Random convos

Aria: Hey Mom, what’s my job? Is looking left and right my job?

Me: Your job is learning german and having fun!

Aria: ha! I always have fun!

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So I guess Aria has been taking our yoga sessions to heart?

So we’re in the middle of her bike ride home today and all of the sudden Aria stops.

“Mom, wait. I have to do yoga so I can bike again.”

She proceeds to get off and starts with some sort of warrior I pose. Then she bends over, hands and feet on the ground.

“Down dog!” she exults.

She gets back up, takes in a satisfied breath and says

“I did my yoga! Now I can bike again!”

Oh how she makes me laugh!

Love you

I often say to you, “Hey, guess what?”

You giggle and say “I don’t know.”

I grin and grab you close and laugh and whisper: “I love you Aria.”

You always laugh too. You grab my face and come until you are right next to me and whisper: “I love you too.”

Montags

It hurts my heart how genuinely sad Aria is on Monday mornings. I probably hold her for too long before I leave her at school, but I don’t care. I can hold her, so I do. And I stroke her hair and just love her. That’s what moms do, right?

Flowers

I love collecting wildflowers for Aria on hikes and bike rides. I try to find every color and every variety. Then she’ll hold onto them for an hour or longer sometimes. It’s just another way I tell her I love here.

Dreams of cleaning

Dad: “So what did you dream about honey?”

Aria: “I dreamt that daddy fly. And i could swim, in the water! And Mommy could clean.”

Dad: “Hahahahahahaha.”

Mom: 😒

Later that day.

Aria: There is an ice pack on the floor and I checked and it’s not cold anymore. I think we need to put it in the fridge.”

Dad (cheekily): “Hmm. Sounds like a job for the one with the cleaning superpowers!”

Mom: 😡

Lightening!

Aria just saw lightening for the first time.

“I want to do that again!” she exclaims.

It strikes a second time, a sharp zig zag of light tearing down from the sky.

“I think daddy’s doing it,” she muses.

“With my magic?” daddy teases.

“Maybe the sky is doing it. The sky is raining. The sky is magic!”

A simple first you never expect to be a part of!

The lightening has kept coming. We’re all captivated by how it strikes so suddenly across the flat landscape of the Dalmatian Coast.

“Should we plan a lightening party” Aria asks. “Because we’ve seen so many lighteningnings!”

“Why are you texting so much mom?” Aria whines. She wants me to read another Fancy Nancy book. We’ve gone through nine already.

“Because I’m writing a story about you.” I answer.

“Read it to me! Tell that to me!” She exclaims. And so I do. It’s the first blog post I’ve ever read to her!

“It looks like a monster! Look I’m a monster!” She suddenly explains, noticing the clouds. “It’s the first time I think she’s described a shape in the clouds!

Dreaming

Today Aria said she dreamed about all her friends – Marissa, Terry, Owen, Quillan, Sonya, and Liza, and said they were at school in tutus playing with lots of Minnie Moises and kitty cats. Sounds like an incredible dream!!

Today Aria dreamed: I was at the beach playing with cats and dogs. There were turtles and fishies and there was a museum where the cats and dogs could go. The horsies were there and they counted one two three. The dogs liked the museum better than the beach. Then they all went on a ferry. And then Aria had to work with the dogs and so we jumped jumped jumped on the couch. And I had a lot of cats and dogs. A lot of dogs too. And they jumped. Then we went back to the beach in a car. The dogs went woof woof woof. We had to get candy from the house. It was hot today and there was a parade. I had a lot of dreams.

Not so Little anymore

I realized just now how big Aria is getting. I went to shift her so she wasn’t sleeping horizontal im the bed. I guess it’s the first time it surprised me to be moving the girth of a child instead of a baby. Some part of me was expecting that ten or fifteen pound infant, less than two feet long.

Things happen so gradually with your kids, sometimes you don’t notice how much they’ve changed in so short a time.

There was something stirring about that echo of a memory, not of a singular moment, but of the extended and unexpectedly finite experience of having a baby. It made me so grateful for what now seems such a short gift of time – the chance to experience the love and life of being a mother during those early, frail, and tender months after birth.

Aria just started asking for a brother this week. She calls sisters brothers too, so, either way 😉 I hope we get to have another one a year or two down the line. Then I can enjoy this ridiculously awesome phase Aria has entered into while also getting to do it all again with fresh, but keener eyes.

