My Dearest Boo Boo Chicken,
Today you returned from a Field Trip with a colorful, skinned chin. Apparently the floor attacked you first, and on your way down, you lost a fight with a chair leg. As disjointed as your storytelling can be, your injury reports are quite lucid. I rocked you quietly in my lap, listening to the tale of the ice pack and loving teacher, and I realized how little time we have left in little kid city. Kindergarten is almost half over, and once you turn that corner at school, you become a full-time resident in Kid Town. Sara will be the first to tell you: going to 1st grade is “The Show”. The Big Game. It’s where it’s AT, man.
How much longer will you have your tiny lisp? How much longer will you pronounce “museum” as “moo-ZAY-um”? How much longer will you make ridiculous wardrobe decisions? Last week you got your first pair of leg warmers. I told you they are worn over tights, and for some reason, this new layering complexity caused you to forget your skirt altogether. You proudly marched downstairs wearing an old grey school t-shirt, some Halloween tights, and cream leg warmers with your striped underwear boldly showing through the entire ensemble. It was a poster for early childhood…making it starkly aware to me that these days are unfortunately numbered.
You’re not as easy-going as you used to be, but that’s been true for some time. I know the date and time the tides turned, and while I did the best I could to make Sara’s story separate from your own, the reality is that no one could make that perfect. It was a journey we took together, and while we won the war, it wasn’t without a price. So far the attempts I’ve made to help you find your own extra-curriculars haven’t panned out, but never mind about that. This Momma never, never gives up. Our latest tank was gymnastics, which you begged to take for a year. We’ll toss it in the “we tried it” pile, where it can rest next to Gymboree, swimming, bug camp, Princess camp, ballet, piano…
On the bright side, your emerging personality is truly technicolor. You simmer in a depth of emotions I haven’t quite grasped, most with coordinating facial expressions. Hmm, where did you inherit that trait? (What is that big arrow flashing over my head?) Your daily world is covered in a quilt of loving people whom have known you longer than you’ve walked upright. No one greets you without an exclamation point, “Kelly! IT’S Keeeellllyyyy!!” While you seem to show us a new piece of you every week, I’d have to say for the most part you are known. You are much easier to understand when you aren’t making up fake stories about your day (please stop doing this…it’s so confusing). As for the elements of you left undiscovered, I’m almost tempted to leave those in privacy. I’ve had to study and dissect every cell within your sister, but I sense you’d prefer to keep some things for yourself. I’d like to think that while I couldn’t give you 100% of my attention, at the very least I’ve respected your boundaries. I’ve tried to sense who YOU ARE, without presumption that you are my twin (even though in so many ways, you are such a miniature me.)
I’m most thrilled with the recent turn around in your work ethic. Now that you can read, you love to work independently on every worksheet I can find. Language arts, mazes, dots to dots, math, seek and finds…doesn’t matter the subject. As long as I prepare a pile for you to do while Sara works through her nightly assignments, you are as happy as I’ve ever seen you. You sit quietly with a pencil and plow through the pages without so much as a peep. Then you gently lay them next to me for checking, and yell out “bundle! another bundle!” as you scratch out your homework points. Every night you want to help with dinner. Every weekend, you ask to make pancakes independently. Laundry? Not your thing. Picking up toys? Not your thing. Academic work? BRING IT ON, Baby. Speed and accuracy are your best friends. Watching you work , along with reading with you, is my new favorite hobby.
Which brings us to your newest milestone: you taught yourself to ride a 2-wheeler. Not because we didn’t beg for months to help you, but because you swore you wanted to “DO IT MYSELF!” Watching you scream and kick at that bike has been hard to watch, but Monday afternoon, when it should have been snowing, but was 68 degrees instead, and with you in your favorite dress and boots (and leg warmers WITH the boots), you took off like the wind. I got the entire thing on video, complete with me and Sara jumping up and down and screaming. Complete with you asking for a “prize” when you rode past me. Complete with me telling you “accomplishment” IS the prize. Complete with Sara trying to steal the show by doing a series of cartwheels and yelling at me to film her instead. Ahh…Motherhood.
I may not have all the answers for you Chick, but I know that your birth was like God painting a permanent rainbow across my sky. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: living with you is like basking in sunshine. It’s nearly impossible to look at you without smiling. Ask anyone. And I say this despite you being a bit of a stinker lately. Maybe you’ll remember that I made you re-earn all of your Daisy Scout badges after you misbehaved in the meetings. Maybe you’ll remember many, many episodes of sitting on your bed. But I hope you’ll remember as well that I love you to your very core. You are a light that resonates within me, and to quote the song you sing every day, “Baby, you’re a firework”. Every single morning when I hug you into wakefulness, my only thought is how grateful I am that you’re mine.
Love, Boo Boo Kisses, and a little Neosporin,