Bed-Head or Africa: A Letter for My Daughter

My Girl.

Dear Sydney,

Last night you stayed up with me long after Owen went to sleep.  You were tired, you just were not ready for sleep.

So we hung out.  We played and chatted, and I did some housework.

And as I sat face to face with you and listened to what you had to say, I became aware that I have not documented many of the adorable and precious thoughts that you share.  Thoughts that have become a part of our family culture.

For example, sometimes in context but mostly randomly, you put one finger in the air just above your head and say “I know!”  Through huge smiles your dad and I ask “what do you know, Sydney?”.  To which you answer “I know!”.

You also often share your self designated title with us.  We are not sure what it means or where it came from (though I suspect from a DVD that we watch called “Backyardigans:  International Super Spy”) but often and with that same gesture of a single finger in the air above your head, you proclaim; “I’m the detector!”.

These two phrases are now used frequently by both of your parents.  Unfortunately for your dad, he spends lots of time with colleagues outside of the home.

I think we use these phrases so often because it is a way to connect with you even when you are not involved in the conversation.

Because we adore you.

As soon as your dad or I recite one of your token terms, an adoring grin comes across both of our faces and we pause.  Thinking of how cute you are, and how very much we love you.

Stretching before Owen and Uncle TJ's most recent race.

It would be too involved to count how many times a day your dad and I look at you or each other to say “she is so ridiculously adorable.”

Because you are.

And loving.  Frequently during the day you come to me or daddy or especially Owen, put your arms around us and say “I love (pronounced wuv) youuuu.”

Melt. My. Heart.

And tears come from my eyes.

Every. Single. Time.

And then you insist that it is followed up with a “kiss, too.”

And while I already regret not recording more of these moments of yours, the reason is acceptable; it is because I am with you all of the time.

Playing or reading with you, or preparing a meal, or clothing for you and Owen.  And as I sit to write another blog entry I think “I should be doing it now”.

However, this time at night is what keeps me feeling grateful to be a mother.  Time to express my thoughts and connect with others.

And if I did not have this luxury, I am not sure if I would be so happy to be at home with you.  So this time is as important to our family as recording your moments.

Because being at home all day without another grown up around can be lonely.  It is easy to begin thinking only in simple terms, and preparing only certain types of food.

I catch myself missing knowing what is happening in the world, and wondering what others think about it.

When I attend something without you or Owen, a strange sensation comes over me. I quickly become aware that knowing how to behave in a group of adults is no longer intuitive.  Because I am with you and Owen all of the time, and you are 2 and 4.

When we are with other families, their moms are in the same situation, and it is acceptable and standard practice to have thoughts interrupted and left unfinished.

And while I sometimes miss being around interesting grown-ups regularly and the life that I had before children, those groups of adults can not elicit the feelings of joy and gratitude from me that you can.

A very Happy Sydney listening to Happy Birthday to you!

When  you wake in the morning or from a nap and I hear that little patter of feet on the floor above me, I am filled with excitement and happiness.  Because I can not wait to see you and say “good morning” and scoop you up to share a hug that confirms that all is right in my world.

Though I want to, I do not immediately come upstairs to meet you when you wake up.  I have learned that you need some time to yourself before saying good morning to anyone.

So I give it to you.

The future of Pondering Jane?

When I do finally come up, I often finding you relaxing in the cuddle corner, flipping through “WordPress for Dummies”, your latest picture-less “read”.

I am not kidding.

And when I see you, with your bed head and cuddly pajamas,I know with certainty that there is no other place I would choose to be.

Not sitting at the UN, or traveling though Africa.  Not at a glitzy cocktail party with lots  of interesting and intelligent conversation, or swishing down the slopes of the White Mountains.

All of that will come again for me, and this time with you is fleeting.  And though I may not record it, I am experiencing and delighting in every moment with you.  Savoring your lips and toes and smiles and hugs.  Inhaling every laugh and request for tickles.

You are my girl, Syd.  I love you so very much and am grateful to be your mommy.



And that feeling is far better than keeping abreast of world happenings, and intuitively knowing how to interact withonly grown ups will quickly come back.