dear sweet love:
I’m writing to you fresh from the epicenter of a sleep regression, which some people will tell you is not a thing.
I AM HERE TO TELL YOU
IT IS INGODDAMNDEED A THING
I mean, to preface, this is totally not your fault.
It’s literally like there’s a tiny vocabulary party going on inside that brilliant little brain of yours, and every day, someone new shows up—
so instead of sleeping, you need to wake up and practice words so you don’t forget anyone.
How this manifests is that you pop up at middle-of-the-night o’clock, cheerily informing me, “Mama, up!” or “Mama, down!” and implying that, oh, hi, hello, you are awake and you’d like to exit the bed to go explore things.
The other night, you apparently woke up daddy with a casual, “Hi, da-da,“, like it was totally normal that we’d all just be up and hanging out together.
Last week, you woke us both of us up around 4 a.m. because really, what better time to practice counting? The sun and the environment and maybe even those annoying-ass birds across the street weren’t even up yet, but you were, because it was of the utmost importance that you be awake & counting.
Though, tbh, there are certainly much worse things to wake up to than a tow-headed little toddler, snuggled in next to you and carefully enunciating, “One… twoooo… treee… fo’.”
This summer included your very first Shark Week.
You are ABOUT Shark Week.
We discovered this one afternoon when we had the TV on in the background, and a herd of home-sharks swam their way on to the TV. You immediately, breathlessly narrated, “Shark. Shark fish.”
Then, when one of said shark-fish proceeded to give birth (which, having had approximately just enough experience in this area to matter…. WHOA. BABY SHARKS COME OUT AND JUST START SHARKING IMMEDIATELY, WTF IS THAT SORCERY)–
anyway, I narrated, “Look, buddy! The shark had babies!” and you immediately replied, “Shark! Shark babies!”
You then proceeded to SIT STILL, which is not a Thing, and proudly pointed out every “feesh” and “shark” and “shark baby” that made its way on to the screen thereafter.
I’m basically more excited than anything to take you to the aquarium.
We live in a cute little neighborhood comprised of 90% nosy old people—
but sweet nosy, in the way that they passively-aggressively note things like if our lawnmower maybe needs fixed because they haven’t seen it in a while.
As sweet as they are, I have no doubt that they assume we’re trying to end your life on the regular over here because, sometimes, the soundtrack to your feelings is real screamy.
Trust, buddy:We fully have your back, because learning how to human is hard.
Especially right now; you’ve got all these Nixon-sized WILLS and IDEAS, but not the full emotional, verbal, or physical capacity to complete all of them.
I can’t even imagine how frustrating that must feel, to know exactly what you want, or where you want to go, or that you have a desperate distaste for wearing pants today, but you’re missing a crucial component in being able to communicate those messages successfully.
Thus, sometimes, you decide that fully losing your tiny shit is the best way to express your feelings.
These feelings are screamy;
screamy, but valid.
Ever since you were itty-small, I’ve subscribed to the idea that you’ve got every right to feel every single one of your feels.
Sure, I need to help you learn how to direct your energy into a form that’s less kicky-screamy, but it’s not on me to sit here & get in your face about calming down if you just need a short minute to melt.
Here’s the cool thing about mamahood:
I get to learn it as I go.
I get to learn you as I go.
It’s up to you to figure out what it looks like to sort through your experiences and feelings;
it’s on me to support you, love you up, and help you become a rad, well-adjusted little human along the way.
We’ve got you, buddy.
Remember when you were snuggly-new?
I think back to when you were still that little-bitty, versus tall-and-sprawly, like now.
Your whole entire existence fit in the space that spanned from the snuggle-spot under my collarbone to the crook of my arm underneath.
Every so often, you’ll tuck back up in that perfect snuggle space with your knees to your chest, and it reminds me to breathe you in a little extra;
to savor this season some more before you out-tall that space entirely.
You and I were playing outside, for no real particular reason.
Just you, me, and some last-minute, late-summer twilight,
sending crispy-light leaves and pinkie-sized sticks on rides down the slide in your little red car.
Ready to move on to the next thing, you reach your hand toward mine, and you say, “Come, mama. Pease.”
Melt my freaking heart, man.
Every time you extend that little hand, you invite me to be part of your adventure.
You want me to watch you go down the slide;
to sit across from you at the table so you can roll me a car;
to count “one, two, tee” along with you while we walk down the front steps.
In those moments, you reach out, and you wait for my hand to clasp yours so we can go on to the next thing—
Count me forever “in” for each and all of your adventures, buddy.
I freaking love you.