Dear Sunshine Girl,
One of the first things we did after purchasing our home, was to hang photos on the main wall as you walk up the staircase. Every morning for the past two years I have glanced at photos of you. Then Jude came along and he was added to the wall too. Slowly at first, it was hard to part with my baby photos of you, and now there are photos of the two of you together. For now they look age appropriate. I have two little kids- and that’s the truth, for now. If I look at a photo I hung 6 months ago, it looks dated, and if I look at the photos that were hung last week they look current- and thus the landscape of our hallway keeps changing.
That wall and it’s photographs, tell our whole story.
So every day I take a few pictures of you and your brother. I’m trying to remember as I go along here Gracie, but it’s impossible. I’m trying to recall the first time you said Doggie or the way your curls formed a mullet around your head, or the way you would sit on the subway- like you rode it alone everyday.
I can’t keep up with your changes and your phases, and your questions and your brain, and the fact that you’re suddenly in on the joke. I marvel at your maturity and how you spent the entire summer with me, and sat next to Nana and Uncle Chris at your great grandmother’s funeral and manged to stay completely still and quiet, and comfort your uncle while he was crying. I choke up when I see how you sat across the aisle from me on the airplane and entertained yourself with paper dolls and in-flight Sky Mall magazines and colored on vomit bags- until we reached South Carolina. So yes, I was traveling with two small kids, but only one of them was my baby; the other was my friend. I may have introduced you to the world, but it is you whose living in this world- defined by your greatness.
As you grow up you’ll cycle through a zillion phases and they won’t all be as pleasant as this one. Four has been so kind to me, and easy for you. Every time I look at our wall I see pictures from all the phases of your life- I can’t recall the Earth shaking tantrums or the screaming fits you once threw- and girl they were terrible. The photos are up there, but the memory has faded into this softened picture of a baby who has grown up to be my greatest companion. I’ll add today’s photos to our wall and someday I’ll walk past it and think of how small you really were- but in my heart you’ll always feel 100 feet tall.
So here we are- we’re just at the beginning aren’t we? You’re small so your problems are small. You’re smart, so the homework is easy. You’re a fighter, so the battles are long. You’re my heart, so you’re my most precious asset. (Jude too!)