I find it an odd mix of difficulty/ease to sit down and write these letters to you. On one hand, it’s simple. Easy. There’s just so much to say – you are a fountain of exuberance, this helium balloon that floats around our home dancing with energy and zest and joy – and the pure humor you’ve brought into our lives is all so worthy of documenting. But on the other hand, I don’t feel a need to document it quite as much, because it’s clearer – this good amidst the hard. I don’t have to look for it. The good is all around us, permeating these walls, securing support beams for our family’s foundation.
When you were a newborn, Bee, it was harder. I had to squint to see the good, and at times I had to squeeze my eyes so tightly that I couldn’t see anything in front of me at all. Life felt heavier then, and I know enough now to know it was simply a mix of postpartum hormones and the rocky roads any transition will bring. (Does the famous “It’s not you, it’s me” apply here? Yes? Perfect.)
Still, I felt off-kilter. And I needed to steady myself on the beauty; I needed to fix my eyes on the good. So I wrote. And I wrote and I wrote and I wrote, and it felt like I was writing for you but Bee, really, I was writing for me.
And now, I don’t feel like I need to write for me, at least not in the same way. I don’t need the daily – almost minutely – reminders to enjoy the still, small moments, because there are so many of them. We have an excess. Writing it all down would feel superfluous – it would take days – and I just really want to sit down and build another tower with you, you know? I want to settle into our days together – grocery store errands and play dates and crock pot dinners and Saturday morning adventures to the coffee shop.
Is it a trap, Bee? Is this what it means to take for granted these moments together? The idea that they’re enough, that they supersede all need for documentation? Am I kidding myself that I won’t need to write it down to remember the beauty of these toddler days?
Maybe. Maybe not.
Yesterday, during breakfast, we shared the following exchange:
“Mama, where are the eggs?”
“We don’t have any; I forgot to get some at the store.”
“Why did you forget to get some at the store?”
“I’m not sure; maybe I was distracted?”
“Why were you distracted?”
“Because I was thinking about something else.”
“Why were you thinking about something else?”
“Because I do that sometimes. It can be a bad habit, but it can also be a really big blessing.”
“I think it’s a really big bressing. I want to forget things every single day.”
And I think you cracked the code, sweet Bee. It’s in the forgetting that we learn and grow and improvise. And sometimes, it’s in the forgetting that we remember.