Friday, October 12, 2012

Love Letter, Month 33

Dear Kate,

You are 33 months old today...
and no walk this month can let even one flower go un-sniffed. This activity is always followed by the question, "Does it have a bug/bee in it?" I've yet to convince you that you should probably be asking me that question BEFORE you bury your nose deep into the petals.

We've been enjoying the beautiful fall weather this month with a lot of outdoor excursions. Our walks have gotten longer as you and Lucy both have more stamina and interest in exploring the neighborhood. Just a few days ago I introduced you both to the concept of window shopping. We strolled up Clark Street and took in all the Halloween decorations in the shops. We strolled for 1 1/2 hours, looking in windows, crunching in leaves, and, of course, smelling flowers. 

We spent one impromptu day walking around North Pond where you were very excited to see an elephant. I must say I was too, so I was looking and looking for a zoo escapee when you pointed at a fallen tree and said, with a slight note of exasperation in your voice,

"Mama! It's right here!"
Of course. How could I have missed that??

We had Lucy's re-adoption this month and you were happy to go downtown for Lucy's "Got me" day. 
One day you said to me, "Mama, did you get me in China too?" That's when I realized that we have spent so much time looking at Lucy's early pictures and talking about her story that I had been neglecting your story. So now we sit down and talk about how we got you in Chicago, about your birth story and we look at your newborn pictures, comparing them to how big you are now.
I love that you and your sister seem to have reached a comfort level with each other that has deepened in the last month or so. Not only are you both more affectionate with each other but you are playing much more, making up new games and taking turns more easily.
You both love to scale the rock wall at the local play area and will coach each other up and then wait for each other at the bottom of the slide.
On the downside, you have become a lot more difficult to dress and feed. Tags, anything remotely tight, and scrunched up sleeves inside jackets can cause tearful meltdowns in seconds. Who knew a tag could be such a menace? And yet you will walk around with stickers all over your face like, well, like you DON'T  have stickers all over your face!
Your gag reflex with anything you deem "smells bad" makes going to the bathroom an adventure. It also kicks in when we are cooking sometimes, as when we were making pumpkin seeds and puree.
Fortunately, you still love to eat most everything I prepare and the coconut/pumpkin puree I made got a thumbs up from you.
You are so fragile right now. I don't know if it's because you are worried about our upcoming Houston "vacation" or if it's just your age. I've yet to talk to you about my cancer, my treatment or what all of that means but still I think you sense that something is UP. Your ability to not only listen in on adult conversations but to translate them back to me coherently never fails to startle me. Your regression into some baby behavior is also rather new although anything that will keep you bound and still for even a short while wins points with me.
Then there are those moments when your innocence and age come into clear focus. I was getting you into your jammies and socks for bedtime when you noticed that the socks I had picked out were all wrong for the occasion so you asked for your pumpkin socks. I told you they were in the laundry, unprepared for what would happen next. Huge, fat tears and wailing like I had just killed your favorite stuffed animal ensued. Rather than become impatient because this was now going to be a much longer bedtime routine than I had planned or because, really, it's JUST SOCKS for god's sake, you're going to be ASLEEP with your eyes CLOSED so who cares which socks they are!? No. I stopped. I listened.

“I’m so sad Mama. I’m very disappointed. My pumpkin socks are in the lawwwwndreeeeeee! and now I can't wear them to sleeeeep!”

I listened not with my head but with my heart. And I almost started crying with you. Crying for the enormity of your disappointment over something as small as socks. And crying because I was thankful that it was just socks and not fear of failing or cancer or dying .

I hope to give you that innocence for as long as I can.

1 comment:

Lynn K said...

And now I'm crying about the socks too!


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