Today you got a package from Grandmama, Peepa, and Uncle Booboo. They went to Disney World recently and picked you up some pretty sweet duds. Your day was made.
Your dad went into work at 3am and isn’t getting home for another hour. We’ve been in floor-time playmode all day. Picnics, fort building, hot teas, staying in jammas, dance parties to Katy Perry videos, googling stuff for your hello kitty Halloween costume, braiding Diane’s hair… all that lazy Saturday afternoon stuff. Tomorrow we’re headed to Tulsa to stay with Val & Theo for a few days. Next week we’re going to Iowa for my high school reunion and you’ll get to see your grandparents and cousins. It’s been a lot of Scarlet and Mom time while dad is at work and appointments. As much as I love the time we spend as a family, one on one time with you is pretty top notch as well.
It’s well over 100 degrees today. We had to figure out ways to stay occupied indoors. After art projects and playing doctor we decided to give each other makeovers. You look a little too “Toddlers and Tiaras” for my taste, but we still had fun. You told me today that my hair was “even more glowing yellow” than usual.
We recently moved to a new house that is in a better school district than where we were living, you start preschool this week! Anyway, the new house has hardwood floors and a fenced in backyard with a hammock and porch swing. You have your very own loft bedroom which you have decided on the theme “Treehouse Science Museum,” you even have a pulley system with a bucket that our roommate Ashley built you as a toy elevator since you need both hands to climb up the ladder. You’re already growing so close to our roommates Bobby and Ashley, and our neighbor Brooke/Bunny. Tonight we put batteries in your turtle that glows stars on the ceiling and stargazed in your loft treehouse room while you ran around like a crazy person. You are surrounded by the most caring people, I couldn’t be happier about it. Today we also had orientation for your school and you got to meet your teacher and see your classroom. I teared up walking in and signed up for every possible parent volunteer opportunity. I can’t imagine what it will be like to leave you there alone later this week, even if it’s just mornings right now. I got a new job working at the tea cafe and we are settling into a new routine. Things are really great right now, even if money is kind of tight until I start getting regular paychecks and we pay all the deposits off. If all you need is love, then we are more than set. Way way more than you know, baby boo. 2012 has been the roughest. Hear this loud and clear, if you ever feel like giving up, keep going. Keep going even if it seems fruitless and irrelevant. Because someday, eventually, something’s gotta give. And it will. It really will. I’m eternally grateful to you for being my ultimate motivator, because I know I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.
Today was cold and boring, so we did an impromptu crazy-haired photoshoot in my room. There was this one picture in particular where you were pulling on your eyelids that I just fell in love with. It’s so typical Scarfish, I can’t get enough of it. It got me to thinking about how so many of my very favorite photos of you from over the years are of you just sitting against a wall, the main focus being your expressions and personality. You are truly one of a kind, kiddo. I hope that contagious light in your face never fades. - Mom
We decided to celebrate your sixth birthday a couple weeks early because we took a trip home for a wedding and you wanted to have a party with your cousins. You’d decided on a garden theme at Grandma’s house. We threw the whole thing together last minute, and everyone really pulled through for you. If Grandma taught me anything , it’s that it doesn’t take a lot of money to make a good birthday, just thoughtful planning. Our friend Kalie made you that flower crown on a moment’s notice. We found the absolute perfect dress at Pippy Lou and they worked with us so well and got it shipped to Grandma and Grandpa’s on time. Grandma agreed to make the tie-dye cake you wanted and you decorated it. It was kind of crazy looking, but you were so proud of yourself so I was happy with that.
Grandma and I made up a game. You insisted on having silly string. So we got some green crate paper and made the kids wear some and play as weeds. They had to run around the yard away from the adults with silly string or “weed killers” If caught, they had to freeze. They couldn’t unfreeze until the adult with a spray bottle and around and misted them with it. Then you played with the bubble machine, which was a huge hit. You helped make bouquets from the flowers in grandma’s gardens and set them out on the table. You wanted gold balloons. I got 6 of them with different colored ribbons and we tied them to golf tees and put them around the yard so they looked like they were blooming out of it.
