Showing posts with label happy birthday melissa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label happy birthday melissa. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Melissa is F-I-V-E, five!

Hey big girl,

You're five. FIVE! F-I-V-E, five. That's half a decade, and you know what I learned? Half a decade goes pretty dang fast. In five more years, you'll be ten. That's half of twenty, and twenty is all grown up. This whirlwind growing up gig is mind blowing!

This morning when you woke up, you turned over and said, "Guess what, mommy? I'm no longer four. I'm FIVE!" And then you demanded your present, which was a dollhouse that you can use to make up lots of stories. You have a vivid imagination, and I really love that about you: I love to sit and listen to you make up stories, and act out all kinds of scenarios that are very super important to people who are 5 or about to turn 5. Like who gets to play in the Housekeeping Center. And who gets to go first. And who gets to be whose friend. And who has to go the Thinking Spot. Very important dilemmas and dramas for pre-school people; which actually aren't that much different from adult dilemmas and dramas, if you think about it (which you don't, because it's not my TURN yet--stop talking about grown ups, Mommy! is what you'd say to that, if I read this out loud to you).

Can I tell you some more things I love about you at five years old? Of course I can! Your favorite story topic is You.

*You're opinionated. You've always been opinionated; at 3 months old you had an opinion. I sense this is in your blood, part of your DNA make up, an ancient ancestral trait that stretches back for eons. Often it's exhausting, but I want you to know how much I love that you have opinions, feel them intensely, and so I spend a lot of time encouraging you to speak them to the world strongly and with no fear (in a respectful tone of voice, because currently we're working on reigning in your backtalk-y tone of voice that gets you into trouble at school...because you're a teacher's kid--YOU CAN'T GET IN TROUBLE AT SCHOOL).

*You have a lot of questions. And when I say "a lot of questions," I actually mean a large, endless, astronomically huge warehouse lot of questions. When I say, "We're having hamburgers for dinner," you say, "Can we have spaghetti?" And this question is followed up with a lot of "Why?" "But why?" "Why?" In the last week alone, you've asked me why people are bald, why we can't have chicken nuggets for dinner instead, why can't we eat chicken nuggets every day for dinner, why can't you pour your own drink from the ten-pound jug of iced tea that will land on your foot and break it or fall and flood the kitchen, why can't you use the big, dagger-like knife to cut out the pumpkin's eyes? Can you light the candle in it?

I sense this need for answers is also in your blood and DNA, a trait that goes back as far as time.

*You think farts and poop are funny. You can talk about farts and poop all day long. You like to shake your booty. In fact, you love everything about your booty. The Booty Shake: it's your favorite dance (we need to get you some dance lessons--though your shaking booty is quite adorable, your repertoire is lacking and The Booty Shake can simply not be the only dance you know. I mean, Homecoming and Prom will be complete disasters). This trait is in your blood and DNA, but only stretches back two generations and from half of your family, which would be my side of the family. Your maternal relatives are just a family of people who love fart jokes, because we're from the classy part of Pennsylvania.

I have no idea where The Booty Shake comes from; we'll put that one on your father.

*You forgive easily and quickly. I hope you'll keep this trait forever and ever. I know I need it a lot right now. I can't even tell you how many times I've done or said something incredibly wrong and you've let me off the hook (after throwing stuff at me and making me put you in the Thinking Spot, compounding my parental guilt times ten even while I seethe with righteous anger: Seriously? Seriously? Did she throw that at me? At ME?? Oh hell no, this time out is going to last three days. Throw things at your mom. Seriously???).

*You are a force of nature. People ask me all the time: When will Melissa get a sibling? And I have to say: Never, most likely. Besides, why would we need another kid when we have a 3-in-1? You are an active girl; I always know you've fallen asleep because suddenly it's gone quiet. And if it goes quiet during daylight hours, I always check on you...nothing good ever comes out of Melissa suddenly going quiet. Science experiments (not approved by actual scientists) in my kitchen are typically involved.

*You love boy AND girly things. You are a soccer-playing princess. You like Monster High because they're a little bit hideous and a little bit beautiful. Which I really like about you, because it tells me you're well on your way to a deep understanding of what it means to be a human on this planet: yin yang, ugly pretty. We'll talk later about why.

*You're a scaredy cat. You like Haunted Hathaways but only because I'm prepping you for future ghost hunts (you're terrified of ghosts, by the way) (and the Big Bad Wolf) (and creepy sounds at night). Sorry, sweet girl. You get this terror of shadows and The Dark from me; that's a gift directly from my DNA to yours. (Can I tell you now that part of the reason I don't play Bad Mommy and force you to sleep by yourself in spite of your very real and deep terror of doing so is because I'M terrified to sleep alone?) (We may need to look into therapy soon.)

*I love to watch you sleep. Right now, I am watching you sleep. You sleep with your arms flung out just like you did when you were 1 month old. And when you're asleep, your face goes soft and I can still see the baby in you. Everyone told me I'd miss that baby when you got bigger, and Everyone was right. I can still see me holding you in a mirror, so tiny and small and helpless. And now? "NOOOOO! I can do it! Not you, ME!" is a constant, shrill, crazy rant echoing throughout our house. And in our car. And the grocery store. And the mall, parks, restaurants, movie theaters, playgrounds, the public library (you get shushed all the time), and a whole slew of other places we go.

I like that about you, too: Independence. It's so important. It's good to ask for help, but knowing how to do it yourself works just fine. I love that you're hell-bent on being independent, and I dread the day you walk out into the big, wide world on your own without me.

