Some great spring-like weather this weekend made for fun times playing outside. It’s sometimes a rare occasion when I’m able to get all three of my kiddos outside at the same time, and rarer still is the moment they are all playing in the same spot with the same things! On Sunday, the rarity occurred with all three playing with bikes of some kind in the same spot on the patio. The result was a small collision with Baby Girl’s leg caught between her seat and bike wheel on the concrete, and she has the big purple bruise to show for it today!
These days, Baby Girl (all three, really) will topple over something or plow through something and hit the floor, and it doesn’t take much to help her pop back up again ready for more play. I love her “full speed ahead” mindset and her tendency to take the big leap. But, I also know that as she gets older and discovers more of life, some falls won’t be as easy to get up from. Some of the wounds from those falls will be deeper than the tears she shed over a bicycle collision. Some will shake her and bruise her in the depth of her heart. I hope she keeps on taking the leaps. In spite of the falls. I hope she is always willing to plunge in, to speed into the challenges. And, I want her to know that I KNOW… she IS brave enough. She IS strong enough. She CAN get back up. And start again.
Fridays are big deals around our house. On the way to school, the Friday “happy points” my kids usually list out include book club, no homework, game day in gifted class, the chance to stay up late, and this morning’s version included a “start of the weekend party!” I don’t know what scale of party we’ll plan after school, but I love that they recognize the weekend as just another excuse to celebrate. What a great reason for ice cream!
I probably need to say this as much to myself as I do to my children, but I hope I can instill this idea in each of their hearts. Sometimes — even at their young ages — I see them trying to compare themselves to each other, to their friends, to what they see in media, and even to me as their Mommy. There was a time when I saw my boys shying away from artsy type things because I’m an “artist.” Like I owned the best ways to do art or use my tools. I consciously work to help them see beyond that. Even days when I see Baby Girl try to emulate something I’m doing in the studio, I hope I’m diligent to remind her that she doesn’t have to measure her ideas or her methods or herself against how I do things. Or how anyone does things! The best measure of her efforts will be her own magnificent heart and her own wildest dreams!
We’re having a rainy week here in Mississippi, which sometimes dampens spirits. But, there is noone I know who brings her own sunshine better than Baby Girl! I want her to know she always has that sunshine within her.
That moment when she’s pretty sure something’s funny and she decides to test it out on you. The twinkle in her eye. The grin on her face. The pause. And then it hangs in the air… “Pish Posh” I think it was in response to “you might need your jacket today,” and after I got over the surprise, I laughed out loud. Which made her repeat it seventeen times between the house and school.
I wrote it down for you today, Baby Girl, so we could remember that time something you said made Mommy laugh until noon. Again.
Something I’m trying to learn myself. It’s comfortable to be part of a chorus. We like to belong and to be part of something big and loud. But, I want Baby Girl to know that her voice and her thoughts and her passions (when she figures them out) are strong and powerful even if she’s speaking them alone. Even if she’s singing to the wind or to speaking to the sound of only crickets, her voice matters.
Today’s letter is a big brother edition. My third grader is starting the process of preparing for end-of-year required tests, and it’s producing a lot of worry — a fear he won’t do well. Every now and then this happens, and I try to remind him that there’s never been a challenge he hasn’t met when he’s put his mind to it. “You can do this!” Don’t we all need to hear this sometimes? For all those challenges, big and small. From video game levels to classroom tests to gamete skills. When the worries creep in, I want them to hear this. And, until they have the confidence and experience to say it to themselves, I want them to hear it from me.
My heart on a sick day… when Baby Girl still wants me to take care of her. And I realize how much I love these days in spite of the medicines. It’s in these days I’m so thankful. I’m acutely aware of how blessed we are. And I remember that everything I do, all my design and work endeavors, every opportunity… it’s all weighed against this. And my ability to be right here. Where she needs me.