letter to magnolia

I don't want to start this by labeling you, as bloggers, moms and psychologists are wont to do. And I won't apologize, though that, too, is something we all might agree would be instinctual, as a mother. I just want to tell you that I've noticed.

I've noticed myself comparing you to your brother. It doesn't make any sense. You are two completely different people. One's a you. The other's a him. And it's not like I'm raising you to then rate you, grade you and then scientifically meld you into bionic superheroes.

...

But when I accidentally do compare, know that I'm not judging you and where you are or how incredibly far you've come as a beautiful spirited girl. But I am looking at how I did things differently with you than I did them with your brother. I will not cause and effect them. I just feel like it's important you know that I notice them.

I never bought you flashcards. Your brother got them at 6 months old.

I'm clearly not helping you floss your teeth enough.

And I haven't figured out an affinity for you quite yet. There's not one targeted passion, or two slightly more diluted passions from you, beyond a love for pink and a thrill for dresses. I keep waiting to see when it will emerge. I'm giddy on the edge of my seat over it! And maybe your love for pink and a thrill for dresses will BE that one targeted passion, and one day, all of humanity will feel fancier. And won't that be lovely? Who needs bionic when everybody always feels amaaaaazing? You could do that. You have that spirit.

Still. It hasn't emerged yet. You are a little girl if ever there was a little girl. A little girl without concern for if she'll be the best at soccer this spring, or if she's yelling too loudly across the swimming pool for me to watch her hold her leg awkwardly out of the water while she plugs her nose and blows bubbles, or if she has hair in her eyes and jam across her cheek and band-aids in 17 places on her body.

And one day you want to grow up to be any of the following:

  • a princess. Rapunzel, if you're given the option.
  • a rainbow
  • a kittycat
  • an astronaut, but only for a minute or so
  • a tap-dancing ballerina
  • or, of course, a unicorn
Your brother once or twice said that he wanted to grow up to be a plunger. So.

I didn't teach you to write your name at 3 years old. Or help push you to get off of training wheels the same year. Instead you've told me you'll kick the training wheels when you're "good and ready, mom. Right now, I don't want to go fast."

You don't want to go fast. Thank the stars for that.

Don't stay this way. I want you to grow. I want to see what you can do with your joy and independence and butterfly instinct to land where it smells good and looks the prettiest. 

Wear two dresses at a time. Under your Rapunzel costume.

Pretend to vacuum the house while Big Baby hangs off your hip in a makeshift carrier. 

Feed me Play-Doh medicine and ice cream salad.

I'll keep noticing these things. I'll wonder about how I did things one way with one child, and another way with the other one. But I won't attribute who you are to that. Who you are, I believe, is all you. Your nugget of self has always been there, even before I knew you were headed my way. For that I do, truly, thank the stars. And I thank you. Cause I like to think that your little nugget of self picked me as your mom. And if you picked me, and your awesometacular brother picked me, too, then holy cow, maybe I'm the bionic one. And you' two are already superheroes.
dead serious about a corn stache

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