Sunday, July 3, 2011

i almost wrote three. but it's actually four. wow.

to my cora. 
i keep stuttering the word "four." when people ask me how old you are ...
th... four?  four.
four just doesn't feel right ... it feels grown up and older and ... wiser and almost ready for school-ish.
and i suppose that IS you.
i know it is you.
maybe it's just more that i'm not quite ready for it to be you.

i know i'm exactly one month two months late on telling you all of this ... but ... you get it.  {i know you do} i've never been one to be on time with this sort of thing ... i much prefer playing baby dolls or taking walks or making an excuse to go to the park. 

i think my most favorite thing over the past year has been how lucky i am to get to spend two days per week with you and finners.  and that we really truly get some alone time together while he naps.  we usually do one of the above mentioned things ... but sometimes ... when i'm in the midst of editing baby photographs ... you sit beside me at the kitchen table and color beautiful pictures for me. 

like this one that you did yesterday last month ...

bad phone photo ... late at night ...
you asked me to draw you a cupcake ... and i obliged ... encouraging you to fill it in.
and you did.
to the very edge.
in case you are wondering ... it's a colorful cupcake ("because there are so many beautiful colors, mama.") and a cup of coffee ("because it's your {my} favorite") and the "grass and the sky".

you are sunshine in a cup, little one. 
a hard headed - sweet&sour - scared of any new thing - sunshine in a cup.

you keep us laughing.  we giggle about things that you've said as we lie in bed at night thinking about our day.  your request for "rotton egg sandwiches" (e.g., egg salad).  your quiet in the dark question to me, "so ... how was aerobics??"  the funny little way that you tell us that you want to go out for "boogers at the lesion" (burgers at the legion). 

i think you have a funny little place in our family.  it's SO your place ... but it's funny and awkward at times.  it's the middle space.  it's the in between.  it's the not big and not little.  and you were the perfect little person to fill that spot.

though i struggle daily with the emotion that i've put you into this place in our family that doesn't allow you to have everything that i want to give you.  does that make sense?
i worry that i don't give you enough.  because you don't have the older kid friends and sports and school.  you don't have the baby needs and wants and must-be-watched-at-all-times attitude. 
i fear that i don't know you like i know the other two. 
{it breaks my heart to say that.}
because i haven't ever had you all to myself. 

i just really hope that it won't really matter in the long run.  that your ability to compromise to the whims of others and your stubbornness that shines when something is really REALLY important to you.  (keep that.  seriously.  as much as it drives me crazy in the moment?  keep doing it.  keep holding out for something that you believe in or need.)

and exactly one month two months after you turned four ... here are the four things that i absolutely love the most about you.

1.  your ideas.  and wants.  and needs.  and requests.
just today last month ... we went and watched the "talent" show at stella's school.  (the word "talent" may be stretching it just a wee bit ... though ... they all got up there and did their thing.  and wow.  that's more than i could have ever done. but  still.)  and afterwards ... you were so worrisome about finding stella and when you did ... you decided that you must walk in line with those first graders ... and you did.  you quietly fretted and considered turning back ... but instead you pushed through and you walked with them down the hall ... and you sat in stella's seat and waited for me ...

you want that school thing so badly ... and i'm really trying to make something work for next year dear heart.  i am.  you are beyond ready ...
you also want a new baby doll at ... um.  just about everywhere that we go ... so. not. happening.  but still ... i see the maternal nature in you that feels like you need to save the baby dolls from a life of unhappiness.  you just feel awful leaving them behind.  i remember that feeling.

2.  your memory.

this picture kills me.  this was just after you turned three.  you were such a baby here.  wow.
this year you have dumbfounded us with your ability to remember tidbits of information about nature.  things that you have gained from your years of sitting around listening or reading or watching.  and you pull these amazingly astute facts out of your brain at just the right moment.  and leave people bewildered. 
it all started with the black capped chickadee ... and now it's volcanoes and bears and desert regions.

and because your memory isn't supertyexciting ... i'm just going to go ahead and throw a 2.5 in there ... and tell you that i LOVE your fashion sense.  anything goes.  and you are incredibly specific about what exactly you are putting together.  and how your hair will look.  (5 pigtails.  no.  not boingy enough.  boingier.)

3.  your caring nature.
you became a vegetarian this year.  which isn't surprising ... considering that meat has been your least favorite food of all time.  and that mommy and daddy have both moved through phases of vegetarianism at points in our life ... but you started questioning what animal this or that came from ... and i noticed that you were not eating much ... (though you've always been a bit of a bird in the eating department). 
and then you just came out and said it. 
you were done eating meat.  you didn't want to eat animals.
and then we went to a different pediatrician that freaked all out on us and made you go through tons o' bloodwork to show us that you were deficient in all sorts of areas (and you were ... though you were also terribly sick - hence the visit - and hadn't eaten in many days.)
and she told us to buck up as parents and "sneak" meat into your diet.

and we won't.
we never will.
because you have made this most amazingly wonderful and lovely and passionate and kind choice of why you are not going to eat meat.  and we will never go against your choice.
so ... instead we have talked and encouraged eating healthy and teaching you about what your body needs ... and you are amazing.
you ask about proteins.  and you ask about what would have more.  and which is healthier. 
i really love you for the thought that you have obviously put into this.

4.  your giggle.
you ... at times ... are a little bundle of stress.  nervously you chew your fingernails and toenails (yes.  i did say toenails.)  and we aren't totally sure why (or how). 
and i will admit that your nervousness and stubborness to admitting your nervous can drive us all batty. 
but ... when you giggle?
the sun shines.
even stella, the queen of rigidity and rule following cannot help but smile when you start a giggle. 
and finn?  loves you for that.  stella is like a mama to him.  but you?  you are his playmate.  you are the first person that he looks for in the morning. 

happy (belated) birthday to my sunshine in a cup.
my four year old ... sunshine.
i love you big.  really really big.

love always, mama.


Pamela said...

These posts slay me.

swonderful said...

oh, I loved reading every word. thank you for sharing this with us.

Annie said...


CC said...

I just want to eat her up!!! Since I could never write this good of tributes to my kids, could you do it for me? ;)