Dear Kaya (4 years),
You are screaming singing “R-E-C-Y-C-L-E, recycle, recycle with me…” right now as I type. You are supposed to be going to sleep. It elicits a snort laugh from your mom. You do that a lot you know, make me snort laugh. Snort laughing is the tried and true barometer of happiness. Did you know that? Yes indeedy, snort laughing is key. Or maybe you’ll stick to being a delicious giggler. That works too!
You are four and you are awesome. Seriously.
Like when you told me I was a Coffee Monster. So true and so funny. Coffee-out-the-nose, snort-laughing funny.
Or tonight when I came upstairs with my tea and all I hear is you babbling to Daddy “I don’t have any moose, but I do have blueberries!” I have no clue what else the conversation entailed but I love that this came out of your mouth.
You sing in rhyme, as long as it rhymes with poo. You have constant scrapes on your knees and legs which are forever covered with Princess, Cars, helicopters or Toy Story bandaids. You always suggest applying bandaids to Brennyn’s head too, of which she always does have a bonk upon.
You complain EVERY time we brush your hair. You inhale strawberries. You’ve started gymnastics and do every task asked of you by the teacher with care, though my favourite part is your little dancing hippity hops in between each section. You surprised us by willingly going on all the PNE rides, many of them on your own. You refuse to touch starfish at the aquarium or ocean. Though you will watch them, and all things sea, all day every day if you could. Still the observer. Still so much like me.
You have been inquisitive of late. Causing great flustration to your mom (No, that is not a word, but it should be. Flustered at your sudden interest, frustration when I can’t come up with the ‘right’ answer right away.) You are uncommonly interested in the making of our bodies. You want to know what’s inside, the different layers, and why. Why do we have a heart? Why intestines? Why do we have skin? Wouldn’t it be cool to see our skeleton?
Then of course is the “How did Brennyn get out of your belly?” question. Daddy laughed when you asked. I stared in shock. You got distracted and after pleading for help from my fellow mom friends, sat you down with your body puzzle and talked about the How. You listened. You nodded. Then asked me if I liked Princess Sealy being pink. I guess you’ll ask more when you are ready. Hopefully, I will be too. Next time.
God, actually Jesus, was asked about. “Who is Jesus again?” were your exact words. Like you’d known before but now forgot. I danced (danced the quickstep drunk and on fastforward) my way through the subject matter. God, God’s son, religion, church and beliefs. I almost used the word magic. And invisible. Then remembered how much flack Harry Potter got and resisted that urge. Don’t worry, I will refine my answer and get back to you. For the rest of your life. For these are age-old questions you are asking at four years of age.
You are 4. Curious, energetic, confidant and passionate. You say what you mean and mean what you say.
While at the ocean today, you began walking along a giant driftwood tree, getting higher and higher. “Are you going to the end?” I ask, nervous at the prospect of that but impressed you seemed so eager.
“Yes! I am big now Mom. I Can Do Anything!”
And what is a mother to say to that? Of course you bloody well can!
Yes you can.
And as you are reading this now, in some future date, my hope is that you still feel that way. But if you do not (because oh so many of us do not for a very long time), please read this letter knowing that deep down, there is a part of you, a very wise part, that does know this to be true. You can do anything. You really, truly can. Thank you for teaching me my girl. I take that lesson with deep gratitude and the promise that I will give it back to you. Forever and always.
Before I sign off, I must attempt to do justice to the parts that are untellable. Just feelable. (No, those two aren’t words either. What can I say? I like making up words!) It is the moments that are just that, moments. Snippets of perfection.
Arm wrapped around my neck, fingers tapping my far shoulder rhythmically as I read you a story.
Chin down, in shy mode, refusing to talk but eyes, oh those eyes, that peer up, giant hazelnuts operatic in their story-telling.
Sleeping pose. Flat on back, arms stretched far and wide, head tilted in whichever direction Purple Blankie may lay.
Shy smiles, boisterous ones, full ones, fake ones, Cheese! ones, smirky ones and authentic, real-deal, fill-my-soul ones. You know how to smile girl.
Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. ~Mother Teresa
How blessed am I to be gifted with this every single day.
With infinite love and soul-filling smiles back,