Thursday, January 10, 2013

2,190 days

My dear Lottie,
Today you are six years old.  I have no idea how that happened because I'm fairly certain that you were a baby only yesterday.

 So much has happened in your fifth year, the biggest of which is that you are a Kindergartner.  Big kid school at last!  If anyone asks you if you like school, you always answer that you don't, but I know that you do.  You're crazy about your teacher, Miss J, who must have the patience of a saint.  And when I have seen her around you, I know the feeling is mutual.  You're making great strides at school with your reading and writing.  I'm not sure sometimes how interested you are in perfecting your writing: when you're not into doing something, you are not going to do it no matter what.  Focus has never been your thing, but maybe you just haven't found something that deserves your total concentration just yet.  The day you came home from school and told me you had been on orange (the best behavior color) was a wonderful day.  You were so proud of yourself, and that made my heart almost burst with joy.  I love seeing you so confident and happy.

One thing that I'm so thrilled with is your capacity for kindness.  On Thanksgiving morning, you and Dallas were watching the Macy's parade on TV while Daddy and I cooked.  You came upstairs sobbing like your heart was broken and told us you had seen a sad commercial about animals in cages.  (Damn you, ASPCA and your Sarah McLachlan-singing commercials!)  You couldn't stand the thought of innocent animals being locked up or mistreated, and you begged us to "click online" to save some of them.  You have an enormous heart in that little body.  You're also kind, most of the time, to Dallas.  You have your skirmishes and fights, but at the end of the day, you love him like only a sister can love a brother.  I know that as you two continue to grow, you'll be each other's confidants and constants.

People always comment on your crazy energy.  Why walk when you can run, dance, sashay, tumble, skip, gallop, or dance?  You talk a million miles an hour every minute of the day no matter the subject matter.  You sing, you sass, you argue, you cry, you stomp, you slam doors, you laugh, you yell, you guffaw, and you wiggle.  You do everything full-tilt boogie.  Honestly, it makes me nuts but I hope with all my heart that you don't ever change too much.  Part of what makes you unique is your sparkling spirit, and I never want anyone to take that away from you: not school, not your friends, and especially not Daddy and me.

In the last few months, you have been testing your limits and pushing us as far as you can.  When you get in trouble, you cry and worry that we don't love you anymore.  No matter how many times I assure you that we will ALWAYS love you, you still seem to have a doubt in your mind.  Know this, my girl.  No one will ever love you as fiercely or intensely as I do.  You are my firstborn, my mini-me.  You are one of only two people in the whole world who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside, and that means we will always be connected, no matter what you do.  I may not always like what you do or the choices you make, but I will love you every minute of my life.  You're not a baby anymore, but you'll always be my baby.

*I love the way you say "chech mark" when you mean "check mark."
*I love the way you laugh.
*I love your wacky sense of humor.
*I love the way that you love people with your whole heart; there's no halfway for you.
*I love when you bring me a book to read to you and cuddle up next to me.
*I love the way you act out what is happening in whatever book we happen to be reading.
*I love the way you sing to yourself when you think no one is listening.
*I love the way you are convinced that you're a grown-up.
*I love that you are fearless.
*I love that "what if" is your favorite question.
*I love playing beauty shop with you even when I end up looking like Mimi from The Drew Carey Show. 
*I love that you see the beauty in everyday things and events.
*I love that you give Daddy a doll to take to Lexington when he travels so he won't be lonely.
*I love that you told me that you will either grow up to knock down unsafe buildings or be a gymnast.
*I love that you love to play outside and explore.
*I love that you like to eat sandwiches for breakfast.
*I love that you can belt out a Katy Perry song but still can't sleep without your Lamby.
*I love that you are who you are and you own it.
*I love you.

Happy sixth birthday, baby.  I hope all your dreams come true.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What a year for a new year


So it's goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013.  2012 was an interesting year, full of many ups and downs:  Two surgeries for me to deal with the pesky cancer, The Move, and everything in between.  It wasn't a bad year at all, I don't think.  It was a busy year, and I hope that 2013 brings a lot less drama.

I'm not big into making resolutions for the new year because I know I'll never stick with them.  But this year may be different.  Since December 14, I haven't been able to get the families of Newtown, Connecticut, out of my head.  I don't know how they are dealing with the terrible loss of so many members of their community, so many children.  How have the parents and loved ones of those lost been able to get through the holiday season?  How do they get through their daily lives or even an hour?  Trevor says I tend to obsess over things that scare me, but as a mother of a 4- and 5-year old, I don't know how to stop thinking about it.

In 2013, my resolution is to try to be more mindful of how I interact with my family.  I want to really listen when they speak and not be distracted by the loooong to-do list that always rattles around in my brain.  I think with so much going on in everyone's lives and all the technology that surrounds us at every waking moment, we're forgetting how to slow down and truly live in the moment with the people we love.  Someday, my kids aren't going to remember how many things I accomplished in any given day or how clean their rooms were.  They're going to remember curling up on the couch to read a book or playing beauty salon at the kitchen table.  They'll remember when I walked away from the huge pile of laundry to be a villainess who tries to conquer Spiderman and Firestar.  I'm not saying that the kids will never be sent to their rooms or reprimanded in any way or spoiled rotten.  But what I want is to raise them to be kind, generous, loving, and forgiving people because that is the best way, the only way, I know how to honor those whose lives were cut short.  And maybe, just maybe, they will usher in a new generation of adults whose lived are never touched by senseless tragedies and violence.  Maybe.

"What a Year for a New Year" by Dan Wilson

  • Nancy Lanza, Rachel D'Avino,

  • Dawn HochsprungAnne Marie MurphyLauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Leigh Soto

  • Charlotte Bacon, 6
  • Daniel Barden, 7
  • Olivia Engel, 6
  • Josephine Gay, 7
  • Dylan Hockley, 6
  • Madeleine Hsu, 6
  • Catherine Hubbard, 6
  • Chase Kowalski, 7
  • Jesse Lewis, 6
  • Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
  • James Mattioli, 6
  • Grace McDonnell, 7
  • Emilie Parker, 6
  • Jack Pinto, 6
  • Noah Pozner, 6
  • Caroline Previdi, 6
  • Jessica Rekos, 6
  • Avielle Richman, 6
  • Benjamin Wheeler, 6
  • Allison Wyatt, 6