Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Birthday to You: Three and a Half

Dear Anabella,

Tomorrow you will be three and a half years old.

 Trying to figure out three and a half on your fingers. 

We had our bi-annual chair shoot today, one day early, just after waking up from a long nap together in my bed. It was by far the highlight of my day, my week; the first time I laughed this week and actually felt it in my heart.

Rolling your eyes at my cheesiness.

This was our first shoot in the new house. Up in the sweet little room on the third floor, the one that houses your chair, a few boxes, and a big TV. It was bitter sweet to take these photos and not be in your old nursery. I love our new house, but I miss your old room, mostly because of what it symbolizes. My baby. My first baby. Just look at you now, all grown into your preschooler deliciousness.

   Three and a half going on 13.

I don't have much to say about three and a half except that the amount you have changed and grown in the last six months is infinite. I couldn't possibly capture you in words but I think our photos today are worth a thousand.

You swing wildly these days, my girl. Your temper is fast and fierce. Some days it's like living with a tiny dictator. "GET! ME! MY! MILK! AND! SHOW!" is the first thing out of your mouth after daycare. And you mean NOW. Other times you are so loving, kind, heartbreakingly empathetic. Little kids shouldn't be so aware of the suffering of others. You can detect the faintest sadness. There is very little that you miss.

Here you are, feeling something deeply. Probably the fact that you can't have your MILK AND SHOW.

Your language is remarkable. I know I always mention it here, but you really do speak as clearly and articulately as a full grown human. Sometimes it makes communicating difficult, believe it or not, because I forget that you are three and half. You don't sound like three and half. I forget that while your language is there your comprehension is not always at the same level. Sometimes you dumb down your words, just so I'll remember that you're little.

And then sometimes you naturally make a mistake with your words. And those are the most delightful moments. My favourite misspoken phrase recently is when you tried to say, "Oh my gosh!" But instead it came out, "Hey my goshes!" I will remember that for the rest of my life. Oh my gosh will never be the same.

You're beautiful in every way. And I know that emphasizing beauty is a dangerous message for a little girl. Lately you're becoming very aware of gender roles and divisions. Differences, real or invented, between little boys and girls, between women and men. I've tried to protect you from these unfair discrepancies but if there's one thing parenthood has taught me, it's that no matter how hard we try there are many things we can't protect our children from. So I hope that you'll embrace your beauty and always recognize that as cliche as it may sound it is from within. And you've got it girl. You've got it in every way.  

 Hangin' out, being gorgeous. And smart.

You really are my sunshine, sweet girl. My happiness when it is grey. You'll never know, Bella, how much I love you. You'll never know. Until you have a baby of your own.

Hey my goshes, I love you!