You started preschool this week.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve failed in recognizing your firsts as much as I did your sister’s. It’s not that your stuff isn’t big, important and real between you and me. It is. It’s more like I heaved more emotional heft with Margot’s firsts and I sure took more photographs. Margot’s firsts were THE firsts. I’ve been thinking about this and I have two thoughts I’d like to give you credit for.
1: You, dear girl, taught me to slow the hell down. Like, really. Not just in theory. To put the camera/phone/calendar/blog/agenda/facebook/career aside and STARE into your amazingness. You nearly died. I thought many times you’d die when you were just a wrinkled red tiny person full of life saving tubes. I wanted to feel attached to you but felt like I should let go of you. And you lived. You are so alive. I think about that every single day. You are such a gift.
2: Also, you entered into a package deal. Every experience you have is shared with your sister. Even when she isn’t in the frame, she’s there. She is with you on your firsts. In fact, her pride and love equals mine and your dad’s. I remember when I was about to birth you and I confessed to your dad that I was worried about dividing my time between two children. Would you feel the love and attention your sister did? Your dad reminded me that you’d feel more. Because Margot was there. You had an extra person to love you. He was so right on. He often is.
Ok, so I am starting this series to document things I want to remember and things I want you to know. About right now. THIS moment.
* I love gardening with you. You love to garden.
* On your first day of preschool, you chose to wear your raggedy anne dress and it was dirty so I spot cleaned it in the bathroom sink, straightening out the little heart pockets. You love those heart pockets. You also wanted two little braids and to wear one of my grandmother’s blingy necklaces.
* You giggle so hard you can’t breathe and give yourself the hiccups.
* You will wear your sparkly red shoes until your toes push through the ends.
* You ran into your first day of school confidently. Margot gives you great support and she was right by your side. You were nervous. Also, your Aunt Lindsay was there with us. I was so thankful to have Lindsay there. When I decided to go, you clung to me like your little velcro-footed monkey doll and I wondered what the hell I was doing. Sometimes things I do feel so wrong. This was one of those times. So I sat with it and cried with you and waited to see. I don’t think you knew I was crying. The air started moving again and you relaxed. I left when it felt right. You had a fabulous day.
* At school you stood there with your backpack and lunchbox and grin, feathery blond hair in all directions. There was something about that moment that punched my heart. I felt proud, nostalgic and so lucky.
Ruby’s backpack c/o Personal Creations
* You like everything Margot likes. Or – as Aunt Lindsay helped me realize – you want to like everything Margot likes. So you do and wear and say and move as she does until you form your own opinion. It’s complicated — sometimes it annoys Margot and sometimes you get angry. Sometimes you fight and yell and wish the other would disappear. The calm after those storms is beautiful. You two communicate well.
* You still climb into our bed every night. There is less and less room for your growing limbs. You will always find space. Lately, you climb up at the foot of the bed and sleep sideways along our feet with our cat.
* You like to sing, ride bikes, hold chickens, run, collect things and cook. You want to start tap dancing.
I love you so much, my girl. You shine light wherever you go and I am so grateful to have this life with you.