You also planted some seedballz in the butterfly garden and drew flowers with your cousins on the patio with sparkle chalk. There were chocolate cupcakes in flower holders with sour gummy worms on top and mini cupcakes with butterfly sprinkles. The weather was perfect to grill out and I really think you had more fun than at any other birthday yet. You’re always at your peak amount of hyperactivity and joy when in the company of your cousins.
All week Grandma told you about the “birthday fairies” which came after dark and granted your birthday wish. The party was in the evening went on until dark. By the time you were blowing you candles out. About 15 minutes later you came running up to me, screaming. ‘I GOT MY WISH. I GOT MY WISH. I WISHED FOR PIXIE DUST AND THEY LISTENED.” You found it glowing in the bushes. I guess Grandma was right after all.
Six years. That’s how long I’ve known you. I remember staring at the apples hanging above your bassinet in the weeks before you got here. I’d wonder about the dreams you’d have under them, the things you’d think about as you watched them spin from the gentle wind of the ceiling fan.
I remember when they put you on my chest. I thought it would be different. I envisioned myself soaking in your face for the first time, full of wonder and amazement. I imagined meeting you. It wasn’t like that. I don’t feel like I ever met you, because I feel like I somehow always knew you. When I saw your face it was more like, of course. It’s you. My eyes brimming and my heart filled all the way up, I looked at your dad who was also crying and I said, “I love her.”
But it didn’t feel the way I thought it would. It didn’t feel like new love. It felt like preexisting love, old and nurtured love that was there inside me all along. It’s like all those hours, days even, I spent touching my stomach wondering what you’d look like immediately felt silly and ignorant. It made sense to me when you were born, it fell together. There was nobody else you could be. It was always you. I never had to get acquainted with you. Your presence brought a sense of peace. I think that’s why I have such a hard time when you go to your dad’s house. Through everything, you’ve been my only constant in the last six years. Cradle to grave type stuff.
There are consistencies that I don’t find in other places in my life like your contagious, from the depth of your being, laugh to the way your eyes move under your eyelids when you sleep. I find comfort in the constant humming when you’re cleaning or concentrating on something, my hummingbird. I find pride in your compassion and nurturing spirit, especially when other people notice. Lately you’ve been getting recognition at school for it. None of it surprises me, because I know you. I’ve known you. I feel all of it in my bones. My bones knew you first.
The first twenty years of my life I was just waiting around for the day my life would include your life. Six years seems wrong. There’s no way it’s only been that long. I’ve known you much longer. You were always here, all that time.
Happy happy six years on earth to my one and only. I’ll never get over the fact that you happened to me. I’m the very luckiest, I hope that you know that’s not lost on me, not for a second. I’m lucky to have, to have always had, you and to have the opportunity to share my life and experiences with someone as authentic and full of light as you are. I’ve said before that no words will ever be able to do my love for you justice. But that will not stop me from trying every single one, every single combination until you at least get the idea. Just more than you know. Way way more than you know.
This was the night we rang in 2014. We went pretty hard. As usual, there have been a lot of changes that came with the new year. It has truly been the year of mirror selfies for us, which seems silly and petty but actually stands for more than that.
I’ve always tried really hard to pretend I don’t hate my body in front of you because you know that it’s the machine that built you. It’s the rocket you landed here on earth in. How could I possibly resent the very thing that gave me the human I love the most in the world? And, worse yet, how could I let you know that I do? It’s a slap in the face and I refuse to take it lightly.
Instead, I tell you that the stretch marks are the places where your tiny nails clawed to get out, that you were born curious and eager, demanding. I’m so proud of those qualities in you. How could I ever hate the proof?
But so much of 2014 has been about accepting the things that are, and maybe always were. I feel so good about this year and all of the things in it.