My dearest Little Miss,
You discovered rainbow chard when it arrived in our produce box this evening, and when you saw that it came in your favorite color, pink, you decided that that’s what you wanted for dinner. So enamored you were with the pink veggie that you wanted to help cook it. And so you did by rinsing the chard. But you wanted to do more.
“Is there anything else you want me to help with?”
You have no idea how happy that made me. Cooking a meal together, you fawning over leafy greens, and going back for seconds! But this isn’t new. Your ability to eat anything and everything is just one of the reasons I’m so crazy about you. I’m just glad to finally have someone in the house who snacks on Wasabi peas and olives the way I do. (You’ve just edged past your daddy in my book of cool, but don’t tell him I said that.)
Another reason (among many) why I adore you? Ever since your sister arrived, I was worried about jealousy, but you’ve proven that it’s completely unfounded. In fact, you’re an amazing big sister, who, for a three-year-old, takes your big-sisterly duties seriously as you sing to her to quell her fussiness and make silly faces to make her laugh.
You’re also great at hairball intervention, making sure nothing gets inside Thumper’s magnet of a mouth as she explores on all fours. Watching her watching you with doe eyes, I just know that as long as she has you, she’ll be okay.
Sometimes I wish I had an instant recorder that I can activate by blinking my eyes because perhaps then others could also see just how funny you can be. It’s mostly inflection or context, which I can’t replicate, like your out-of-the-blue, matter-of-fact statement, “If a polar bear walks into my room, I’d be a little surprised.”
Or when you said “Daddy’s just choking!” when you meant joking. We were roaring, but I guess you just had to be there. Well, technically you were. But you won’t remember.
There’s just so much I wish I could capture, for your sake too, yet my hands aren’t quick enough for the camera. My fingers can’t type fast enough. And sadly, my mind not supple enough to commit every detail to memory. You make me laugh so many times a day - the things you say both amuse and amaze - but right now? This moment? I got nothin. Not a damn thing.
And that’s the biggest issue I have with this whole growing up thing. That pace. You are funnier and wiser and more articulate and responsible, yet I can barely keep up. They feel like sand in my grasp. The stronger I try to hold on, the more they spill to the sides and the faster they escape my palm.
Maybe these are just the usual antics of a three-year-old. Maybe I don’t have to remember every detail. But they’re all new to me, and I’m greedy. I want to remember them all.
Like this little gem:
After putting Thumper down for the night, I found you playing quietly by yourself as your daddy, who pulled an all-nighter because of work the previous evening, slept on the couch.
“Shhh...” you whispered. ”Daddy’s asleep; he’s really tired. I’m playing quietly so I won’t disturb him.”
He later admitted he didn’t even realize he fell asleep, yet there you were, instinctively looking out for him like he was one of your many dolls you like to mommy. Just like the way you sometimes look out for your sister. Or the way you look out for me too.
Sometimes I get so caught up with the whole “Thumper is my last baby thing” that I tend to forget that you are my first baby. The one who first caught my breath.
And you know what? I believe you still have it.
Always and forever,