Sunday, November 06, 2005

A letter to you, dear daughter

carving time Last night, for the first time since you became our daughter, you spent the night away from both of us. You had a sleep-over with Mima, which allowed your Papa and me to put on decent clothes, leave the house for a supper served later than 6 p.m. and - oh, here is the really lovely part - get just a little bit drunk over our pasta. Drunk with freedom! This may have been your first sleep-over, but it will not be your last. And you had a lovely time, from all reports. You slept easily and well through the night. And this morning when I saw you, I gasped because you grew five inches in the 15 hours you were out of my sight. You have grown right up. You stand in front of my mirror and tell me that, when you get big, you'll use makeups. Wonderful. Your Papa reminds you that when you get big, you'll have a world full of options. You can be a doctor or a legislator or a pilot, he tells you. "I could be a pilot," you say with conviction. "Do you know what a pilot does?" I ask you. You smile and nod. "Arrrrrr!" Oh! you say to everything, as if everything were a wonderful surprise. "Come on - it's time to go to school," I say. "Oh! I don't want to go to school." And then, of course, there is "because." You have discovered the power of bolstering your demands with "because." In particular, you love "because I'm cold." "Mama, I need that candy up there because I'm cold." "I need to play outside because I'm cold." "I need another story because I'm cold." When you do not get what you want, or you get it in some compromised fashion that doesn't suit your specifications - a broken slice of cheese, for example - your heartbreak is unbearable. And it is the loudest thing I have ever encountered. Sometimes, when you are truly inconsolable and sleepy, we walk onto the front sidewalk and look for the moon. We talk about how the moon is peeking down on you in all her silvery light. I tell you that, when you lived in China and I lived here, I used to look up at the moon every night and tell her to bring my love to you, look in on where you were sleeping and kiss your forehead. Now, we talk about how the moon will visit your sister, and tell her we're waiting and we'll be there as soon as we can. You say you want to bake your sister a cake, because it will be her birthday. We straighten up your room, and I say I need to make room for a bookshelf. You say we need to make room for your sister. But that she cannot have your old baby bed. We have to buy her her own. It's a deal, my big girl. My dancer, my clown, my pilot.


Anonymous peripateticpolarbear said...

Oh you are both so lucky!

10:50 AM  
Blogger Bad Alice said...

Hi, just wondered over and stopped to read this sweet post about your daughter. It makes me ache to go hug my own little girls.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

This is my first time to your blog. I see comments left on Moreena's blog. I have read a few entries and have to say that I just love your writing. Your daughter is just beautiful! I plane to visit ofen.

7:05 AM  

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