Thursday, February 23, 2012

Into the Sun.

Last week I got to sit in on Lily's second ballet class. Typically drop off, but they let caregivers watch this time, so I sat with my mother-in-law watching Lily do her thing.
Beautiful dancer spirit sprite.

Quite a moment.
A "Jesus. Where is her dad for this moment?!"

One of those.

(Of course there were no other fathers present but man would he have relished in this.)

I think he was watching.

She was something.

Wobbling on her tip-toes, managing plie's with determination and un-grace.
She pranced around the room, bells jingling on her arms, and every time she passed us she gleefully smiled or waved to us - as though on a merry go round - reconnecting with every joyful opportunity for eye contact -
On occasion she stepped off her blue plastic dot to run and kiss me on my leg.

Big Love.

We smiled back with pride and suppressed our subtle chuckles over her moves.
Unadulterated exuberance within us all.

And though I was wanting for Alan to be there with us, I had his mom next to me and my girl before me. And my enthusiastic family and friends to whom I can circulate videos and pics, hourly, and have them cheer from afar.

Again, much to be grateful for.

And then I heard a certain song this morning.
It kept the want at bay, and turned ballet day directly toward the sun.
Damn that Mavis is good.

You're Not Alone.
(Want to hear it? Click Here.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Almost Three.

You dream of Dada, Mama?
Yes, I do sometimes Pumpkin.
What he doos in your dream, Mama?
Oh. Sometimes we are in a car together, going somewhere. Sometimes we are taking you to school. He is smiling.

The fantasy begins. Or rather, my fantasy does. Can dreams count as memories? Might those images be ones she can envision and hold on to?
Do her dreams qualify as her own freshly minted memories?

I like to think so.

She spends a lot of time "imaginatin'", as she says.

I want dada to see my big girl bed.
I know you do, Pumpkin. But I think he can see us from all around. So maybe he does!
He is restin' in your heart?
Yes he is. That's a nice thing to say, Lily.
I want him to come back.
Ohhh... That would be nice. I would like that too.

And then, my tears appear. Lily has never seen me cry. And she laughs as she is used to seeing me "pretend cry" when I am dramatically reading her bedtime stories.
(Flourish is important.)
But this time they are real, and I just couldn't keep them within.
I was tired, under the weather, and wishing things were different.
I know there's nothing wrong with a child seeing a parent cry.
But this time I had to explain to her that I was crying because I wished he could come back too. And it ached. I ached.
For me, but mostly for Lily. She deserves to have a father, and she's been so accepting until now of not having one.

If there's one thing I can't stand, it's people advising me "not to make my issues hers". Because I don't.
But people don't seem to understand that one can miss something they've never known.
And this weekend, I saw a lot of that void in Lily's beautiful presence. She doesn't complain, whine or get weepy.
But she is noticing with greater awareness that she is indeed missing out on...
She makes up stories about him. Wants to be loved by him.

Wants to know if he knew her.
He did, Pumpkin. He saw pictures when you were teeny tiny inside of me and he was soooooo happy to see you there and to know that you'd be coming.

When I have a baby I don't want it to be inside of me.
OK pumpkin, that's fine.

Deep breath.

Lots of dada questions this weekend.
She also asked, from astride her rocking horse, when a friends dad would die.
Hopefully not for a very long time, Lily.
Most people live until they are very very old.

And then, thankfully, on to The Beatles - a new musical favorite of hers.
A breakthrough in our home.
What's dat song mean, Mama? She asks in reference to "Let It Be".


Note to self - write book interpreting monumental songs for toddlers.

It's about just letting things... be.

Well done Sus....

Just... leaving things alone, allowing things to be as they are.


Wise words, easier said than done.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Lily got married today.
Just like that.
Not even three and I had thought we'd have years together before she flew the coop.
But, no.
I came into the living room this morning where she was playing with her Granny and there she was, donning a much loved turquoise knit summer shrug with sequin border, over her dark wintry outfit and packing up her stroller.
What are you doing Pumpkin?
Gettin' married.
You are?! To whom?
Oh. Congratulations! I really like James, I think he's a nice boy.
Yeah. She says.

Ah me.
James is nice. He is invisible but very present. Just this weekend she was droppin' him off at ballet class and pickin' him up. (Lily has no use for Gs) The other night before storytime I found her sitting on my bed in the dark.
Why is the light off Pumpkin?
James isn't listenin, so I turned it off.
In our building elevators she always presses 10 for him. She is fast, and I am left sheepishly making "surprise" apologies for her to other riders, as though I had no idea that ten would be pushed.
His birthday is nearly every day.
And he has a little sister/boy friend named Jayna.
And sometimes another baby sister named "Stell".
And a mom who is in meetins' a lot.
And sometimes a dad but he works a lot too.

I like to indulge her imagination.
It is a trip for me as well.
A nice one.
She is busy in mind, body and soul.

Alan and I had invisible friends too.
But I will leave it at that.
No need for further grown-up embarrassment.
That's right Sus, Alan echoes from... around.
He's probably bothered that I outed him at all.

But she is a creative spirit.
Clearly the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.