I hope you will join me in writing a monthly letter to your children and linking it up here. Feel free to grab the badge for your website and let me know when you post so I can add you to the list of participants.
Dear Little Buddhas,
I skipped last month, but I think it will be alright for you anyway. It turns out we took a lot of photos during the holidays and they’ll serve well for the milestones and events we experienced together.
You had a series of amazing performances in the production of the Nutcracker at the theatre downtown. I was worried that you might get burned out being in every performance, but you enjoyed it and wished there were more. I thought it was interesting that you cared about dancing and being onstage, but not about the audience. I hope you keep that internal motivation as you grow.
You lost your first tooth this month (although technically, this was your second since your first was pulled at the dentist last year) and were thrilled to find 50cents and a book about Winter the Dolphin under your pillow when you woke. You have been in love with marine mammals, and Winter in particular, since we saw The Dolphin Tale movie last September. But, your obsession started when you got the dvd for Christmas. You asked to go to the library to check out books about dolphins a couple of weeks ago and ended up taking home the entire shelf of books. You came up with the idea to return a few every week after I expressed my concern about another child who loves dolphins coming to check out the same books. You have decided that you want to protect dolphins as a job.
In December we backed way off from homeschooling and it has really shown. You have been enthusiastic about deciding what you want to learn about. You stay up late practicing reading and doing copywork long after your brothers have fallen asleep in bed beside you. You are sitting beside me doing a math workbook (with a dolphin on the cover, of course) as I write this and insisted I include a picture of Winter to represent you this month.
I love your happy run. Every time you include your happy hop, my heart skips a beat. You’ve been very serious this month and laughter has not been often. I’m trying to give you the space you need to take everything in and be happy in your own more quiet way. You love to collect small things. Wherever we go, you fill your pockets with small rocks or broken sticks-that is, if your pockets aren’t already full of beads, tiny ninjas and bouncy balls before we leave.
Your vocabulary is rich this month. Words like, “superb,” and “hypothesis” are part of your ordinary vocabulary. It may take me a few repetitions, but eventually I figure out what it is you are saying. I just have to keep reassessing the language of a 3.5yo who prefers audiobooks from real authors like E. B. White and Barrie over “kids” books. I think your more introspective reactions this month have been, in part, processing some of the issues you’ve encountered in “Trumpet of the Swan” and “Peter Pan.”
I still think it sucks being the middle kids, who is also a bit on the quiet-side. At times, your requests and opinions aren’t heard or considered as fairly as they should be. I hope you see that I am doing my best to notice when that happens and to give you uninterrupted time with me and away from the larger personalities of your brothers. If your generous nature is any indicator, you are getting your needs met well enough to give a backrub when someone is upset, to share freely of your food, and to get a second toy so that your little brother is included in the free play.
Teething has been your mainstay this month. You’ve popped at least four molars and two canines, last I checked (when you let me, that is.) It has led to really bad sleep for you and me as you squirm and wiggle all night, then latch on for comfort often all night, too.
You have discovered the power of, “No!” complete with pursing lips, shaking head, and scrunched eyebrows (I call it, “you’re giving me the eyebrows.”) You have definite opinions on things, but again, the benefit of being a third child is that your parents are comfortable giving you your head about everything and allowing you to experience the good and the bad that comes from it. Short of real safety issues (such as dancing on the kitchen counter or throwing a shovel near your brothers) I’m okay with some bumps and bruises, especially since most of the time, you don’t repeat the same action that ended badly for you.
As I predicted, you’ve no patience with walking, but prefering running-while-cackling everywhere. You’re incredibly independent, but at the same time surprisingly deliberate with your actions. So, you might climb to the top of the highest playstructure and dangle your feet while watching me for a reaction, but you stopped and thought about it for awhile before doing it-and you never go further than you can get yourself out of. Tempered with this strong will and independence, you are promiscuously affectionate with everyone. You give hugs, kisses, say, “I Love You!” and demand your snuggle time with each of us daily. You’ve been a boon to our dog, Pirate, who often gets forgotten in our busy lives.
I’ve taken to talking to you when I’m alone. And I imagine that I could feel your presence. Then, on January 11th, as I was in bed snuggling Buddha, I felt your presence with me stronger than I have for a long time. Thank you. You and I know why I am saying that. Thank you, with all of my broken heart.
I miss you, my girl.
One of the reasons I write these letters is to capture the small moments that are forgotten. The big events are documented in photos and memories of celebrations. But, the small things, like Bud saying, “I Love” for “I Love You” or Gan placing his finger on his upper lip when considering before replying or Nat discovering stickers in the workbook he picked out and choosing to reward himself with them every time he completes a page or the bittersweet feeling of finding a lost note an acquaintance wrote to give comfort after Sar’s stillbirth, these are what I want to remember with these letters. It’s these normal moments that are worth remembering because they are what fill up a life with joy. There are so many of these tiny stars that blink out of existence, only to be replaced with another that is just as bright.
Keep shining daily, my dear ones.
- If you would like to participate in the Letters to Littles Project, feel free to link up your post below.
- Keep up to date on this project and find out more information on the Letters to Littles Homepage.
- NEW: If you link your post this month in the comments below or on my facebook page, I’ll add the links to the list of this month’s Letters to Littles and tweet it for you
- Letters are written during the last week of the month, but feel free to write and link up whenever you feel inspired.
- You can follow all of the participant’s tweets here: @TouchstoneZ/letters-to-littles
- You can use the hashtag #letterstolittles on twitter as well.
- And don’t forget to click over and Grab the Updated badge (it’s set up to promote the project, not my personal page. So you won’t find my name on it):
Letters to Littles Participants:
- African Babies Don’t Cry
- An Unschooling Adventure
- Becoming Crunchy
- New Bitty Bird
- New I Thought I Knew Mama
- Lazy Kate
- Mom Grooves
- Purple Peas In A Pod
- Rosmarinus Officinalus
- Sausage Mama
- Smiling Like Sunshine
- Very Nearly Hippy
Pop by their blogs and leave a little comment love, won’t ya’?
Related articles and this Month’s Letters to Littles:
- A Letter to *Those* Parents (touchstonez.com)
- Letter to Littles: September 2011 (touchstonez.com)
- To My Dear One (touchstonez.com)
- Letter to Littles: October 2011 (touchstonez.com)
- Letter to Littles: November 2011 (touchstonez.com)