Dearest Twinkle Toes,
Our lilies started blooming this week. It seems fitting that the Black Eyed Susans are starting to peek their gorgeous faces out of their sacred leaf enclosures, too. Our fiery flowers, the ones so bright and powerful as they sweep around the parameter of our yard, are beckoning to passerby to recognize the sizzle and fire that lives in our dwelling. Those flowers, they are the embodiment of you, a firecracker of a girl so full of energy it amazes me that you only weigh 41 pounds. How that much amazingness fits snugly into your personhood is astounding. It is your birthday week and the earth took notice, turned on its powers of persuasion and had the most Twinkle-like flowers cascade their brilliance to announce the arrival of your seventh birthday.
This year was full of transitions, you saw the end of attending public school, the end of being bullied (forever, I promise, I will carry a sword into battle if anyone ever tries to hurt you again), and the end of wondering who you needed to become in order to be seen as enough. In the midst of so much ending it was also the most fabulous state of beginnings, too. It was the beginning of the time when your worth oozed out of every pore, seeped through every word and leapt from every newly discovered dance step. Finding a school and social circle where you were loved as you are gave you the freedom to blossom, and in that blossoming you have become more acutely aware of how amazing you are.
I never knew it was possible to genuinely enjoy hanging out with your kids. Sounds silly, but when I thought about being a mom I always pictured the way I would comfort you, or tuck you in, or feel when you won a spelling bee or were sworn in to a political office. Now that you are here, fully rounding into a person and becoming yourself, I genuinely crave your time and attention as much as you crave mine and daddy’s. I love when you read me stories, especially when you ask me if you “emote enough” to denote the characters in the story line. I look forward to when you wake up in the morning, still wiping the sleep from your eyes, dragging your teddy bear behind you, to crawl into bed with me and discuss our plans for the day. Your jokes have crossed the line into being actually funny 10% of the time, a marked improvement that makes me want to hear you always just so I don’t miss the one or two that really hit the mark.
We took you on vacation last week, somewhere new for all four of us, Niagara Falls. As we watched this wonder of the natural world together you were completely transfixed by the moment. Your eyes floated with possibilities, with questions of significance that just two months ago would have never occurred to you. I saw your world triple in size in that moment, saw the intensity of the water, the division of country, the language barriers, the art of the selfie taken by hundreds of people at once, all converge into your mind as you meandered with your hand in mine. My luck in that moment, being the one to hold your hand and guide you through this experience, was so overwhelming.
You drank in the scene of the falls, processing everything, reported back the exactly correct science behind the mist, the water cycle and the miracle of humidity, then you conjectured about natural barriers and boundaries between countries. Sometimes I pretend I don’t know the answer to your questions because your reasoning is so brilliantly perfect, so beyond the realm of my comprehension, that just listening to you work things out fills my soul with fire and reminds me three thousand times over that you give life to everything you touch, every moment you partake in and every person with whom you interact.
You are strong, you are smart, you are precious and you are perfect. I am so lucky to be your mom. Seven years ago today I had every intention of becoming the best Mom ever. I fail all the time. Thankfully you pretend not to notice, and you have spent the last seven years always being the best little Twinkle Toes I could have ever asked to raise.
I cherish you – every hair on your head, every silly question you ask and every moment of your life – I cherish you. Being your mom is always, always the best.
Love you to the moon and back,