SIX – A Birthday Letter

To My Darling Daughter,

A few evenings ago, while you were sleeping, your father and I quickly de-Christmased the house to celebrate six glorious years of you.  I gathered a bunch of your well-loved toys and arranged them on the mantel – My Little Pony’s and unicorns, farm animals and plastic insects, trolls and aliens, and a few odds and ends.  The arrangement was joyful and bizarre.  And peculiar.  And 100% you.

You were thrilled.

We celebrated you with a surprise trip to 5th Avenue to visit the American Girl Place – a doll store mecca I wasn’t sure we’d ever enter.  My, how time changes things.  We waited in line outside for quite some time, and when we finally walked through the doors, you intently studied the dolls enclosed in the glass casing.  As I watched your little hands press up against your reflection, searching for the doll that looked most like you – I couldn’t help but think about your growing sense of self, and increasing awareness for the world around you.

You vacillate between big and little.  Between wanting to identify common ground with your peers, and being 100% unabashedly you.  Between donning costumes and more accessories than a Christmas tree, to removing a prop in certain situations.  I can easily recall the familiar feeling of searching through metaphorical glass for something similar – something just like me.  Affirmation in a bigger girl’s voice.  A nod of approval.

Sometimes when I find myself worrying about the complexities of growing up – you remind me that you are navigating this ever-changing terrain just fine.  Like when you purchased the rock collection book at your school book fair, despite the fact that your friends told you to get the princess one.  Sometimes I still inwardly stress about you being the youngest (and littlest) in your grade, but I know that there is NOTHING small about you.  Just recently, a mother told me that when her daughter was taunted after a new haircut, you walked past unkind words, looked at your friend and said “You know what?  You are beautiful”.  

You make your mama’s heart swell. 

birthday

My darling,  your name means light, and you undoubtedly personify that. Your magic is found in letting your light shine.  It is spread through your optimism, and eagerness to participate.  It is seen in the mountain of artwork that your feverishly create.   It is felt through your loving empathy and ability to quickly fill a tub with your toys to giveaway.  It is displayed in the shrines of acorn fairy homes (with accompanying stories) that you constantly construct in unexpected corners of our home.  And I now see it in a coveted 18″doll, ornately decorated and adorned with toys – wrapped in extraordinary childhood creativity.

Happy sixth birthday my love – you are truly coming into your own.  Please don’t ever be afraid to let your light shine because your presence continues to lift your family up in love…

…more love than I ever knew my heart could hold,

Mama

 

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A Letter To My Son On His Third Birthday

To my darling Adrian,

I awoke yesterday, on your third birthday, to the sound of you discovering giant balloons overhead. You came racing into my room, with your best partner in crime, so excited to share the news of your discovery.  I looked at you and said happy birthday my love and you screamed mama it’s my birthday and jumped in bed to lay on top of me.

Oh Adrian, what a privilege it is to be your mama and to experience the depth of joy that you have brought to our family.  You demonstrate kindness every single day, and you say things that are far beyond three years. I want to make you coffee, you say every morning as you drag a chair to the counter to help me make a cup.  Before you could even speak in full sentences, and one for Lucia was always heard when you received something special.  To this very day, there is never a time that you don’t think of your sister’s inclusion in your moments of joy.  For your birthday, you asked to walk to the market to ride the horse and buy trinkets at the machine. When we arrived you stuck your little head up to the glass, peaked inside and said, let’s get that one for Lucia  and so we did.  The compassion you exude, constantly blows us away.

Almost three has  proven to be a wild age for you.  You feel things so deeply.  You want to do everything yourself.  When your meltdowns occur they are of epic proportions and when your tender words come out they are truly soul touching.  When I least expect it, you grab my face with your tiny hands and say Oh, you’re the best mama ever and smother me in kisses.  And truthfully, your sweet words and tender touch have lifted me up in love and carried me on days when I most needed it.

The thing about early childhood is that you guys are quite sneaky with this growing up business.  In my five plus years of mama-hood, I have learned that all the cliches about time hold true.  Not too long ago, I sought acupuncture to bring you into this world, ten days overdue.  And then we were on our way to Essex to ride the Thomas Steam Train and celebrate your first and then second years of life.

