Humor is also a way of saying something serious. - T. S. Eliot

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday, Ella and Sophia

It's odd to look at the pictures and see little girls instead of babies. You have quietly grown up until the only signs of your babyhood are left in occasional whispers, such as the certain pitch or tempo of your cry that would call back images of you as a baby, or the need to wear a pull-up to bed to ward off any nighttime flooding. Slowly, babyhood falls away, and I am left with screaming, sassy mad-women on our hard days, and charming, tiny women on our easy days.

Ella, you are my dreamer. The wheels are always spinning in that little mind of yours - and you aren't always quiet about it. Asking you to accompany Sophia and I on an outing while Daddy worked in the office, you declined many times emphatically announcing to me you have plans,

"I'm going to DRAW on Sophia's paper.  I'm going to READ my book.  And I'm going to RUN AROUND on the wet spot."

Two of the three things were no-no's, and you let the cat out of the bag as to your plans to make good use of little to no supervision.

You are the child who can stop my heart in more ways than one...

You are the child that puts ink pens in the refrigerator so "they will get cold." Once they are cold "they need to be microwaved."  

You are the child who laid on 6-week old Andi "but I'm just hugging her!"

You are the child who held 4-week old Andi up in the air by one arm "so she can touch her mobile."

You are the child who spontaneously says "I love you mama."

You are the child who rolls your trike, hops back up, smiling and yells "I'm all right!"

You are happy to play alone, which gives me a break, but also breaks my heart, as I learn from school that you are not making friends...and don't seem to care. I must remind myself, that, so long as you are happy, I can be happy alongside you, no matter what your path. Your happiness, contentment, and acceptance of yourself is of great importance to me.


Sophia, my apprentice-in-mothering. You try to take care of everyone, and the times that I see you sweetly calming Andi, I think "I must be doing something right."  The times when I see you lecturing Ella on her wrongs is a horrible mirror for me and reminds me of my failures; and that firm, but kind, respectful parenting is something I must always strive for, even on  my bad days.

Daily, I see your creative spirit as you dance through the house in various costumes, singing songs that you have made up. You wake with the sun and command our attention. Not wanting to miss a thing, you refuse to nap. You do not like to play alone, be left alone, or do anything alone. And you constantly insist that you help me in the kitchen.

You have the style conscience of a 16 year-old. You are very certain about what styles you will and won't wear, how you want your hair done, your nails done. You notice my style conscience, or lack thereof.  Seeing me come downstairs, believing myself to be ready for the day, you take one look at me and tell me,

"Oh, I guess you're having a bad hair day, eh?"

Happy Birthday Baby A and Baby B, as you were once known.  You thoroughly exhaust me, frustrate me, push me to be a better person, love me even when I think I'm a horrible mom, and I thank you.