One Year

Somehow this magical little monster is already one.  I have no idea where the time went.  Her babyhood flew by.  It was hard, and we rushed it and I barely remember it.  And now I miss it.  

She is wildly inquisitive, and constantly getting herself into trouble.  This little girl is dangerous, in a way we never worried about her sister. She is also the most loving and cuddly baby, giving out hugs and sloppy kisses nonstop.  She’s our last baby.  The girl my husband kne was coming, the one who made our little family complete.  Happiest of birthdays sweet girl, you’re loved more than you know. 

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Five

She turned five today.  FIVE.  Five years ago we met her for the very first time.  Five years ago right now was one of the worst moments of my life.  Five years ago right now was the first time I heard the words Ebstein’s anomaly.  It seems like such a distant memory now.  Part of me used to mourn in a way on her birthday, PTSD is a real bitch that way.  But now it just feels magical.  And triumphant.  She’s FIVE.

This feels like a bigger birthday for some reason.  Like it’s the complete end of toddlerhood and the beginning of real childhood.  She’s so fiercely independent.  She’s sassy as can be sometimes.  She’s moody as a teenager and she’s sweet and kind like no one I’ve ever met before.  She has a capacity for love like no one else I’ve ever met.  She’s my first born, the girl who made me a mama as I tell her.  I miss her sometimes, even though I spend every day with her.  She loves to draw and write and gets better at both every day.  She’s so wildly imaginative and creative some days, she lives in her stories all day long.  I love the way her breath smells.  She still has sweet smelling breath like a baby.  She cares and worries about other people so deeply it seems far too much for someone her age.  She “reads” to her baby sister and needs playtime with her every morning before she starts her day and every night before bed.  She calls her sister her best friend.  She makes up songs for her that are so sweet and touching.  She has dance parties that are amazing, but gets nervous when too many people watch.  She’s every thing I hoped and nothing I expected in a child.  She makes life better.  

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A portrait of my daughters every week in 2017

We lucked out and got a late summer/early fall heat wave so I decided the kids needed one last beach day.  It was such a good decision.  I’ve never seen the water so clear at our beach, and they both loved it. 

Big: has found loads of confidence at the beach lately, which makes me immensely happy considering how unsure of herself she is in other scenarios.  

Little: loved raking her hands through the sand over and over again.  It was even relatively easy to keep her from eating every single handful she picked up.  Although I am fairly certain a few tiny pebbles made their way down. 

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A portrait of my daughters every week in 2017

This week was a week of firsts for us.   

We sent our big kid off to public school this week, a change I was not excited for.  I so dearly love our little Waldorf school, with it’s safe, comforting staff, it’s warm, welcoming smells and those lovely pots of soup for lunch.  The gentle, child led days have my heart.  The change to public school, to loud colors everywhere, to rules and “centers” was jarring.  It’s a vast difference from the rhythms based in nature, the extended hours outdoors, and the freedom given to learn and explore without direction.  

There is so much chaos in our world, so much in our daily lives, and unfortunately, so much in our home day to day.  Our Waldorf school felt like a break.  Like a little sanctuary.  It was a place where she grew into the independent little lady that she is, and I desperately wish we could keep her there.  But alas, the price tag of private school just isn’t in our long term budget.  It’s something that leaves me with a lot of guilt.  Should I be going back to work full time?  Should I be sacrificing more so she can stay there?  But then if I worked full time, am I depriving her sister of the same slower childhood that working part time allows?  

My biggest child, her life, it’s going to be different than other kids.  So very different.  There are so many things that make her different.  Her heart.  Other health issues.  Things that eventually will make life more challenging for her.  Things that some asshole kid is going to make fun of her for some day.  But the environment cultivated at Waldorf, is so very different.  It would allow her differences, to be celebrated, to be protected.   It feels like the safe space that she deserves and I feel so angry with myself for not providing that for her.  I feel angry at a world where that kind of educational experience isn’t widely available.   

I went through the school calendar tonight putting all of the dates into my phone.  As I typed, the phone tried to be smarter than me, predicting what I was going to enter.  Only it started entering the events from last year, events from Waldorf, like the Halloween Walk or the Winter Spiral.  Events filled with magic and wonder that will no longer be part of her school experience.  I entered those dates and I felt a huge loss of the ideal experience That I can’t provide for my child. 

She’s adjusting well.  Tonight she drew pictures for me of all of the things she did at school today.  

 The baby didn’t have as much excitement this past week.  She got to try her first French fry (loved it) and she caught the worst cold she’s had to date.  She also figured out how to hurl herself head first over the side of the bathtub.  She may be small but she’s certainly a very resilient little baby.

This weeks photos, a tryptch of sorts.  The baby loving the screen door, and her sister imitating. 

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A portrait of my daughters every week in 2017

Big: managed to catch a nasty little cold somewhere, and give it to both her sister and I.  I haven’t been so sleep deprived since the baby was a newborn. 

Little: climbs me (and everything else) like a mountain.  I wouldn’t doubt it if we find her on the kitchen table one of these days.