My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Love Letter

2005-02-17
Dear Red,
You are eight months old this week. How did I get so lucky as to have you, of all the various combinations of your parents’ and grandparents’ DNA, you are the one that got created. You are quite an amazing little girl and so jolly! You are such a happy creature and, these days, now that you have some command over your body, you like to sit surrounded by your toys and just play. And go thhhppptt with your tongue. Now, if only you’d go to bed before 11pm…..

And, gosh, could Dusty be a better big sister to you? I worried at first, before you were born, that I’d be dealing with jealousy and mine-mine-mine arguments because I remember what it was like when my little sister was born. I was not pleased. Of course, we were 5 ½ years apart in age and you and Dusty are only 3 ½ years apart. I never really got along with my sister until I left for college. But doesn’t Dusty just adore your bright round happy face and your fuzzy blonde hair! As much as we all do. And she’s been so generous with her things. I always knew Dusty was the swellest kid on the block but she’s really outdone herself in that aspect.

It’s been a tough eight months in many ways – lack of sleep being the biggest problem for me; lack of time being the second biggest – but you in your unique you-ness have made it worth it. Waking up to your big smiling face, your incredible enthusiasm in finding yourself AWAKE AGAIN, makes me love you all over again. Even when I’m dizzy – literally – from the hour here and hour there of sleep I’m allowed. You are just so ready to GET TO IT! Time’s awasting!

I worried when I was pregnant that it would be hard to love another child the way I so superly love Dusty, my brilliant “pianoer” and “librarier,” but whenever you flash your open, happy grinning (and what a superb grin it is!) face at me, I feel it again and I want to just squeeze you and tuck you away under my shirt and fold you back into myself. And even that wouldn’t get to the core of feeling I have for you. Why don’t human mothers have pouches? That’s where babies belong: in a warm cozy pouch where I could pet your soft fur all day long and never worry about you in that cramped tiny “Christian” household of the sitter’s where the television stays on all day and you spend too much time in a saucer.

Right now, you’re crawling around the room, talking, “Da da da-da da-da d’zop d’zo da,” alternating between random squeals and raspberries. Then you sit and clap your hands. Yay me!, you seem to be thinking, yay fingers!, yay hands!, yay mommy! Could you be any more wonderful? I think we know the answer to that question.

You are my country baby. While you and Dusty were technically born in a suburban hospital, Dusty spent the first 18 months of her life in the city. We had sidewalks and sirens and booming car stereos and buses and convenience. You will grow up here surrounded by fields dotted with horses and cows. When you think of spring, you’ll think of the almost deafening sound of spring peepers. And the redbud tree out front bursting into a magenta wonderland. Your winters will be punctuated by the sounds of shotgun blasts and hunting dogs baying. Of silent snowfalls and fires in the fireplace. Your summers, I hope, will be long and dirty and filled with digging holes and getting lost among the thick stands of trees that border our paltry 5 acres. The cicadas will sing you to sleep at night. You’ll drift off to cows mooing and horses harrumphing. Maybe you’ll learn to ride the neighbors’ horses and become Junior Equestrian and Horse Nerd. Which is a fine way to stay out of trouble. Just don’t expect to ever own your own horse.

Who will you be? The life of the party like Dusty? A painter like my parents? A musician like your father? Will you inherit your father’s tendency toward depression? You’re so silly and happy now, it’s impossible to say. One of the nice benefits of being a parent is watching your children become. It’s fascinating, the best movie ever starring my favorite actresses.

Every time you smile at me, my heart grows a little bigger. Every time I nurse you and watch your eyes roll back into your head in ecstasy, I love you a little more. I hope I don’t disappoint you as a mother and that you’ll want to be around me and welcome me into your life when you become whoever you’ll be. I promise to do my best and help you turn into the happiest version of yourself if you’ll promise to call me once a week and let me know how it’s going. Okay?
Love, Mom

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9:53 a.m. ::
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