Monday, August 3, 2015

Heart Letter, Month 68

Dear Lucy,

You were 68 months old on Saturday.
We started out the month celebrating the 4th of July here in Chicago. Summer gave us a beautiful beach day so we took full advantage and spent the entire day playing in the water/sand on Foster Beach.  The 64 degree water temps did not dissuade you from jumping right into Lake Michigan.

After showering and dinner, we headed over to Winnemac Park for fireworks. You and Kate were pretty tired but managed to make it for about 45 minutes of the show.

The longer days and slower pace of summer has allowed us to take long after-supper walks. One of your favorite stops along the way is the honeysuckle vine on our neighbor's fence. I taught you how to suck the nectar from the flower like I did as a kid.
You have both made friends with B, a Chinese-American boy a few doors down, and sometimes he joins us on our walks.
This is a summer of many firsts for you. I signed you both up for tennis and you really enjoyed it. You got the hang of hitting the ball pretty well.

About half-way through the month we flew down to Florida to visit with family and friends. Our first stop was to visit Aunt Kelly and Uncle Tony in Orlando. Going to their house is like going away to camp what with trampolining, swimming, riding Karlie's horse, playing with many dogs/cats/birds/bunnies and watching Barbie on repeat.
You managed to make a pretty strong sound out of Karlie's clarinet--a big accomplishment after your cleft surgery! Clarinets are pretty hard to play at first as you have to keep your embouchure quite tight around the reed while sending a lot of air through your mouth.

Another big accomplishment was being able to dive down eight feet to retrieve your dive sticks. You swam down on the first try like you had been doing it all your life!
Your first ride on a horse. You've had a few rides on ponies before but this was your first on a rather large horse and you loved every minute of it.

First time holding a bunny.
Learning to dive in was next on your list of "things I would like to learn this summer." Mission accomplished.
Our next stop was Ocala to visit with Meme and Papa. We introduced you to glass bottomed boats at historical Silver Springs. You loved seeing the turtles and fish swimming just below us and even got to see a baby alligator sunning on a log.
A big surprise to me was both you and your sister's desire to have your ears pierced. You both kept insisting you were ready so we headed to the mall. I thought for sure you would both back out once you saw the process but you didn't. You didn't even shed one tear as both ears were pierced at the same time.

You learned how to do a flip on the bungee jump this year...another first.
As always, you loved being with your cousins and grandparents, goofing around.
Clapping games are your newest obsession and you loved it when Aunt Sherry taught you a new one: See See My Playmate!
You are working hard at perfecting your cartwheel and most of the time you do a pretty decent one. You got in a lot of practice as we took our evening walks on the beach in Daytona, our last vacation stop.
Moon Jellies made a rather copious showing on the beach one evening, much to your delight. You spent most of our walk either cartwheeling or picking these things up and flopping them around in everyone's face.
You loved boogie boarding just as much as you did last year but you were able to catch even bigger waves which you rode all the way in to shore many times over.
You were completely unfazed when buffeted about on the rough waters.
You became quite attached to Nana again and ran to her every time she would arrive on the scene, once even tearing across the sand, leaving your boogie board and flinging yourself into her arms.
My favorite saying from you this month, which even now makes me giggle whenever I think about it, was this exchange between you and Kate:

Kate: When I grow up I want to be a teaching doctor.
You: I want to be a seagull!

As Aunt Kelly put it, "I'm Team Seagull!" 

And this about sums up what is important to you right now: imagining being animals. Your favorite thing to be is Simba or his father, Mufasa. You will spend most of a day hissing and growling and roaring and clawing at anyone who happens past. When you aren't a ferocious lion you are a baby pony, a seagull or a dolphin. Did you know that I once pretended to be a dog when I was little? I would put my hair into ponytails (they were my ears) and then crawl around on all fours, wagging my tail and barking instead of talking. It's funny how you have a lot of the same traits as me even though we are not biologically related. I love that you enjoy finding our similarities, from our dark hair to our shared love of salad dressing, as much as I do!

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