Thursday, January 15, 2009

A love letter

Dear Sasha,

It's funny. How much you've grown - and you're just 19 months-old. Maybe Funny isn't the right word.

I can't believe it, really. How fast time flies. Yesterday morning, for whatever reason, memories came to me of holding you on my chest and bouncing up and down to encourage you to sleep when you were just a few months old and so fussy. You were my first experience with colic, that's for sure. (And my last, for that matter...unless you, Dear Daughter, give birth to a sweet but colicky daughter, or son, as well one day...Turn-about's fair play, isn't it?)

I watched you at lunch today and I tried so hard to remember your sister and brother when they were this age. There were two of them. At 19 months. But what was it like? Why, Why did I not write it down to remember the moments? Well, yes, maybe it was because there were two of them. Maybe it was because your sister was still in the midst of lots of surgeries...

But I watched you with your fly-away hair, and your spontaneous smiles, and your deep voice penetrating my ears with "da! Da! DA!" which means - who knows what? Maybe Dad? Were you looking for Dad, Honey? And I realized again. It's so brief. I remember bouncing you up and down on my chest to satisfy you. But I don't feel it anymore. I don't ... remember it.

You are truly starting to become one of the family. Please don't misunderstand me. You were one of us the moment I knew you were there. (And, unfortunately for me - that came quite early with some pretty intense - and long-lasting - nausea.) But lately, I see you toddling down the hall after your sister or a brother. I watch you carry that gigantic plastic tub which stores your beloved penguin game over to me or to one of them with your "DA!" to entice one of us to sit and to play that dizzyingly repetetive song. I watch you carefully place the penguin on the ramp and see your jubilee as he waddles down the track and into his spot. And then you clap. And do it again. And then you clap again.

I see you grab your sibling's hand sitting in the van. You insist they hold onto you the entire trip. You want to be one of them. You are. You are one of us. And I am really starting to see that more and more.

You love our pets. And you don't like them so much. You love spanking the dogs on the butt. And then they knock you down and steal your waffle. And that cat. I'm sure you were just petting him softly today when he hissed at you...he's getting old, Sweetie. Cupping your hand into a fist and beating him on the nose was probably not the way to go. But I do love it when you 'Bro me,' or the kids, or your dad. What kind of a cool, hip toddler are you, anyhow?

I envy you, sometimes. (Not just the daily nap stuff or the earliest one to bed...those are moments to envy, yes...) But no, the moments I envy you most are when I see myself in you. I once was the youngest of four. I watch you with Meinie and I wonder if I followed JJ around like that. If I leaned over and hugged him with a heart-melting smile upon my face, the sheer pleasure, love, and admiration of a little sister towards her brother, the one closest in age. The one still home with you. I wonder how close you all will be. Whether I can keep you together and closely knit or if there is something one day that will pull you apart. I so want to impress upon you the joy of friendship within your own family. I do pray that you will all continue to be there for each other. That's what family is for.

Sweet Baby Girl, you are the one whose pictures I will take diligently. Because I told myself there will be pictures of the fourth child. Even if there aren't of the third...(OK, just kidding, Meiners...). Fortunately, we have the age of digital photography. So, perhaps I don't print off a stack of photos of you and place them tenderly into a scrapbook to peruse with you in my lap one day (or me in your lap --- Love You Forever...), but I did stop today, with the sun shining just right through the breakfast room window, and you dressed in your cute pink frills, I did stop to remember to remember you and this moment. Today. Right now. This is what it's like with you at 19 months, Little S.

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