Sunday, July 12, 2015

Love Letter, Month 66

Dear Kate,

You are 66 months old today.
This has been the Month of Festivals it seems.  Although the weather has been decidedly un-summerlike, we have still managed to squeeze in what Chicago does best: Neighborhood Street Festivals. First up was a festival right in our neighborhood: Midsommarfest.

Next up was the Chinatown Dragon Boat Festival:
You were very happy when Ms. Vicky joined us for lunch and a taxi boat ride.
Although not technically in Chicago, the Strawberry Festival was a hit, especially when you learned how to use two sticks and some string to make large bubbles:

The big holiday this month was Fourth of July which, as luck would have it, was hot enough to spend at the beach.

Although you were pretty tired, you managed about 45 minutes of fireworks before asking to go home to bed.
As previously mentioned, this month has been topsy-turvy weatherwise so we've had both beach days

and rainy, cold, movie days. The newest Disney movie, Inside Out, was a big hit with you and Lucy.
There was a point though, towards the climax of the film, when you leaned over and whispered, "I have tears in my eyes Mama."  We had a nice talk afterwards about different emotions and what they mean, how they are expressed, etc. And most importantly, how we need all of them, even the yucky ones like fear and anger and sadness, in order to be human.

This month introduced you to some new experiences like tennis,

running your own business in the form of a lemonade stand,

petting an iguana and then having it climb atop your head,

learning hand-clapping games with your sister,
and having your first taste of sweet potato leaves and stems (a Chinese staple and gift from Ms. Lucy a few doors down, who grows many rows of them in her yard). You loved them and ate three plates full, in part I think because you sat on her front steps and helped her peel the stems one evening.

Although not a new thing, strawberry picking with Ms. Julie was a highlight of last week
and a visit from Nana in June was eagerly anticipated and enjoyed.
We had a few playdates with some of your oldest friends. First up was Ben who you were delighted to see after such a long absence. After hopping on the train and water taxi, we had some lunch and shopping in Chinatown much to everyone's delight.

More recently, we headed to a local splashpad to play with Lucy D. and Talia.

And now for the Kateisms of the month:

I was opening the window so Bella could jump up and watch her version of TV; the birds and squirrels outside.
You: Why does Bella get to watch TV and we don't?
Me: Because Bella doesn't yell at me when I close her window.
You: She meows at you.
Me: Yes, but it's not as annoying.
You: Wow, that hurts.

You: I need Boo (one of your stuffed dogs) on my bed.
Me: Why?
You: He takes all of my worries at night. Then he puts them in jars.
Me: That's a great thing for Boo to do. 
You: Yes, and then I label them.
That's my girl. I love nothing more than organization!

You: My eyes hurt. 
Me: Do you have sand in them? 
You: Yes, and the only way to get sand out of your eyes is to pour clean, clear water into them.
Thank you, Dr. Kate, for that detailed lesson in ophthalmology.

You have been noticing that there are no short-haired Princesses in the stores or movies or books. Even American Girl doesn't offer any hair shorter than a long bob and the hairstylists there (yes, that is a thing and yes, I did ask) won't cut a pixie cut on any of their dolls (Really American Girl?? For as much money as you are asking for what is basically a plastic doll with fake hair, you could at least allow the child who owns said doll to choose the hairstyle of her choice). Since you have a pixie haircut (and absolutely abhor the idea of Rapunzel-length tresses) you are quite put-out with this reality.

You: If no one invents a short-hair princess then I'm going to. And I'll give it to all the girls with long hair.
Me: Why?
You: So they can see that short-haired princesses are okay.
I love that you have such a strong sense of self and are not swayed to follow the pack of long-haired friends (and sister, who is trying very hard to grow her hair overnight!) just to fit in.

You: The Pippi Longstocking we saw at the pancake breakfast wasn't the REAL Pippi.
Me: What makes you say that? (Hoping to avoid a tearful realization from your sister who totally believed that she saw the real Pippi.)
You: The big giveaway was she didn't have freckles.

Pippi wasn't the only one you were doubting...

You: That wasn't the real Santa that we saw was it? (referring to the time we went to see him, sit on his lap and ask for presents).
Me: Why don't you think so?
Fortunately, Lucy wasn't around for this line of questioning but we were interrupted by her coming in from her bath and we never got around to finishing the conversation. Boy-howdy, are you going to be upset when you learn that pretty much all of the things you believe in (Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Switch Witch and the Tooth Fairy) are all made up. What I hope is that you realize that they were all there to make your childhood magical and special, much like reading books of fiction (like Pippi Longstocking and later, the Harry Potter series) are there to take you to places you could never have imagined.

1 comment:

Heather H. said...

We don't "do" Santa, et al. And sometimes I feel badly for the lack of magic. But my girl has enough trust issues so I chose not to "lie." It's tough, though. Everyone loves to ask about the tooth fairy coming to visit, or sometimes try to say you better be good or Santa won't come. Mostly we smile and nod and change the subject. Last year, though, she threw the Santa thing back at somebody, basically saying, "My mom gives us our gifts and she decides what we get." :-)


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