Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Letter to Lucy

You were funny this morning
You hopped out of bed while I was in the shower and padded into the bathroom

Where's Daddy you asked
Outside clearing off the cars honey
Will he do everyone's car Mumma 'cause they're our friends?
Well, he'll do his and Mummy's so we can go to work - I don't know if he'll have time to do all of them 
He'll probably do them all Mumma, he likes to help everyone!
Yes Lucy he does

He's so kind Mumma
He is Lucy
And you are so pretty Mumma
Thanks Lucy
You're welcome Mumma

Its little exchanges like this Lucy that make my heart swell with love and pride for you

Like a couple weekends ago - the Sunday we dressed the tree and decorated the house
You were so excited to finally have the tree up and the lights on outside the house
You danced around the living room and kept exclaiming how beautiful everything looked and how excited you were for Santa to come and what a good job Daddy did on the lights

That night, when we put you to bed, your Dad tucked you in, kissed you and as he walked out of your room you yelled out excitedly
Good night Daddy! I love you! Happy Christmas!

He melted on the spot

Then there was the movie Frozen - we took you to see it Thanksgiving Day
You loved it so much, you and Daddy saw it again Friday
And you love the music
You had the whole soundtrack memorized within a week and we listen to it non stop
Except for one song
You refuse to listen to one song
Not because it’s bad but because in the movie, when that particular song was being sung, Elsa was, as you say, shooing Anna way - sending her back to Arendelle
You don't like that song because the sisters were fighting and it upsets you

How empathetic and sensitive you are Lucy
Just like your Dad - it’s one of the many reason I adore and love you both like I do

And I adore you for this alone:

Last Monday, I arrived at school to pick you up
I checked your mailbox first, as I always do, and scanned your day sheet - your teachers always write a quick note about your day
On this particular day, the note moved me to tears
When I stepped into the classroom, Miss Julie saw me and I blurted out
Your note, it made me cry a bit
She responded Maria if you could have seen her with Ryan, you would have cried...we did
What happened I asked?
Miss Julie went on to explain to me that over the weekend, Ryan's cat Sprinkles was hit by a car and died
Poor Ryan was devastated
Well, when the sad news was shared, you Lucy made it your mission to cheer Ryan up - to make sure that when he got sad or started to miss Sprinkles, you were there to make him smile

Miss Julie went on to tell me that you hugged Ryan, you sat next to him and rubbed his back to comfort him
You tried to distract him by telling him about Herbie who no longer lives with us and you miss him but you think about him all the time and still talk about him which helps you not to miss him so much anymore
You also colorfully included the fact Herbie no longer lives with us because he was acting crazy and peeing everywhere so he went to live with Uncle Michael and now spends his days hunting chipmunks but not catching any
At one point, Ryan was sitting on the swings with his head down and you ran over to him and said I know Ryan! Let's talk about funny movies! That will make us laugh and smile!

Oh Lucy
How you love your friends, especially Ryan - he and Jake and Jack are your favorites
When it comes to those boys, you wear your heart on your sleeve for them

A couple days later, when I picked you up, I complimented you and your friends on the giving trees you were making
The giving trees were decorated with ornaments you and your friends made
On each ornament was written a wish you had - what you would give to someone as a gift if you could
Miss Julie directed me to yours
It said, quite simply and sweetly

Lucy would give Ryan a new Kitty

Oh my Little Lady Lucy

You've changed so much in the past few months

In July, I wondered if you and I would make it till the end of the year
You were a handful this summer
Your temper tantrums were epic
Your attitude was off the charts
And your ability to try my patience was as honed as any skill could ever be

But we made it

You moved into a new classroom and as scary and unnerving as it was for Daddy and Miss Barbara, you and I knew it was time
And it was the best thing that could have happened
Within a month or so of moving, you morphed into a new little person

Don't get me wrong, you are still the same Lucy to the core:

But now you are some much more in tune and in synch with the world around you
You see even more than you did before
You understand things that sometimes even I struggle to comprehend
You empathy and sensitivity at times paralyzes and worries me
You are so much more aware.....
Sometimes, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing

I worry that you are growing up too fast
Not just because I can't seem to find shirts that are big enough or pants that are long enough
But because you are so much more self-aware and aware of the world we live in
Because sometimes, you say things like
Mumma, why did those people hurt that man?
Or Mumma why did those kids hit the other kids?
Mumma how come those people on TV don't have anywhere to live?
Mumma can a robber get in our house?
Mumma can our house catch on fire?

