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    Dear Bee // 40.

    10.07.2013 / FAMILY


    Dear Bee,

    Do you remember the night of your birthday party a few month ago? The night with the roasted corn and homemade guacamole, unusually cool temperatures and a quilted-together guest list of family and friends and loved ones? As the party ended and you grew tired, your grandmother suggested we roast marshmallows and tell stories around the fire pit. And Bee, the part of me that is responsible and a touch overprotective started to respond that it was already past your bedtime. But it was your birthday, and something within me wanted to celebrate with you a bit longer. So we stayed. It turned out to be the most magical evening I’ve experienced as your mother.

    You people-watched around the fire, listening to stories of your namesake Papa Bill and playing with your toes. You were uncharacteristically still, as if you understood the weight of this night. That the heaviness and mixed emotions swirling around the campfire – feelings of grief and joy and time – soaked up the earth’s gravitational force and there was nothing left for the rest of us. Because the night was so much bigger than you, or me, or your father. It was bigger than everything.

    You grew tired quickly, and instead of crying, you snuggled in closer under the blanket and I rocked you slowly as we watched the stars. The campfire voices and marshmallow scents faded into the night as you fell asleep, and then it was just us – our breathing in tandem with the realization that everything is connected and no experience is singular. It can’t be. We’re all under the same sky.

    And Bee, this is what you teach me daily – if I look for it. If I watch and listen and sometimes succumb to later bedtimes and impromptu evenings around the fire pit, you teach me that life is big. That it’s real and true and important, and it’s more than my small attempts to control the details of diaper bags and avocado stains and skipped naps.

    We created that memory together, and I know we’ll create more if we wait. Because those sort of nights are like the stars that guide them – rare and mysterious, always pointing to light.


    • YES. Beautifully written. We had an evening (my daughter and I) just like that, just after her first birthday. It was wonderful and I look forward to many more memories together.

      Thanks for the perspective, so beautifully written.

      • Thank you sweet Kristin! And gosh, those nights are just the BEST.

    • margaux

      oh, lovely. thank you for the reminder that it’s OK to let life (and magic) happen between the daily routines and schedules.

    • This so touched my heart Erin. What a magical evening. I was just thinking today about my weekend with my little guy, and late bedtimes that are just fine, and how he teaches me patience I thought I already had, and how to have fun in odd little ways…

    • What an incredibly beautiful post. As a new mom to a 3 week old, I feel that same way too. Thank you so much for sharing this with the world.

      • Ah, a 3 week old? Bless your heart! Wishing you calm days and peaceful nights! :)

    • Julie B

      Your writing is so lovely, that it makes me re-think my busy, messy days with my little one. You frame them into something so much brighter and happier, and more beautiful, and it helps me think of mine that way too. I just adore these letters Erin. Bee is such a lucky girl to have a momma like you. She will love looking back at these when she is older.

      • OH Julie – you are so kind. It’s sometimes really tough to shift the perspective on hard days, but so beautiful when we finally sit back and see what we’re learning through it all, you know? Thank you for your encouragement!

    • Beautiful! I just went with my 3 year old and 10 month old to an evening airshow with past bedtimes and a swayed routine and was just thinking how tired I am! But this post made me realize when will I get this moment to be with family ? When grandparents and parents and siblings and spouses and cousins gather? So worth it:)! Lovely post as always- hope we always take the time out of our routine to find the magic!

    • This story totally inspired me! The day after I read this my daughter, 10 months old, woke up about a half hour early. Rather than be productive as I wanted to be, I remembered you & Bee, I packed her up and we headed to the bluff to watch the sunrise over lake Michigan until we had to go to work/daycare. It was delightful & just what I needed.

      • Oh that sounds just MAGICAL, Amy! What a beautiful memory!

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