Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Awkward Mom vs. Super Toddler

Dear Super Toddler-

I love November. November has always been special; solidly set in the school year, yet bordering the wild abandon of December. The fall isn't brand new anymore, the colors a little brownish, and yet, the energy in the air feels like the first day of school. I met your father in a November; that exciting fall my first year out of college when I sat poised on the edge of my future, all ready for things to start. And start they did, as we sat in my first car and talked and talked and watched the sunrise through the fogged-up windows. (Wow, I am really glad you are not old enough to read this, and the innuendo I inadvertently layered that sentence with. Time for that soon enough.) I also married your father in November; it was a busy fall, full of weddings and change, when the first snow of the season flurried down as we scrambled into the church, giddy and slightly crazy. But I think the best November to date was that one 3 years ago, when you entered our lives with the doctor's shout that we had a "girl" and an even louder shout from you that you were far more than your gender.

Who are you calling a girl?
I prefer Wonder Woman, thank you.

I struggle to find words to describe you. The words that work are larger than life and hard to believe. You are exuberant. You are transcendent. You are effervescent. You are tremendous. You are wondrous and astounding and magnificent and outrageous and surprising and dazzling and bewitching and resplendent. People doubt your greatness until they meet you. Then, they just stare because there is really nothing else to do when faced with your amazing self.

You are so very breath-taking. 

You are the one they write songs about. You are the one they dedicate plays to. You are the one they name buildings after. You are the one that gets fleets of ships launched. No, wait, I stand corrected; you are the one sailing fleets of ships.

Although, you really prefer to ride into battle. 

My point is, you are one to change things. You are one that will be remembered. When I look at the great characters in the books I so love, I admire them deeply, but I don't join them. I am solidly a witness, a fan. Perhaps a chronicler or a friend. I know me; I'm a Watson. Meg March, Diana Berry. I'm Jane Bennet on my good days and Mary Bennet on my bad days. I'm Horatio, Sancho, Samwise, and some unnamed kid-wizard hanging out in the background somewhere at Hogwarts. That's totally fine, please don't pity me, my darling. Not all of us were meant to be in the front.

Or ruling the galaxy, as the case may be.

But you, my precious, precious one; you are Sherlock Holmes. Harry Potter. Jo. Elizabeth. Anne. You were born to rule. You were born to stand out. You were born to total and unadulterated autonomy. 

 Basically, you were born to stand on tables.

I often wonder what it was like to be Eleanor Roosevelt's mother. Or Susan B. Anthony's. Or Marie Curie's. Cleopatra's. Ella Baker's. Aphra Behn's. Can you imagine? "Eleanor, another ripped dress?" "Marie, don't touch that!" "Quiet, Susan!" "Hush, Ella.""Quit stealing my pens, Aphra!"  "Cleo, can't you find a nice normal guy? And what are you doing with that rug?" It couldn't have been easy to parent women who were born to stand on tables, but I have a feeling that it is even harder to be a little girl when you know you are really a woman born to stand on a table. 

Yes, this one goes to 11. Why?

I want you to stand. And stand tall. I want you to be the woman of strength, intelligence, and beauty that you are meant to be, but sometimes getting you there feels like trying to tame a tornado. Your little body is an uncomfortable fit for all that power and you seem to only have one speed; record-breaking. I think that is why you eat so much sausage; the energy you house in there is astronomical. So, keep eating that sausage. Keep running. Keep challenging the rules and walls around you. I am gonna hang on and try to keep you from rocketing into the street. That's really all you can do with rockets in the end; hang on and have the ride of your life. 

Happy November, my breath-taking daughter. A birthday wouldn't do for you; you require an entire month. 

I love you,
Awkward Mom

 P.S. I know you asked for a pony again this year, but Grandma (who is the expert in these matters) says that a little girl should ask for a horse for at least 10 years before she gets one. 8 more to go! 


  1. LOVE! Happy Birthday super woman! - Catherine

    1. She still thinks it is her birthday. I am serious. :)

  2. Hurray! I love how you love your daughter for who she is instead of trying to make her more like yourself or her siblings. I love how you take the long view and embrace the short term difficulties of parenting a strong-willed child because you recognize how well that trait will serve her in the future. You're such an inspiration!

    1. My daughter has a great deal in common with your daughter, so I think you know how it feels to parent one who was born to stand on tables. It's never easy but it's never dull.

  3. this brought me to tears. super toddler is so so very lucky to have you as a mom. and, also, you are a very good writer.

    1. I love that I made you cry. Wait. Let me rephrase that......

      Thank you!