Last week we were in the car and Aria and I were chatting about something. There was a pause and she reached up to turn my face to hers. “Talk to me mommy,” she petitioned. And so I did. Because instead of a baby I can move effortlessly, I now have a little girl, a conversationalist and a companion, to keep me company 🙂

Life, Loss, Arrival

I’ve never been so deeply affected as the two times I have watched the movie Arrival. The first time is sweat over me in an inarticulate wave of hope and meaning for life that I, a reluctant atheist, never thought possible. I’ve spent fifteen years grappling with the impermanence of life. Running. Weeping. Hiding. Burying questions and feeling and good and bad all together in the dozen graves I visited between sixteen and twenty six. Slowly the shroud has fallen with each visit to my mother’s grave. Gray and dead I left it. Then slowly I changed. When I left the roses and the ornament this time, the beauty there. The meaning. I felt meaning to life. There within reach. Not in my hands, but there. Real. More real than the ten thousand prayers for a testimony of the god I was raised with.

As I watched the movie, I made the decision that life inherently matters because it exists and it is beautiful. I made the decision that if I knew how long I had on this journey with you, my dearest little Aria. If I knew and it was shorter than I ever wanted or thought I could bare. I would still walk the journey. I would walk it to know you for as long as I was given. I hope it is until I am ninety and I leave in quiet simplicity and satisfaction of having lived a life worth living. It is the hope we all have. But gnawing fear of what might be has sat there deep in the pit of my insides since I fell in love with your father and since I first met you, warm and perfect inside me, then warm and perfect in my arms. And now beside me, sleeping softly.

I asked you the other day why you like to sit on me. You smiled and answered, “because I love you mommy.” Today as we rushed freezing from the National Christmas Tree and I got you bundled as well as I could in your stroller, you reached out and took my hand. I was warm. Because love is perfect. Love is everything. It drives me in everything I do.

I love you Aria. I hope I say that enough. Getting to live life with you here a part of it, it just makes everything so much better.

I like how I am changing inside. After I finally conceded on acknowledging my lack of testimony in religion, I wandered onto such an uncertain path, angry at the fairytales and closing my eyes to the big gaping hole in my hope for finding a meaning to life.

Perhaps just like finding the beauty of a dozen roses at a tomb, I have hope of finding so much more. A second phase. A second life within this one.

You’ve been such a big part of this change little one. You’ve not just given me meaning, but helped me find meaning that is even bigger.

Her own little writing nook

Aria has found her own little writing nook. I kind of love this. ♥️

She actually found it this morning trying to escape getting dressed!

After she left the now writing nook this evening, she announced she was done with her writing and ready to share.

“I was on the bus coloring. Want to see my drawing? I got that and that. Oh, that is not the right page. Here daddy!”

“Mommy, you want to see my coloring. I had three pages. I had that one and that one and I’m all done with the pen.”

What’s that? I ask.

“A finger puppet!”

It’s never to early for science! Because the world is awesome.

“Look Daddy, espirament!”

A while back while at a library in Iowa, I encountered a children’s book for early elementary school called “Things That Float and Things That Don’t.” Science being my weak spot, it explained big concepts in ways I had never understood, using fun pictures and descriptions of experiments. I ordered it right then and there.

The book was pretty text heavy despite all the pictures and I’d planned on waiting until Aria was 5 or 6 to read it to her.

Then a couple of weeks ago Aria found her bathing suit and suddenly the whole world revolved around Water. She insisted on a book about swimming.

Things that float had plenty of pictures of Water. I pulled it out and started to read.

DH playfully mocked our reading party as the book illuminated concepts of density, displacement, and dissolving. “Why don’t we read her Einstein’s theory of relativity next!” he chirped.

(Which felt especially ironic when I found him reading a graphic novel about the Holocaust called Maus to Aria the other day. I walked in just as it was talking about giving up grandma mouse to be taken to Auschwitz.)

Aria fell in love with the book. We discussed each page. She asked question after question, engrossed in the idea of doing an experiment. “Read it again Mommy!!!”

We read it maybe a dozen times over the past three weeks.

Yesterday morning, it felt like time to put the book to the test!

Aria picked out a bunch of objects to test: a penny, a big stone and a little stone, some fruit, and a little plastic Pooh bear.

“Should I write our experiment like in the book!”

“Yah!!”

I went and got paper. At first my sheet was too small. I got a bigger piece.

“Why your paper to small mommy?”

“We have lots of data to record!!”

“Okay!”

“What shall we start with??”

“Pooh bear!!”

“What’s your hypothesis? Will he sink or float?” I asked.

“Float!” she enthusiastically predicted.

I recorded her answer and let her drop him in the pot of water.

He floated!

I had Aria mark the results with an “X”

We went through all the items the same way.

She only got one wrong, and I would’ve made the same guess!! Who knew the pear would sink??

Happy

I don’t know why, but I feel such delirious happiness spending time with my daughter. I feel it all the time. There’s this edge of worry that it can’t surely last. And I hold her and DH close. But then it does. Seven and a half wonderful years with DH and three and a half years since I found out I was having Aria. I know everything is temporary. But yet love and life somehow persists. Love you Aria. Love you DH. Always and forever.