no threats, no fights, no fantasies, you amaze me

4/14/11

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Lucy every three months from Apr ’05 to Apr ’11 – click for bigger

Hi there my sweet, wonderful Lulubeans! You turned 6 years old today, and I’m so happy it’s your birthday! I have been remiss in writing these little missives to you (as always) but my excuse is simple: it’s impossible to sum up the awesome complexity of who you’ve become.

First, the things that have always stayed the same… your absurd flights of delirious fancy are still in full swing. You can go on monologues for entire car rides that make sense only if we’ve decided to jump onto your non sequitur train and hold on for dear life. There was a time when I was worried you’d lose that part of your daydream life too quickly, but I shouldn’t have feared; Alice isn’t leaving Lucyland anytime soon.

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charmin’ the neighbors with cool jazz stylings

Your social nature, as always, remains elusive from adjectives. You are extroverted, shy, boisterous and ponderous… depending, I suppose, on the tides and the phases of the moon. And yet you possess a self-protectiveness that will serve you well – your mom could occasionally be reckless, and your dad could be a neurotic nervous nelly, so it’s good you landed somewhere in the middle.

Something happened at the farm last month that was very telling: we put your boots on for the snow, and as the hours wore on, once or twice you said your foot hurt. Finally, around 4pm or so, you actually sat down on the barn floor and removed your boot, revealing that a WHOLE NOTHER SOCK had been shoved inside the toe.

If that had been me at the same age, I would have been moaning bloody murder about how my foot was being tortured and called off the day’s festivities about five minutes in – but you soldiered on for hours before it got to you. You don’t possess any of those sensory integration issues; you’re just too busy discovering the world to let something like an oddly-fitting boot get in your way.

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discovering the telephoto lens doubles as a telescope

Speaking of discovering, your scientific thirst for knowledge is second only to your desire to create storylines for everything in your grasp. I remember when you used to make your forks talk to each other at the dinner table, and now you’ve got a cast of at least 45 characters living on your bed and in the playroom. I have had to make up voices for at least 30 of these dolls and stuffed animals, which means I’m starting to differentiate between the Liverpool accent (Chuck the horse) and the Manchester accent (Aljert the baby polar bear).

Yet through all of them, you maintain a high degree of erudition. Your favorite character of late is Bracka the Brachiosaurus, a baby sauropod from the Playmobil Dinosaur Set who speaks in a falsetto and has to eat the tops off trees before bed. Occasionally you’ll have Necky the Giraffe or Ptriky the T-Rex (all names invented and spelled by you) explain the difference between the Jurassic and the Cretaceous, and where igneous rocks come from. We’re beginning to suspect you might actually grow up to be what you said you’d be: a poem-writing paleontologist ice skater.

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telling Bracka a bedtime story about a Kentrosaurus

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practicing her hula moves before the skating recital

 

What can I say about kindergarten? (Not much, since I never went.) You, however, have taken to it with a seamlessness that makes me appreciate your mother even more. When I hold your hand into the classroom, then peer through the window as I leave, watching you sitting in your square, next to your three girlfriends, reading “Today’s Schedule” in tandem, I have to tear myself away.

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pointing the direction of her home borough, atop the Empire State Bldg.

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wearing the Barnes jersey Uncle Chip gave her… don’t worry, Tyler H., she’ll always carry a torch for you

 

With you turning six, there is the sadness that any parent feels when they know their little pumpkin pie is growing up, but one thing remains true – we have loved every phase you’ve gone through, each more than the last. There will come a day when you’ll know how hard we were trying to bring you a little sister or brother, and how much we wanted it to happen by now, but we’ve also come to see it as a blessing. We got to have you all to ourselves, to be with you in so many transcendent moments, and in return, you got to have us.

We will still try to make our family bigger, but in the meantime, I can only hope we have been exactly what you needed. Because in every glorious, window-rattling, deliriously insane and utterly lovely way, for us, you have been enough.

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0 thoughts on “no threats, no fights, no fantasies, you amaze me

  1. cd

    My dearest, oldest friend is in labor with her first baby at UNC Hospitals right now. Reading this just after I heard that thrills me to no end for her — the extraordinary love and fun that awaits her. Happy, Happiest of Birthdays, Lucy! And so lovely as always, Ian. These are some of my favorite posts.

    Reply
  2. CM

    She is a lucky little girl, and I consider myself lucky to have gotten to watch her go through these changes on your blog. Happy bday, Lucy, and congrats to your parents for six years of safe parenting that kept her healthy! (I told my husband that when our boy has his first birthday celebration, it’s also a celebration that we did an okay job in our first year as new parents.)

    Reply
  3. Julie

    Happy Birthday Lucy! Hope your day is glorious. Thank you, Ian, for sharing all these snippets through the years.

    Reply
  4. Annie H.

    Lucy, I cherish your uniqueness and am so blessed to have you in my life. Til the next time we play Hard Guys and imagine roosters that are 13 flapjacks tall, I love and miss you dearly. Jartacular!!!!

    Reply
  5. LFMD

    As the mother of a single child, I absolutely love these sentences:
    >>There will come a day when you’ll know how hard we were trying to bring you a little sister or brother, and how much we wanted it to happen by now, but we’ve also come to see it as a blessing. We got to have you all to ourselves, to be with you in so many transcendent moments, and in return, you got to have us.
    We will still try to make our family bigger, but in the meantime, I can only hope we have been exactly what you needed. Because in every glorious, window-rattling, deliriously insane and utterly lovely way, for us, you have been enough.
    I have mentioned to you before that we have one child by choice, so obviously our circumstances are different. However, whenever someone questions our family size (strangely, we get that a lot now that Helen is nearly 12 and it is clear that we are beyond the traditional window for a second child), I always have the same thought: we have one child because she is enough. She is all we ever could have hoped for, and we try our best to be all that she could ever need.

    Reply
  6. jje

    As a mother of two who went to hell and back to get the first, then did the trip three more times to get the second, that same passage made me weep to remember all those feelings. I can’t think of a more beautiful, bittersweet way to express it than what you wrote.
    Happy Birthday, Lucy!

    Reply
  7. kmeelyon

    Ian, your blog posts to Lucy are one of my very favorite parts of visiting your blog. As a non-parent, it also gives me a little joyous glimpse of some of what I am missing and it makes me happy to get that!

    Reply

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