Monday, July 15, 2013

Happy Birthday, Lucy!

Dear Lucy,
Today you are three years old. No longer a baby, it is your life’s mission to be independent. You exclaim, “I can do it BY MYSELF” as you brush your teeth, get dressed, and confront another day head on. As soon as you put on your shoes, you are off, running as fast as you can. And, Lord help the person – even your mommy – who gets in your way.
To say that you are spirited is a gross understatement. You are here to LIVE this life, wringing every drop of experience from everything you do. You are so very smart and just as sassy. In the morning, you wake me by pressing your tousled little head against mine and screaming, “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” Your enthusiasm is infectious – even before the break of dawn. You laugh with wild abandon. You sing and dance all day long. You are always on the move and up to something.
This year, you have become my little confidant. We have real conversations now, and you always have something interesting to say. You sit on your stool and ask me if I’d “like to have a chat.” Usually, you want to talk about music, Bubble-Guppies style. You have a rationale for everything, and a story to go along with it. Your imagination is unparalleled. If I give you a cardboard box, and you will make it a princess castle. To you, a laundry hamper is simply a pirate ship in disguise. You are just too much.
Listening and following directions isn’t your strong suit, but you really do try. Except when you are cranky or tired, then hell hath no fury as Lucy scorned. You and I have had many, many show-downs in your three years. But, even when we are really butting heads, and you are at your most challenging, you will do something to make me smile. You say, “Mommy, I love to push your buttons.” And, that you do, my darling girl. You also light up my life. You add so much color to my world. Which is kind of funny, as you see the world in such stark blacks and whites.
You live by very definitive rules. There are certain words that I’m not allowed to say and songs that I can’t sing. Every one of your belongings has a particular place. When I stumble into a rule, you admonish me by calling me “Silly Mommy.” How could I not intrinsically know that your stuffed animals MUST sleep next to you in a certain order (“girls” on one side and “boys” on the other)? You want to be “Money Bars” when you grow up and refuse to believe that’s not an actual profession. You will only wear certain outfits – “Shorts are only for SUMMER.” You will only eat certain foods at specific times of day – “Blueberry yogurt is JUST for breakfast.” Change does not come easily to you. Your rules simply are not made to be broken.
And, we broke them all this year when we introduced your new baby brother into your life. But, you surprised me by adapting to your role as big sister so easily. You are an amazing big sister. You are so helpful to me and so nurturing to your little brother Will. I never thought that I possibly could love you more, and yet, as each day passes, I find that I do.  Every time I see you holding Will so gently and kissing his fuzzy head with such tenderness, my love seems to grow exponentially.
You also have been talking more about your big brother Andy lately. I’m not sure if you really understand why he’s not here with us, but you are very interested in his story. You tell me that he can’t visit from heaven because he doesn’t have a car. You tell me that he sends dragonflies to say “hi” to us. And, you sit in my lap, curling yourself around me when I cry. I tell you that I miss him, and you say that you miss him too. You ask me to be happy, and, baby girl, because of you I truly am.
Lucy, you have saved me so many times – with every fully-bellied laugh and with every mischievous twinkle of your eye. You have given me three years’ worth of reasons to smile. You have lifted some of the pain and sorrow that weighed so heavily on me. You have encouraged me to let go of my preconceived notion of what I should be doing in this life and, instead, take a walk on the wild side with you. You have challenged me to embrace the chaos, and I hope that I continue to rise to the challenge.
And, I hope that when you look back on the first three years of your young life, you will remember – if nothing else – how much I love you. I hope that you always will retain this shining confidence you have in yourself.  I hope that you will stay as spirited as you are right now. I hope that you will move forward in life understanding and accepting how incredibly beautiful you are. Because, Lucy, you are perfect – crazily, loudly, and brilliantly perfect. In other words, you are perfectly perfect, as you and Olivia the cartoon pig would say. I am – and always will be – so proud to be your mother.
But, right now in this moment, these words I have written will hold no meaning for you – I know that won’t come until much, much later. Today, I have other more tangible birthday gifts for you. Of course, there will be chocolate cupcakes to eat and candles to blow out too. And, I hope every single one of your wishes comes true. I love you, baby girl.
Always and Forever,

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