Well, hello there. It’s been another year and I can’t even believe I’m typing that out. How does time pass me by like a jet plane? We just celebrated your 4th birthday and you are such a perfect mix currently of questions and sought confirmations, “Right, mom? Right?” and random outbursts, “I don’t want to leave the playyyyygrouuundddddd!” and sweet and thoughtful gestures, “Hey, come meet my mom. She’s really nice” (to a friend at the museum the other day”. You talk our ears off. Really, truly. You never, ever stop talking. I try to get you to play “the quiet game”. You’ll say, “O.k.!” and then after about 20 seconds you’ll say, “Mom, I won! I was quiet! I won!”.
You begin your second year in the children’s house at your Montessori school in two weeks, but before you go back I’m going to take a full week off with you at home just to go to the beach and the Natural History Museum and the playground and soak up as much of you as I can before we get back into the school year routine.
It’s been a wild year so far. 2016 has kind of kicked our butts. I think we’ve done a really amazing job of remaining flexible and open during all of the changes, but it hasn’t been one bit easy. My relationship with your dad is taking on a different form and that has had it’s fair share of complexities to navigate these last 7 months. I feel so grateful that we bonded together during my pregnancy and gave it our best shot these past 5 years. I needed that. You needed that. We all did.
And we have a connection now that we’ll have forever. We have a history that goes back 10 years and we have YOU. We have put your first in every way we know how since the moment we found out we were pregnant with you and ever since and I’m proud of that. I’m proud that we’ve been (mostly) kind to each other in our communication throughout these difficult months and that we’ve had talks that have led to disagreements and then, ultimately, agreements so that we didn’t have to fight in the courts over this and that and who deserves what. Just the thought of that kind of war is enough to keep me under the covers. It’s really difficult to practice kindness and empathy and listening and all of those things when your heart is shattered and I know we’ve both found that to be the case at times, but we’ve taken it one day at a time and time is on our side.
So here we are: on separate paths that are forever linked by you and we love each other and we love you and that will never, ever change (not even for a second). My greatest hope is that you look back on this season, if you remember it at all, with ambivalence. I hope you remember that there was a time when some big things changed, but that we kept your life as steady as we could in the midst of that change and that you felt loved and taken care of each step of the way.
The biggest goal, for me, this next year, is to stay focused on you and making sure you’re happy and content and have boundaries and feel safe. I want to connect with other moms and work amongst the people I love and read a lot of books that bring me joy and cook dinners and stay home where I feel calm. I want things to be simple and 1,2,3. I think we both need that right now, so that’s what I’m committed to. I’m committed to reading stories with you and taking you around the block on your new spiderman bike and teaching you things and listening to you and giving you more hugs than you ask for because I really can’t help myself and my-god-if-your-ears-are-not-the-yummiest-thing to nibble!
Currently you love superheroes (Spiderman is your favorite), Legos, your stuffed shark, “Toothy”, going to the farm to visit your grandparents, spending the night with Nanny & Papa and going to “B Sweeties”… watching kids YouTube, playing at playgrounds, going to The Natural History museum, visiting The Lego Store at the mall, eating “Fruity Petals”, pushing around mini shopping carts at the grocery store, and going to the movie theater. We also recently discovered Squaw Rock and you LOVE it there. You love people and play dates and bouncy houses and blow up pools and riding in the ranger with Grandpa. You’re social and friendly and opinionated and moody. You’re curious and talkative and funny and have a really cute way of saying things. L’s and S’s and Th’s are tough for you so you say “White” instead of “Right”, “Shwim” instead of “Swim” and “Toofy” instead of “Toothy”. :-)
Here’s the deal: I’m really proud of you. I’m really proud of how you’re adjusting and learning kindness and how to share. I’m really proud that you find the beauty in so many small things when we’re together and how you are brave and big around people instead of timid and small. I’m proud that you love so hard despite the difficulties of transition and change that I know are giant mountains in your world ~ and in anyone’s world. You don’t shut down. You open up. You don’t get angry. You get curious. Your light is not dim when things are tricky. You are brighter every day.
Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being amazing. Thank you for being my anchor. Who I am at 34 years old is so wrapped up in who you are and in who we are to each other and it is the greatest gift I’ve ever received.