Until then, I'm still The Boss (yes I am) (no, absolutely not...but you can be the boss of your stuffed Shrek doll) and no we're not having chicken nuggets for dinner tomorrow. Let it go.

I love, you Miss M. You are my best blessing, and I'm so grateful God picked me to be your mommy.

Happy Big Girl 5 Birthday!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Sweet Melissa, you are 4 today. Can you believe it? I cannot. I took a personal day from work today JUST for you. First, Daddy is taking you out for his annual Melissa-Daddy birthday breakfast. Next, we have to go to the doctor to figure out why that nasty, hacking nighttime cough won't go away. Then, we will play at an interactive neighborhood museum for awhile, and do arts and crafts. Then, we will buy some socks for you. Last, we will go out to dinner and open your special birthday present. You know, the special birthday present you tried to manipulate out us of last night. I took today off for YOU, sweet girl, because I love you and everything about you.

Okay, okay, fine. And I also took today off because there is a full moon out, and now that I'm back to classroom teaching, I find teaching during full moons to be ridiculous and unpleasant. Neil Degrasse Tyson would tell me I am not being a scientific thinker by typing that statement, and normally I would agree with Neil Degrasse Tyson. Except that I'm pretty sure Neil Degrasse Tyson has never had to teach a large group of easily excitable 7 and 8 year olds during a holiday period AND a full moon, and so what does Neil Degrasse Tyson know about full moons and children anyway? Stick to deep space, Dr. Tyson.

Anyway, back to YOU (because at this point, you're extremely angry and grabbing my face and demanding I focus on YOU, STOP talking about the moon.)

So much has changed in 4 years--you are tall and strong and full of wildly imaginative thoughts. Sometimes you will walk by me, still on your tippy toes, then suddenly speed up and say (to the air), "Come on! Come on, Tinkerbell! We have to save them!!" And you are off...though never very far, because you remain convinced the Big Bad Wolf truly lives in our house's shadows and lies in wait for you to leave the safe vicinity of my eyes or your father's so he can gobble you up. Also, Tasha the Cat has creepy eyes--we did establish this long ago. You also don't like it when she steals your sofa spot. That really rubs you raw.

So half the time I have absolutely no idea who you're talking to, or what you are talking about, and this brings so much joy to my heart because I think all children should live lives embedded in magical worlds of glittery freedom. One day you and I will talk about how not all children get to and why, but for now, I love watching you spread your fairy wings and run around in yours.

Our cat is old. She won't be here next year when you turn 5. This is hard for me (not for you--you live in a world where everything is magical, and you are shielded from the deep understandings of what loss really is). She is the only pseudo sibling you have ever known. When you were 2, you treated her like a sister--tattling on her, complaining about her, becoming insanely jealous of her if she sat on me or got a head pat or hug. I've had to make the hard decision to let her go before we leave for our Thanksgiving vacation next month. She is old and sick and for some reason not really letting go; I do worry about making that decision for her. What if there's a reason she's clinging to this side of Life? And who am I to take it away from her? I cry about it all the time in front of you, and I apologize if it ends up psychologically damaging you in any way. I hope it's making you compassionate; I don't know. It could be making you impatient with whiners.

But then again, the other day, when I explained that Tasha would be going to live with God for a long time and she couldn't come back, I asked you if you would miss her. "No," you said pretty breezy, with a lot of confidence.

"Why not?" I asked (silently horrified at the callous nature of children--what IS it with you people??).

"Because she'll be here," you said then, pointing at your heart. And my own heart melted. Did I tell you that once? Or a teacher at school? Or did that come from somewhere amazingly mysterious, like when I used to show you pictures of your Grandpa Samson and Grandma Eula and ask if you knew who they were, and you'd say, "Angels" which was totally mind blowing because, at 1 year old, you had no real concept what that word meant and we had no idea where you had learned it in the first place. Neil Degrasse Tyson would have a scientifically literate way of explaining that away, and this is when my Spirit Self tells my Science Self to shut up, sit down, and stop being such a party pooper or my Science Self is uninvited to my birthday party forEVER.

You are like your daddy in that you do not have patience for my weirdness. You are like me in that you are extremely weird yourself. But in other ways you are just you, and we are just we, and we all live together in this green house we never thought would have any children in it. I feel so blessed that you are with us now.

Because here you are! You are you: if left to your own devices you'd eat candy all day like a starving man would eat a salad, and after you inhaled all the candy you'd turn around and demand more treats as if you were Marie Antoinette her own diva self. You are the scariest grumpiest angriest little girl when you wake up, and you will throw a little daycare friend under the bus faster than you can say Bubble Guppies. I love and adore each of these things about you even and, in spite of, when they drive me absolutely nuts (and you do, on a daily basis--which is your job of course, as my job is to reign you in and silently laugh at your ridiculous reaction to being reigned in which drives you nuts, on a daily basis).

At four years old, you are a sports playing, princess obsessed, fairy loving, impatient, demanding, sweet, silly, creative, and smart girl with unnerving diva tendencies. You think the term "private parts" is hilarious and disgusting, and when you dance, you give new meaning to KC & The Sunshine Band's "Shake Your Booty."

I love you, sweet Princess Melissa. I hope you never have to kiss a frog. But I also know your DNA heritage and realize you will, and you will kiss many. I will squish them for you if you'd like. And we will dance together wearing sparkly shirts and shiny pants to bad 70's disco. I'm so happy I get to be your mommy. Happy 4th Birthday, big girl (who regularly invites and uninvites me to phantom and real birthday parties including but not limited to ones I'm paying for...and regularly threatens to grow up really fast and never be my baby forever if I don't do what she wants). You help me get out of bed on rainy, gross mornings.

Love always,

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