We survived Molar Week, but not without a few bumps and tantrums and sky-rocketing blood pressures along the way, but hey, that’s survival. It’s bloody and scarring, but then you have a really good story to tell your grandchildren over a tall glass of lemonade. “My aching knee,” I’ll say. “And good Lord, those molars in the spring of 2014.”
And those little freckled redheads will roll their eyes and giggle with a lightness in their soul, because after all, you’ll be their mother and they’ll have inherited your beautiful gift of happy.
You are, my gosh, Bee, the most mischievous thing around. You like to hide kitchen utensils and random paraphernalia in your pajamas, as if they’re stored in secrecy – a treasure for you and you alone. As if your father and I cannot see the wooden ladles and rounded spatulas poking out from the top of your zipped onesie. As if we cannot hear the crunching of pure litter you’ve stuck down your footed pajamas, a handful of pistachios gathering between your toes. It’s the weirdest game you play, and it’s my favorite because I get it. I get that you’re making your own fun and you’re forming a sense of humor and you’re learning how to hide the glimmer in your eye so as not to give away your secret.
But Bee – here’s what I want you to do. I want you to keep the glimmer. Let it shine brightly and perfectly, and let it give away your secret… every single day. The world needs the glimmer. It needs light and hope and childhood games and mispronounced words. It needs your mistakes and your smiles, the kind where your chin gets wobbly because it’s trying to hold the corners of your mouth down, but then the weight of the smile is too strong – too big – and the corners break free and your face lights up like a firework display.
You’re going to see a lot of things here, Bee. In your home and your town and your world, and they’re going to try really hard to steal away that glimmer. They’re going to fight for your attention, seeking to shift your focus daily so you can’t spin and twirl and dance because you’re too busy looking at all that dizzies you.
I don’t know how long you get to keep your glimmer, but I hope it’s forever. I hope you find a way to fight the good fight, the one that weathers our skin and furrows our brow. The voice that whispers judgment in the name of justice, productivity in the name of responsibility, solemness in the name of respect, anger in the name of discipline.
And I hope you win, sweet Bee. I hope your prize is a forever glimmer in your eye and a smile that cannot be unturned. And I hope you find what you seek – storing treasures in your zipped up chest – and remembering to share them with the world the best way you learn.