And now we have celebrated three blessed years and I am so excited for what will come of you.  Today I want to remember your sweet smile and the way that you nestle your head in my neck.  I want to remember your love for the moon and Eric Carle books and the way you say thank you for my beautiful peppers when I give you vegetables.  I want to remember the way that you appreciate simple pleasures, like riding the supermarket horse and playing outside.

Cheers to being big and mighty, my sweet  boy.  Let’s do three well and enjoy our fluid days together.  Let’s run match box cars across the hardwood floors and smile so big until our faces hurt. Thank you for the immense love and light that you bring.  We adore you Adrian.

In love,
Mama

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Five {a Birthday Letter}

 “Though she be but little, she is fierce” – Shakespeare

To My Darling Lucia Paloma,

It’s been five years since the day we first met you.  One entire hand.  Half of a decade.  1,826.25 blessed days since your tiny lungs filled with air and set us off on the most sacred journey.  Our dream come true. 

It’s been five years since I have been learning to be mama.  Five years since we have been learning to be us – in the imperfectly, beautiful, chaotic way that we are all we.

You awoke this morning to a room filled with balloons and pink roses.  You described the streamers hanging from your door as “the most beautiful car wash I have ever seen.”  We awoke to your giggles and the excitement of you stuffing balloons into your brother’s crib.

You my love, are an immensely creative imaginative child.  Just when I thought that your pretend play can’t possibly become more elaborate, you surprised me with your “snake warrior” transformation at bedtime last week.

You typically have multiple transformations each day.  Your love for dress-up has increasingly grown since the age of two, and you are most comfortable in some sort of costume, accessory or prop.  Head gear and wings are usually a necessity.

I am convinced that there are healing powers in the songs that you sing to me.  The soundtrack of your life must somehow make my heartbeat stronger.  Your little narrations are hysterical, this morning you serenaded us with a  tune about “bus children and hot lunch” – two school enigmas that you apparently want to experience first hand.

You love to dance.  You also love fancy – grand ballrooms, magnificent chandeliers, things that sparkle and poofy dresses.

This past year has been a year of tremendous growth for you.  When your Kindergarten teacher contacted me during school to inform me that you were “climbing the pipes in the school bathroom on multiple occasions” – I inwardly cheered for your adventurous spirit – since I’ve seen a bit more caution set in as you’ve grown.  You are changing my girl, at what feels like lightening speed. You are beginning to read and your growing empathy and compassion make us so immensely proud.  You are also beginning to ask the hard questions, often questioning the mortality of those you love – especially mine.

You have grown into quite the big sister.  Your brother’s arrival during your second year of life was not an easy transition for you – but now the two of you are little pals.  We awake to the sounds of you both playing in Adrian’s crib and we listen to your chatter as you two fall asleep at nightYou have a handful of interesting pet names for Adrian, including my squeaky, popcorn and bo bo.  When you return from school with a special treat in hand you always ask me to cut it half to share with your brother.  Your father and I love the little lingo that the two of you share – silly phrases that you have collectively created that only have meaning to you both.

Although we were unable to fulfill your birthday request of seeing a live volcano erupt we did surprise you with a family adventure to the Big Apple Circus – our first family trip under the big top.

As I watched your wide eyed five-year-old excitement, I wished for a glimpse of the lens in which you view your world.  If we could all live in the level of joy you reflect, I truly believe that this world would be a better place.

Welcome to five our darling light dove.  You are pure inspiration, hope and beauty.  May you continue to be the lovely person that you already are.

My deepest love,
Mama

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My Baby is Two.

My dearest son Adrian – welcome to two.

Here you are at just 11 days old (photo credit Michael Kormos Photography).

 

Your excitement this morning was palpable, jumping and head-diving in your crib as we sang “happy birthday to you”.  Excited to open some new superheros, but most enthralled with a toy stroller, that I sewed a special seat liner for, last night.

Rocking your new stroller. Sewn by mama and tricked out with duck-tape and Mod Podge.

 

You began your day with a paint brush in hand, pointing to your creation saying “it’s a chameleon mama!”.  Painting is something you love.  It provides a place where you can find a sense of calm amidst the toddler chaos.  You gripped a brush at a mere 12 months old.  One of the perks of being a second child.

Painting on the morning of your birthday.

