Friday, July 29, 2011


Lily is almost two and a half and has taken to offering her fashion opinions when I get dressed.
And I listen.
Something is wrong with that picture, I think.
And she takes great care with her own outfits as well.
Things MUST match.
We have had morning meltdowns due to pairings she deems do not go together.
"They don't maaaaaaaaatch!!!!!!!!!" and then she collapses into a frog position on the floor, with dramatic Duse-style whimpering.
She regularly insists on dressing herself and is not bad at it. Often pants are on backward but generally she's quite good at it. I must confess that occasionally things are backwards on me as well, such as this morning when I discovered I had my pajama lounge pants on in reverse.
Can I pass it off as "One Tired Mama Syndrome"?
Maybe it wouldn't do any harm to heed her advice after all.
She loves swimsuits and insisted on wearing a favorite over her pjs one recent evening.

And she can be insistent about donning unseasonal clothing - which, in 90 degree heat can be considered negligent on my part.
It is not easy convincing a fashion "determined" toddler that a lined ultrasuede Fall coat isn't appropriate for late July - or that mittens aren't great for dense, steamy days - yet I do manage to redirect her interests with multiple reasons and other options.
Why? She says.
And then I offer an answer.
Why? She says again.
And another.
Because. I say. And that is how I emphatically leave it.
I now find that I am frequently fresh out of answers. Bad Mama.
I cannot wait for her pre-school mornings to begin so that I may learn too.
I am also looking forward to her having to respond to authority and to being reminded how to follow directions. She is so ready.
As am I.
She has become a very nice little helper - enjoys cleanup(on good days), likes to clear her plates, carry dirty paintbrush water in a saucer over white shag rug to Mama in kitchen.
Here Mama. She says, black water dripping down arm onto floor.
Also likes to wash things. Even if not dirty.

What I love most about Lily at this age is that we can communicate on so many levels and she can expertly converse, manipulate or be helpful. Overall, she is
And I think that's what took my breath away in a recent music class. As I watched her sing, dance thoughtfully and drum, I was caught in a moment of near misty-eyed disbelief that this little girl is indeed

A Little Girl.

Our Little Girl.

We do trips without the stroller. Do art projects. Make phone calls.
We have regular music jam and dance sessions.
She showed me which clothes she liked in a catalogue.
Opinions pronounced.
Rainbows, stripes. Flowers.
Good taste that girl has.

Oh. And I caught her singing "You Can Close Your Eyes" so sweetly.
Just like her dad did.

Growing growing growing.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


3 years.
Three years.

Three years.
Have passed.

This time I know where the time went. It went into watering and feeding and loving and growing a two year old who's first line in the mornings is often, "I'm a bigger girl now!".

She is.
Must be the sun.
And the multitude of hugs and kisses she is showered with hourly.
Her dad's spirit is definitely giving her a boost of energy (not that she needs it) and I sense he's on damage control as well.
I hope so.
Recently she called me at work and after her caregiver briefed me on a fall from a ladder in the playground, assured me she was fine, Lily came on the line.

Hi Mama! I falled down!
Are you OK Pumpkin?
Yeah! Had a lollipop.

All is well with my stunt-girl.

Later that day I came home to another accident story. This time a spill off the scooter. She was fine.
Helmet was on.
Good Girl.

Apparently a butterfly landed TWICE on her leg and was reluctant to leave as she rode home in her stroller.
That was Alan. Her princely escort.
I know it.

And the following week I returned home from work, Lily already off to bed, and her nanny brought out a picture that Lily had crafted earlier that day.

I thought you should see this... She said, somewhat breathlessly. I was cooking dinner when she brought it in...

It left me beyond breathless too.
Trembling, in fact.
It was Alan.
Not only that, it was Alan as Alan once doodled himself.
As an adult.
I was shaking.

He felt so close.

It's impact so... immediate.

And the wave through my body wasn't about our two year old Picasso-esque Prodigy Child (I leave that to the grandparents), it was as though...
Alan was speaking to me, through our child.
Our messenger, a medium.
Our shared heart.
A conduit.
No idea if Lily had intended to draw a face, but the next morning as we drew she was intent on drawing eyes, ears, and limbs.

Heart still skips when I look at it.
To me, it is the most direct message from Alan.
He's very much with us, and very much within Lily.

Yes, three years apart, but he's really not so far.
And while I ached for him dearly this past month, I did feel like