Sunday, October 19, 2014


Five. Five. five.  My daughter is five.  My first born, blonde baby girl.  My blondie-blue.  Five years old.  Five is the scary age when you really can't kid yourself anymore, she is not a baby.  Not even close.  Of course you, my love, never really were.

I still marvel at how you never were a baby at all.  You looked like one, sounded like one.  But you just didn't quite fit.  Those blue eyes knew more than you could express, and the frustration drove us all mad until your language erupted and then, it settled.  You are now so calm, collected, and so intuitive.  You don't like blood but you rush to doctor any wound.  Your body is becoming strong, graceful, and resilient.  You are so eager to read and write, draw and paint.  You come home everyday begging to do homework, that I have to usually create as most kindergarteners don't have much to do.

Kindergarten.  Now some strange woman I barely know spends far more hours with you than I do every week.  The endless days of lazy mornings with blueberry pancakes and pillow forts have been replaced with a strict breakfast to bus schedule that we struggle to keep.  I have to watch you walk away from me, happily, to start your day without me.  I don't know the names of all your friends, nor the details of your day.  You share a little, but I know you well enough to know there is so much more that goes on.  But it doesn't belong to me anymore, it's only yours.  And you decide what pieces I get. I want them all, but it's not up to me.

As much as I wish I could be by your side, I am so grateful for who you are, because I trust in you more than I thought I would.  I can look into your eyes and see how much older you are.  You keep me at bay with your shrouded mysteries, but, in your moments of half sleep or early states of awakening, I get a glimpse of that little girl, who whispers words of love in your vulnerable sleepiness.  It leaves me aching for more of you, but all too soon you are again veiled in maturity you shouldn't posess.  I'm quite sure you did not inherit this trait from either of your parents.

You are so appreciative of everything, the simplest token, a nickname of praise.  I see you cherish these things without gloating or boasting, but with that way you smile and try to conceal it by curling your lips in.  That's when I can see how happy you are.  But you try so hard to hide it.  I wish I knew why you felt the need to hide your joy, I so love to see it in your face.

You just started school, and yet I found hidden pages of your notebook where your are phonetically spelling out words, like "kosand" (cousin).  You don't want us to know what you do, on those secret pages.  Like your joy, you're keeping your intelligence cloaked within yourself, and I find myself wondering just how much more there is under those blue eyes of yours.

I look at you now as I looked at you years ago, knowing there is so much more to your mind than you will ever share with me.  I'm so incredibly curious, but so overwhelmingly proud.  I admire your strength, your intelligence, your pure, kind soul, and all the things that continue to make me wonder just how much more there is inside my little girl.

I hope you always know I am hear to help you carry that burden, whatever it may be.  You will be one of the great ones, who carries the weight of the world's problems in your arms, and I will always be there to hold you in mine, whenever you allow it.

Happy birthday, my beautiful old soul.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

She is three

My baby girl, my second baby girl, is three years old.  You are a walking contradiction, in the most amazingly beautiful way.  Never have I seen a person, certainly not a child of two or three, act the way you do.  I marvel at your selflessness.  I have seen you literally give others the shirt off your back, hand your sister your favorite toy, be satisfied with one item while everyone else around you has dozens.

Any time I offer you a special treat, you demand one for you sister as well, and never even consider keeping both for yourself.  Your instinct to think about others, well that's typically something more forced,  learned as adults, not ingrained at birth.  You are so special.  You don't even have to think, it's automatic.  You have no ulterior motives nor expectations of reciprocation.  Pure, untaught, unaltered, kindness.

You are still my baby in so many ways.  You will lay confidently in your bed in your room, fall into a deep sleep there, but without fail, I will feel the warmth of your body, and likely the heel of your foot in my face, by the break of dawn.  I love how you demand the love you deserve.  You tell us how to hold you, tightly, against our chests with both arms wrapped around you.  And no one will get back to sleep until it's done right.   My hope for you is that you never lose that.  I hope you will always demand love as fiercely as you give it.  And I will always come snuggle you whenever you ask, and many times between.

Your generosity and empathy knows few limits, but what I am so proud of is how you have set those limits.  No one takes advantage of your kindness.  For as easily as you give to others, if anyone tries to take from you, they will feel your wrath quickly and heavily.  You are so strong willed.  I admire so much about you.  I hope no one ever breaks you down, no one ever takes this incredible power from you.  You have a sense of self worth that most women don't, and even if they once did possess it, it is long gone by adulthood.  That is a difficult bridge to rebuild.  I promise to do everything I can to preserve this in you.  You deserve to always feel strong, powerful, and self actualized the way you are now.

I love how you love.  You love so hard, so deeply.  When I give you a hug, you return it with all of yourself.  Your sweet little arms wrapped tightly around my neck, your head pushed against mine.  I love how you hold my face when you tell me you love me more, draw my world into your endless blue eyes.  I love the perfect curve of your nose and how it turns up when you laugh, how your eyes sparkle even behind your squint, and how you giggle through your slightly parted tiny teeth.  Your special double tooth adding just a touch of the sweetest goofiness to your smile.  Your smooth cheeks have just the perfect amount of plumpness and just begged to be kissed over and over.

