You are Three!
You are the best daughter ever. Ma tells me that I'm the best daughter ever and I always wondered why, I mean, I always tried to be good, but sometimes I feel like I'm falling short. Then I had you, and I realized that the simple gift of being a daughter is pretty awesome. Even on your worst days you are the wind in my sails.
You keep my feet on the ground and my arms reaching for the moon. I watch you-watching me and I watch me-watching myself as a little girl. I try to be more gentle with you remembering how sometimes uncertain and overwhelming it is to be a little lady. I try to grow older gracefully to show you that change as it relates to a well lived life is always something to be thankful for.
I beg you to wear your hair in a braid or a ponytail and you won't stand for it. I pretend to weep and move on because I wouldn't have done it either. You are all "sweat pants or high heels," like your mama. You wear your "princess dress" or "running clothes," but mostly you don't have time for looking into your closet; It has a back and a top and sides and you need the whole wide world.
You call me "Unicorn Princess," and "Cat Mama" when we play and you are strong willed and know just what you want. You bake cakes with me, play "Don't drop my eggs!" with my tiny blue robin's egg soaps and we laugh hysterically when you drop them all. We put horrible blue eye-shadow on each other, play "Jail trap" in my bed and we dig in the dirt, tend to our garden. We race on scooters and play super-heroes and you are comfortable doing all of them without getting hurt, dirty, fancy or tickled.
I read a quote the other day that said, "Never do anything for a child that they think they can do themselves." I'd give you the whole wide world, but I know you'll get it on your own.
You do dance shows and sing and make up songs about everything from ear-aches to rainbow ponies. I look at you and see all the women in our family at different times and in the most fascinating and beautiful of ways.
You are a good girl, but Monday's are your best day. Monday is the day the boys all head back to school and work and you and I head straight from pre-school drop off to "Ladies Breakfast." You beg for the western style cafe because it has eggs and cake and Christmas decorations when I really long for idly and filter coffee. I give in three out of four Mondays. You draw tiny pictures and make lists and we make up picture stories over our meal.
You love your brothers and they love you. You wrap you legs around Sam as he leaves for school and he sweeps you off the ground each morning before he can leave. You fit easily into any of the wild imaginary scenarios that Peter dreams up for you. He makes you his princess, styling your hair like his favorites and then makes you his sea lion prey when he wants to be a blue whale.
You love your dad like crazy. You have such a casual and beautiful relationship with him I'd think you'd known him much longer than your three years, but that's the way I felt when I met him, too.
You still fall asleep next to me in "Dad's and Mom's" bed at night and just like the night you were born three years ago, I've never wanted it any other way.
You still have your paci. I still don't really care. We promised you'd throw it into the sea for the sea babies when you turned three, but I don't quite know how that is going to turn out yet.
You make me proud to be a woman and safe as I grow up myself, knowing you'll fight for everything all the women in our family before you created.
You planned this party with me, helped me cook, made lists, shopped, decorated and directed our household staff. It didn't turn out quite the way we planned, things never do, but you didn't let that bother you and you shined like a billion stars in the night sky when we sang "Happy Birthday" to you. You could have been winning an Academy Award and I felt like I'd won, too. May we always share our ideas, successes and failures with each other like Ma and I do and add links to the strong chain of women in our blood.
I love you sweet, brilliant baby girl.
(Ps pictures of our the party and a small tour of our downstairs living space. It's taken a lot longer for this house to feel like home, but it finally does.)