Happy 75 months my beautiful girl. My girl with the golden hair and a golden heart. We had family photos taken this month – how lucky we are to have a friend who also happens to be a talented photographer!
I love how the setting sun casts such a beautiful halo around you in this photo. It’s hard to imagine that just moments before, you were rolling around in the grass and dirt like a maniac while I secretly panicked about ruining your photo-shoot clothes. Or maybe you can imagine it, looking at your mischievous smile.
This month was a rare one – a month in which not a single bag was packed and every night was spent in our own beds. Not that we had nothing to do; we just enjoyed ourselves a bit closer to home. And it was nice.
We got to spend one afternoon in the company of your Uncle Jeff’s family as they stopped in town on their way to a wedding. We hadn’t seen cousins Stella and Jane since last Christmas. It took the three of you kids about 8 seconds to get re-acquainted, and soon you disappeared upstairs. You all emerged some time later dressed as princesses and performed a fabulous show.
Jane is almost 3 years old, but in your mind she is still the baby. The two of you were playing on your small outdoor slide, and you dutifully positioned yourself in the grass to catch Jane as she slid all 24 inches to the ground.
But grown-up girl that she is, you got more than you bargained for and found yourself bowled over. Or maybe that was the plan all along…
This month marked the completion, at least in your father’s proud eyes, of your proper Star Wars introduction. You watched (and loved) Return of the Jedi, the final movie of Lucas’ original trilogy. You found Daddy’s old Yoda toy and began carrying him around with you everywhere.
You requested Star Wars books at your school library. You and your Daddy drew ewoks together. When you had to get your first cavity filled (I don’t even want to recount that), you chose a flashing, beeping artoo detoo toy as your consolation prize. Your Daddy went up into the attic and brought down ziploc bags filled with old Star Wars action figures, and they’ve become the centerpiece of your playtime. This thrills your father of course, and the two of you love re-creating epic scenes from the movies. You add your own twists, and sometimes your Daddy loves to push your buttons. Like the time he made Darth Vader and Greedo dance. You clearly did not approve of this deviation from the script.
Speaking of script, we all went to a play at the Savannah Children’s Theater last weekend. It was an adaptation of the book Bunnicula, a funny children’s book about a loveable vampire bunny. You adored the show and particularly the bunny puppet, and once home, promptly donned bunny ears, a cape and fake vampire teeth.
You wore the ears and the cape all day, while we were doing some Halloween-inspired baking, and even out to a restaurant that evening with friends. So imagine my surprise when around 9 o’clock that night, an hour past your bedtime, you were cape-less and bunny-ear-less and full of tears. We were on our way home from the playdate and you bawled in the backseat. “I – sob – AM – sob – SCARED – sob – OF – sob – BUNNICULA’S – sob – FANGS!”
I tried to reason with you – after all, not 45 minutes earlier you wanted to BE Bunnicula. But now, if I even said the bunny’s name, you’d scream. “DON’T SAY IT!”
And I realized in that moment that I had passed two things down to you from my DNA – irrational fears, and some sort of allergic reaction to sleepiness. If I get tired, nothing is right, everything is awful, and – worst of all – everything will always be awful. You can’t convince me otherwise. After a good night’s sleep, I wake up fine. You will too. You won’t be able to recognize this in yourself until you’re much older. My parents told me this about myself when I was younger, but it just aggravated me. They weren’t taking my feelings seriously. They were blaming my anguish on my lack of sleep when clearly the world was upside-down.
So what did I do when you had the same problem? Just what my parents did. I told you that you were tired. And you wailed even louder. And then you fell asleep. And when you woke up, you were fine.
Oh well, we can’t always control which parts of us we pass along to our children (like my cavity-prone teeth – really sorry about that). Happily, there is so much about you to love, that if I can take credit for even a few of your traits, then I have accomplished much. Thanks for another great month my love. Mama loves you so much.