Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hope and Butterfly Trees.

I started this year with so much hope. And then, in the first 2 weeks it seemed like the damn world was crumbling around me, on my feet and on my head. I have always been sensitive, and sometimes the dark mysteries of the world break me into pieces and I feel hopeless.

What I know is this: bad things happen.

I also know this: life is so beautiful and even when the water's up to your chest threatening to choke you, there is the sun coming from behind the clouds.

I also know: I am cheesy. And I am SO ok with that. I am thankful that I feel pain for things I can't control because it also means I feel deep joy for the good that swirls around me, lifting me from the water's swells.

I feel like I've found some footing. I feel like a new year was carried in on cold January nights and has settled into my bones with the balmy 70 degree days. I feel hope.

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Three is a rough year, for me as well as for her. For all of us really. Three brings tantrums and willfullness that frustrate, and yet I flip the coin and see a reflection of myself. It's there, in her. My proudest moment this year so far was the one where my Grandmother looked wistfully from my daughter's face to mine, and proudly proclaimed, "She is little Katie all over again." The world sees Luca through a lens of pretty girl, blonde hair and green eyes like her father, delicate and wise and well-mannered. My Grandma, though, she sees who Luca is. She sees the spirit in those old-soul eyes and she sees me. And nothing could make my chest puff with pride more than the thought that this girl who I love so deeply it sometimes hurts makes my Grandma think of me.

But the food battles and the clothing battles and the bedtime struggle as my brain and mouth speak in unison to tell her, "You need to sleep in your own bed." while my heart and my arms scream a silent protest of, "You belong near me."? Those are killer. I battle the two mothers inside of me and usually listen to the one who feels like she's right. Advice and Shoulds be damned.

Last night she cried and then her wise little mind kicked into overdrive and supplied her with 101 excuses and reasons why she needed to be next to me to sleep. And inside my heart was cracking, but on this night she needed to sleep in her bed and I in mine. And suddenly I realized I was going head-to-head with her and that didn't feel right either.

"Lu, I have the answer," I offered, and she took my bait.
(sniffling) "What, mama?"
"We can sleep in separate spaces but meet in our dreams."

And so together we spun a dream, where we both would be butterflies with pink and purple wings. Over a rainbow we would travel separately, coming together at a big green tree to meet in our dreams. She sprinkled the tree with flowers of purple and pink (you might notice a theme?) and then she stopped and looked sad. When I asked why, she asked how Daddy and Rohan could join us. I suggested they appear in many forms (bees and bears and honeybirds) but none of those would do. In the end, they were gifted wings of flight like ours, butterflies with pink and green and black wings. And so it was decided, that we would meet and she would know it was me because I would bring her a gift.

"Mommy?" she smiled at me. "I want to bring something to you too. And something to Rohan-butterfly and Daddy-butterfly."

"That would be so nice, Luca. We would all be happy."

"But mommy, can I see Piggy there?"

"You can see anyone or anything you want to see, buddy."

"I think Piggy will be there. And that girl. The one who the mean man killed. But they aren't butterflies, Mommy. They are a girl and Piggy, but Piggy can go live with her now."

Choking back hot tears, I asked for more of the story. I guess I wanted to know why she thought that could happen. I guess I still didn't think she could possibly understand.

"They aren't here anymore, but where the butterfly tree is, they can be together. I want Piggy to be with her."

My girl. If she reminds anyone of me, that is the biggest honor I could wish for.

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I know that 2010 was a test for many. I know 2011 started off on perhaps the wrong foot. I also know without needing a sure sign that 2011 will be good.

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I stepped on the scale today, expecting to be where I was last week after a weekend of carbs and sweets and ass-sitting in a car. I was happily surprised to see I was down 1.5 pounds. It's a small step toward where I want to be, but I am grateful for small steps. I am grateful for daughters with wise old souls and sons with infectious smiles. I am grateful for friends and for challenging work and for love. I am grateful to be married to a man I still call my best friend after nearly 14 years.

4 comments:

Sharon said...

Oh Kate. I'm bawling over here. You have a daughter with an amazing, kind, and beautiful soul packaged in that 3-year-old body of hers.

I think the next time someone asks me what is so special about having children, and if it's worth all the life changes, I'm going to direct them to this post.

Thank you for sharing this. I have been feeling a lot of the same things you have the past week and a half, and it is so amazing to be reminded of what is wonderful in the world - including that sweet and special girl of yours.

Suzie @ cupcake monkey said...

I am grateful for YOU, Katie. This post brought tears to my eyes.

Lisa T said...

oh my god, Katie...your little girl is just simply the sweetest, amazing, loving angel...and she gets it from YOU.

Kari said...

Beautiful in every way imaginable, thank you for sharing this moment with us!

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