I always slip behind.
But today, today...
Lillie fell off the back of the couch and the wind left her lungs for a few moments. She tries so hard. She fights so hard. She's a tall tree, and so beautiful with her curly hair.
Tada is like cheesecake. She lets me, too, eat her up. She has saddlebag thighs and they are better than the statue of liberty. And she loves eating nannies (candies).
Ruby was so happy when I made the time to lie next to her in bed. I haven't been, and I missed it! She was giggly and kissy. I don't deserve that child.
Grace read her report to me. I told her to look to the left and to the right at the audience. She can't do that and read that the same time, I noticed. Her report is on Mozart. Grace is a "Beessull" little thing as Lillie would pronounce. (it means beautiful)
Monday, March 19, 2012
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.
Posted on 3/19/2012
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Ruby at her elementary school, March 4th.
You turned 7. And all along, I was methodical and tough and haven't let myself feel that yet. But then I played a beautiful sad song tonight and the tears came... I looked at your photographs and momentarily lost my ability to operate. Everything started melting as I saw your face, frozen in time on the day of your birthday.
I love tickling you. It's actually my favorite pastime. And if I had to choose between receiving briefcases of cash or tickling you, I'd probably still choose you. Your little teeny fingers, your no-boundaries-laugh, your eyes, hair, feet, bony knees, your sense of humor, they all get poured into your cauldron and out comes this child.... this perfect little treat. It's you. It's always been you. You're a magnet, you're a rhythm, you're a song.
Your delivery was the easiest, the least painful. I joked and chatted with the nurses in the minutes leading up to your entrance into the world. When I saw you, I was an emotional mess. You were pink and had lots of black hair. I went into that place of transcendance. A little teeny life was flashing over and over in my mind. Who would you be? Could I protect you? Did I deserve you?
You slept in a basket next to my bed for 8 days. At the end of the 8th day we flew from Salt Lake to Arizona to live. Our first big move as a family. We lied to Southwest Airlines about your age so they'd allow us to fly and the whole flight I was in fear that your ears would be damaged from the pressure. I remember flying over Provo, silent tears rolling down my cheeks, a new mother, so worried for your tiny body.
You have been such an easy girl. You have taught our entire family the meaning of love. From the first moments you could express it, you have spread love throughout our home, your circle of friends and our extended family. Those that get to know you are lucky. You are a shining light in everyone's lives.
From the moment my hands grasped your little 8 pound body, I knew that I couldn't live without you.
I love you,