 

You love to ride your scooter. Actually, you love to ride your sister’s scooter.  You once thought your Thomas the Tank engine scooter (complete with sounds and lights) was the coolest thing on this planet.  Until you saw all the big kids in the park riding scooters just like your sister’s.  “My mini kick”, soon became one of your favorite phrases.  Luckily, your sister begrudgingly complies with our requests to share – we’re still working on that one with you.  It’s amusing to see someone so little riding so well – a tiny body with a big red helmet zooming around the park.  You want to scoot around for hours on end and I love watching you ride with abandon and a huge smile on your face.

Riding free.

 

You want to hold my hand as you walk to play in the dirt-pile in the park.  Looking over your shoulder to make sure I am still close.  Coming to get me, when you realize I’ve stepped back to give you space.  Remember that you will have my hand to hold through the messiest of dirt.  Know that your biggest believer will always stand behind you, offering a gentle nudge when necessary and releasing your hand when needed.

Digging in the dirt.

 

There actually once was a time that I was worried about my heart’s ability to love with equity. So in-love with my two-year-old girl, pregnant and hoping for a mama-love that felt balanced.  In so many ways you have been my teacher.  Through you I learned that love is not built on a strange dichotomy of more or less.  It is in fact, a capacity far greater than I ever imagined.  One which blew the windows of my heart wide open, the moment you arrived.  And one which reinforces each and every day that there is no greater blessing, than experiencing the depth of joy found in familial love, and that felt in mothering my twofold treasures.

Blowing out your birthday candles.

 

Happy Happy Birthday Adrian Alessandro.  Thank you for coming to us two years ago today.

May you paint your dreams of tomorrow in vivid colors, hope and light. 

More love than you can possibly imagine,
Mama

 

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Four

She wholeheartedly believes in a world of endless possibilities.
She brings the element of fantasy to our everyday lives.

Today she turned four.  Four magnificent years. 1460 blessed days.  She made me a mama for the first time. She truly taught me about family and made my heart nearly explode with new-found unfathomable love. She constantly makes me want to be the best that I can be.  She gives me the gift of awesome improvisational dance performances and tells me grand tales of magic, mermaids, and fairies. She pours her heart and soul into her colorful songs. She lives in a whimsical world full of rainbows and unicorns – the sort of stuff that dreams are truly made of. Sometimes when she is sleeping I can still see the baby in her – still peeking in on her, watching her breathe – amazed at this gift of life.  I think that her spontaneous “I love you mommy’s”, kisses and snuggles leave permanent imprints on my soul. She fills me up with brilliant hope.

I wrote her a birthday letter.  It is special.  So special that I am going to keep it private and save it just for her.

Happy Happy Birthday to my darling daughter, my big dreamer, my beautiful soul.  May you always be able to find your magical world of make-believe when you need to.

All the love in the entire planet,
Mama
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A letter for my baby boy

Dear Adrian,
Happy first birthday, my little love nugget.
A year ago today, you decided to join us after 10 extra days on the inside.  I delivered you without drugs or pain relief of any kind (except for your father’s hip squeezing technique). It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and by far the most empowering – and sharing in your birth brought your father and I even closer.
And then there was that moment that I want to hold on to forever. That cathartic moment when time seemed to stand still.
The moment I met you.
The thing is that you’ve continued to make our family more cohesive, just by being you.  You’ve added so much to the beautiful chaos that already existed in our home.
I live to hear those squeals of delight when you see your sister in the morning or when she “chases” you.  Your smile is truly heartwarming when you walk with your little walker or when you push a train across the floor saying “go, go, go”.  I love how you crawl with a toy in your mouth like a little puppy, how you point at objects in your books, and the way you “dance” when you hear any kind of music.  I love watching you devour blueberries, black beans, cheese and pasta and seeing your excitement when “Dada” comes home from work at night.Life with you gets more exciting everyday. Just yesterday your Abby taught you to say “ashes, ashes, down” after playing ring around the rosies all morning , and your Poppy taught you to raise your pointer finger when he says “How old is Adrian.”  Although I want to hold on to my baby, I can’t wait to see what each new day unfolds.
Thank you for filling my heart with so much joy for the past 12 months.  I feel like you have been a part of me forever.  Today we are celebrating you, my beautiful little boy and all the magnificent things that you are.
Love,
Mama
1 Day
1 Year

 

 

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