.