Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Grace.























Gracie,

You'll never be able to shake the pressure and responsibility of your position in our family. You confront your role head-on but often curl up in my lap, a perfect fit. Polite, and accommodating and obedient. And you worry and fret and fear. If I was inside your brain I think I'd be afraid of flying objects! Every possession you own or have ever owned is in your radar. Like, more accurate than a GPS... which is pretty amazing because GPS uses space technology!

You're 9. But you hug and hold your stuffed wolf like it's your baby. And the other day you told me you knew ____  likes you because every time he looks at you at school he smiles and then immediately looks down. And only an hour or so after you told me this grown-up tidbit, I found you on the couch sneaking in a thumb suck. I see a progression. In all of us lies a younger version of ourselves. It's nice to notice my residual baby Grace in you.

I haven't gotten over something. That day I brought beautiful black-haired Ruby home from the hospital and you were taking a nap. I handed over my newborn to Dad and went to lie down with you. Even to this day I get tears in my eyes thinking of how I sobbed, laying next to your toddler body, petting your beautiful hair and kissing your cheeks, wiping my tears on your t-shirt. Not that I wasn't head over heels for Ruby. But you weren't my baby anymore. All of that stuff, those two years of discovering how to feed and care for a baby, were ours. No one could take them away. We stumbled through that time together and I have to clear my throat every time I think about it.

You look a lot like your dad and a little like me at your age but with darker hair and darker eyes. You hate being tickled and teased. You love it when I scratch your back. And hold you. You've been riding your bike alongside of me when I go running on the weekends. You tell me things that you never would if we were home with all the chaos. That is our time. It's challenging, going up those hills on a bike from Target that doesn't switch gears, but you are tough and you always want to come with me, and that makes me so happy.

You are my tall, ridiculously beautiful oldest daughter. A leader. A smart little thing. Quiet in class, not so quiet at home. You get scared at night and have tummy aches when you're stressed. You mostly just want to be left alone, something that is very difficult when the two youngest are around. Ruby is your best friend and I really hope you always feel that way.

I love you, with a lump in my throat every time, I love you.

xoxo

Mom.

5 comments:

Kate said...

Grace has the best smile ever and the sweetest personality. Beautiful photos, the last one especially is awesome with the phone lines, etc. XOXO!!!

chanel said...

oh, im tearing up! your oldest daughter is such a miraculous thing- more than a person, more than an event, more than you could ever imagine! that cry you had with her on day one of having 2, captures it all. thanks for sharing that!! happy birthday to her (AND YOU), she sounds amazing and is so beautiful.

Clarke and Kamie said...

she's a beauty!! I had 3 1/2 years to dote and play and learn and love with mariko before kaia came along. I was scared to death because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to give her a sibling. But then she came and OH I WAS SAD my alone time with my oldest was over. Isn't it the same with all of us?!

Caitlin said...

I love her to death. This was such a beautiful post, Sarie. I am so happy I was able to spend some time with her while I was visiting. We took our own little trip to Target, and she was so responsible knowing exactly what we needed to get on the shopping list. You are a beauty, Grace! Happy belated Birthday!

SandraD said...

I was just able to read this post and realized that her birthday is one day after Maceo's. They are so much alike its crazy. The sneaking a thumb suck, the tummy aches when stressed. Funny the things we take with us as parents. Maceo gets to be my baby forever but even babies grow up too. Sigh. Miss you Sarah.