Your words.  You stutter quite a bit right now, but I believe that's only because you are so damn determined to say the words correctly, and you are choosing words few other three year olds would know.  Your slight lisp and mispronunciation of these words is so endearing to us, I find myself wishing I could record everything you say so I'll never have to live without the sound of your words at this age.  I don't want to forget them.  The way you say "weallwy", and then remind us you just said "weallwy" so we are further assured of your cuteness.

You are undeniably beautiful.  We still get stopped by strangers on a weekly basis, people who remind us over and over how stunning you are.  You've always been beautiful, certainly, but add in your huge personality and it's almost overwhelming to pack all of that into your tiny little body.  We can rarely keep your wispy hair out of your face, often having to talk to you through a veil of hair.  I see your eyes glow beneath it when you give us that guilty sideways stare, when you know you're doing something we wouldn't approve of.

You talk openly and freely now, the type of child that will say hi to random people, and give way too much information.  You love to tell people about your puppy, and the fate of our deceased rodent pets.  You love to talk to people, but to try to get you to speak when you don't want to? Well that's a feat that's nearly impossible.  No one makes you do anything you don't want to do.  No amount of bribery or coaxing works with you.  As frustrating as that can be for your parents at times, it makes me so proud and confident for you.

  Your birthday is "tismorrow" and I can't believe you're three years old, but I also can't believe you weren't always a part of our lives.  I guess being a parent involves a lot of unbelievable things.  But I believe in this: you girls are the best, most amazing thing to ever happen in my life.  It is an honor to be your mother.  I get to have you, live with you, raise you, teach you, love you.

Happy birthday to my amazing baby girl. And thank you for every wonderful second of these past three years.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Language Barriers

The most beautiful things in life are untouchable.  Some are impossible to touch, and must be admired from afar.  Sunsets, rainbows, the stars.   Too far away to do anything but enjoy them.  Then there are butterfly wings, coral reefs and snowflakes.  While they are close enough to touch, even the gentlest fingers could render them destroyed forever.

I've been avoiding my blog for many months.  I think about writing often, however I've been too afraid to touch the most beautiful experience of my life.  As if putting it down on paper will shatter it somehow.  Will render this amazing entity useless or at least far less beautiful than it once was.  It's so delicate, I've been terrified to touch it, even with words.

He was born three and a half weeks ago.  This isn't his birth story.  That's so much easier to tell.  That is just remembering facts and events.  What isn't easy, and has been nearly impossible to do, is describe my feelings through this experience.  I wake up at night thinking I may have the words to say, but them I realize they don't exist.  I have to try, I know.  I owe it to him.  He needs to know how incredibly special he is to me, and how much he was dreamed of by his parents.  There is not a fiber in my being that doubts that his parents will ever falter in making him understand how loved he is by them.  It's my job to make sure he knows what he means to me.

I went to visit him last week.  He has grown already.  I finally got to see his eyes open wide.  I met so many members of his family.  They are so loving, kind, gentle and generous.  I can already tell he will be the same.  His grandfather doesn't speak English.  I can't communicate with him at all verbally.  But I see the way he looks at me and hugs me and the gratitude is unmistakable.  I understand.  He holds out his arms to take the baby and rocks him on his knees.  Love has no language barriers.

There are many words that don't directly translate to my language.  I read recently about a German word meaning "the feeling of being alone in the woods".  There is no English word for that.  There is also no English word for "the feeling of carrying a baby for another couple and birthing that baby and watching him go home and be loved by them".  I wish there was a word, or even a combination of them that would communicate to other people, make them understand.  I feel like a failure, the writer in me is shirking away hanging my head in shame for my inability to pour out these feelings in beautifully parallel words that will instantly make anyone reading feel as though they understand.

I can't write about this the way I want to.  I stumble over my own words as I try to explain to well-meaning people who are looking to satisfy their curiosity.  I've had so much support, so many positive, wonderful people who have sent me loving thoughts and sent notes and emails and my gratitude for that is immeasurable.  I am incredibly humbled by the outpouring of emotional and loving thoughts.  I sat many nights starting at the letters on the keyboard willing them to please start making sense of this all.  How do I express my own gratitude, my love, how do I tell you all that this experience was so life changing I hate even writing that because it sounds so frivolous compared to my actual feelings I just want to tear up this paper except it's not paper it's my iPad and it's expensive and I need it!

Slowly, a part of me has become elated.  I was able to experience something so incredibly profound it's beyond words.  While I desperately wish to share it with the world, part of me revels in the fact that I simply cannot.  It's far too deep within me, too far away from the words I know.  It can't be explained by mouth or on paper, in English, Chinese or any language.  It belongs to me and me alone.  And maybe that's what keeps it eternally beautiful.