(all images shot on portra 400 with a canon eos3 and contax645)
Today I left on a work trip to Park City. You were wanting to give me a kiss and hug every 5 minutes as I got ready. We chatted as I packed my bags and dried my hair. You showed me your owies and asked if you could put on perfume and lipgloss. I kept asking out loud which book I should bring and you would excitedly say, “Oh Mom! I have the perfect book for you!” as you would run off and bring me back a book on underwater sea life or a book about woodpeckers. This morning you wanted to have a picnic on the ground for breakfast. I made you crepes and we sat around the world you created on the floor at 7 in the morning. Me loving on you and your brother and dad. Me missing you already.
What a year you have had.
Some moments were slow and savored
others happened in the blink of an eye.
3-4yrs has been an explosion of conversation and understanding.
We talk all day long together.
In the mornings you bound into our room talking non-stop in a mid-day voice. You talk about your jammies or how you slept. I ask about your dreams. You make jokes and laugh at yourself. You kiss and tease brother as he breastfeeds. One of you on each side snuggled into me. It is the time of the day where my heart feels the most full. I like being able to touch all the people I love the most at the same time.
You made your first big move (that you will remember) this last year, California to Kauai.
Since moving to this tropical paradise you have attended three different preschools as we have searched for the right fit.
All your teachers comment on how emotionally aware you are. And how well you talk. It feels like most of the kids in your classes sound younger than you. Maybe its the fact that you say things like , “I’m feeling a little sensitive”. Or maybe it’s because you have chosen to be a doctor when you grow up. “I’m Super Nova. I save people.” Whatever it is I feel proud that you are who you are and can express yourself so well. It makes things easier.
You have made so many friends at school and I love hearing you tell stories about them. As hard as it is to have you away from us 3 days a week, I love knowing you are making friends and LOVING your time with them. There have only be a couple days since you started school that you haven’t wanted to go.
There is rarely guessing how you feel. We know.
You are loud and bold and happy and sad and shy and interested and active.
You are creative and imaginative and enjoy your alone time as much as your social time.
You are a mix of almost everything. You are human.
I love being able to stand back and listen to you play. I love the worlds you create with seemingly nothing. I love hearing the conversations your dolls have and the way you soothe your babies to sleep.
There is something about being so close to a person that at times they don’t even realize you are there because of how comfortable you are around each other. I do not take this for granted. I am honored that you trust me enough to completely ignore me at times while you talk to yourself.
I am also grateful for the trust you have in expressing strong emotion around me. I never want any of my children to feel alone with hard and intense feelings because they feel a fear of judgement or lack of acceptance. I consider it the highest compliment when you allow me to support you during your hardest moments. Knowing that I love you (maybe even more) during the storm.
After the clouds clear it is so nice to be able to recap what happened and how we felt. Realizing together that those feelings passed and we survived!! Allowing you to work through all your feelings instead of trying to distract or avoid has given you the chance to see that you are brave and that those feelings aren’t to be feared.
Thank you for all the wonderful lessons we get to learn together.
You really truly are one of my best friends.
You love telling jokes.
One of your favorites this year was “Cows go on their first date to the mooooovies”. You are also learning knock knock jokes which has been fun.
You LOVE helping in the kitchen. You set the table, pour us water. You like to help stir, crack eggs, season. You love being a part of the process and helping to make decisions. You at times can even be quite bossy about where everyone sits while we eat. Thinking you might run your own cafe someday.
If asked you will say your favorite foods are chocolate and ice cream. But just for the record, you eat those two things very sparingly.
You have never been a big bread eater and still just eat the cheese out of the middle of the tortilla. You live off of eggs and cheese and still a fair amount of milk. You also like meat quite a bit, which is adorable for some reason. Most of the time when your dad and I make a meal for you, you thank us. So much sweetness and gratitude in your little self.
Bubbas and you share a room in our home up Kahiliholo. We were not sure how it would all work but you two wow’d us with how easy it has been.
We are renting a home and you like to tell people “There are horses on our property”. And there are are! It has been so fun for us to feed the horses and see them all day from our windows.
You flit around our yard visiting the horses, Ella, the macaw, and staining your bare feet with more red dirt.
Your favorite beach is Kalihwai.
You love digging holes with daddy and trying to catch minnows.
You want to introduce yourself to every young child you see, especially if they are girls.
Dogs make you a little nervous after a couple have chased you at the beach.
You only like to wear one pieces, I think because they are more comfortable to wear.
You like to climb over the lava rocks and pretend that we are mermaids.
I love seeing you so happy and free at these beautiful beaches I love so much. So happy we can live somewhere, where outside play is easy.
You still love princesses and playing chase non-stop. If anyone ever wants to play chase you are up for it. You and dad and bubs will run circles in our house.
You have requested a superhero birthday party. You want it at home and really wanted to watch a movie…but I am trying to persuade you to play some games instead. You also want flounder (little mermaid) cupcakes.
Naps aren’t happening that much anymore. We still do rest time but you spend a fair amount of that time begging for a show. We usually end up snuggling in bed while I try and rest and you roll around on me. Sometimes I think you don’t want to nap because its the time in the day when you can have alone time with dad and me.
When we first moved to Hawaii, we found out we were pregnant on the Big Island while we were there. 10 weeks later we miscarried. We explained it to you in terms of seeds growing and some not growing. You asked lots of questions and we included you in the process. We almost immediately got pregnant again and now I am 19 weeks pregnant (as I write this 2/6/15)!! You have been to an ultrasound with me and couldn’t be more thrilled. Due early July.
You often talk to my belly telling the baby how much you love him. You tell him jokes and blow kisses on my belly. You are also very aware of the fact that sometimes when moms are growing babies they feel sick and tired and you often check in with me to make sure my “belly doesn’t feel sick”.
Seeing you and Fairbanks over Christmas with your cousin Hazel made me so excited for another little baby in our home. You two lived to make her smile.
You are such a loving and fun big sister to Fairbanks. He copies your every move. You two love to wrestle and climb like monkeys on the beds and window frames. Sometimes you hold hands while we drive. Of course you like to test your control over him (like any big sibling would) but you also share and bring him toys when he is sad and really more than anything love playing with him. It has been nice to see him getting old enough to be your occasional playmate. I can see the relationship between you two growing more and more.
He calls you Sissy and you call him Bubbies most of the time. He loves seeing you when you come home from school and you love to be the first to walk into his room when he wakes up from naps.
I watch your every move…like any obsessed mother does.
I see your strong resilient body move with such skill as you skip, run, scooter and climb.
I see your mind working as you listen to a story or see a child in need.
I see your problem solving skills develop as you come up with solutions, “Ummm, I have an idea!”
I see your big smile and sparkling blue eyes look at me with wonder when I catch you off guard with silliness.
I hear you sing happily to yourself with made up words about the things you love.
I watch you with wonder and with my deep deep deep deep deep never-ending well of love.
What a treasure you are in our family. Always the brightest star. Always my sweet side-kick.
Lets run and jump and roll in sand more this year. Lets laugh more and listen closer.
I can’t wait to know you more and love you more.
Happy 4yrs sweet pickle.