You notice things more and make comments and draw your own conclusions

But there is still an innocence about you
You won't leave the house without a stuffed animal, usually two
You talk to your animals in kooky voices reserved only for them...and they talk back to you
You marvel at how clouds move because, as you observed, they don't even have legs!
You love to sing - you sing everything and all the time - and you don't care where we are or who can hear you
I can't tell you the number of times we've been in a public restroom and I can hear people chucking as you belt out songs while taking care of business
You dance with wild abandon
You love your books and will read the same one over and over and over again
And if we ever miss page or a word, you are quick to correct us to protect the integrity of the story
You still wake up in the night for a snuggle
You love your friends and family with no reservation or regard for your own feelings or interests
And when you hurt someone's feelings, you feel worse than they do

I love you Lucy
I love you so much that sometimes I can't breathe
I love you so much that sometimes, I forget to relax and enjoy being your Mum

I worry, as any parent does, every minute of every day about you
I worry if you are dressed warmly enough
Will you eat the lunch I packed 
Are you safe
Are you healthy
Are you happy
Are you minding your manners
Are you and your friends being kind to one another
Am I giving you the guidance you need
Are you behaving at school
Am I too hard on you
Too soft
Do I know what I'm doing 
Am I doing the Mum thing the way I am supposed
Am I doing you a grave injustice because I don't take you to get your picture done with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus
How in God's name do I teach you how to tie your shoe
And when am I supposed to do that
What if you don't like baseball
What if you become a Yankees fan
What if you want to play hockey or football - they are both so dangerous and I am way too lazy to get up for hockey
What if I give you bad advice or a bum steer on stocks....which I know nothing about stocks so do not even listen to me if I make a suggestion

All I can do Lucy is love you with my whole heart and my entire being
Which I do
And I can give you some more practical advice because that's what Mums are supposed to do

So though I may not be able to give you stock tips ad won't encourage you to play football or hockey (but I promise I won't discourage you either) I can give you some practical advice that will one day serve you well:

Don’t chew with your mouth open
Don’t talk with your mouth full
Don’t touch the radio in someone else’s car – their car, their music
Don’t confuse the Jackson Five with the Fab Four
And never compare The Osmond’s to the Jacksons – there is no competition or comparison believe you me
And just so you know, Rick Astley is in fact white
Don’t ever leave without kissing your Dad and I goodbye
Same goes for all your grandparents, all your aunts and uncles, all your cousins and anyone else you love
Don’t ever forget that no matter what, Daddy and I will forever and always be here for you – even if it is 2am, you are underage and you've been drinking – we will always be here for you no matter what
Bear in mind that though we will always be here for you no matter what, no questions asked, you will still be disciplined and/or punished in some way shape or form
I does not always come before E even after C
And U does not always come after Q – but mostly it does
Don’t spit into the wind
Don’t play cards with someone named after a city
Don’t tug on Superman’s Cape
Don’t touch the mask of the Lone Ranger
And don't mess around with Jim
Honesty is the best policy – but sometimes, every now and then, it might not be
Never be afraid to speak up for yourself - or someone else if they can't do it themselves
Be kind
Ernest Hemingway, though a great character, is slightly overrated as an was Salinger
Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary however are awesome
The Apostles were pretty good writers too
When you grow up and are in a relationship with someone you love, married or not, never speak ill of your partner in mixed company
Though this is hard, when someone else is talking, try not to interrupt or speak over them
You don't always have to be’s not as much fun as you think it is
It is ok to admit to being wrong; as a matter of fact, it’s better to admit to it before someone else points it out to you
Your teachers, especially your early teachers, will have a bigger impact on your life than you realize - remember to appreciate them later in life
When you are 14/15/16 and you think you hate me and/or your Dad, just remember we love you

And finally, in the words of the great Erma Bombeck, who I totally want to be,
When your mother asks, 'Do you want a piece of advice?' it is a mere formality.
It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no.
You're going to get it anyway

I love you Lucy
Daddy loves you Lucy
Happy Christmas little girl, Happy Christmas

Maria the Mum

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