Friday, April 23, 2010

4

Dear Zoey,

Last night I read you "Five Little Ladybugs," and then you asked me if you were going to die. Not until you are an old, old lady I said. Something about the circle of life, and then I took probably too long describing all the stages that you will go through during your happy, happiest life. Above us your starlights twinkled, 5 little ladybugs sleeping by the shore, along came a fish--then there were...
Tomorrow you turn 4 and I laugh at how cliche it all is, this motherhood thing spent inside out, how it feels as if it was just yesterday, how one minute I cannot wait for you to pour your own milk and then the next, how the soft curve of your cheek can stab me in the throat with its very now-ness. And then? What? At some point you won't crawl into our bed at night, Daddy smushed against the wall, me teetering on the edge of the mattress, you sound asleep, the crossbar that structures the night. 3 little ladybugs drinking up the dew, along came a duck--then there were...
Too often I hurry. Perched on the edge of the couch, I trim my split ends. I blog, write. I wash the dishes. Talk the dinosaur! you say, which means you want me to play. Be the girl, the fish, bark! Hold on, I say. In a minute, and god, I just really suck at playing Barbie. But on this, your birthday eve, I see it, the stop motion speed of cumulous clouds. Was that the last time? Is this? Because you know what comes next, don't you? I mean, it's not as if the story isn't predictable. Two little ladybugs basking in the sun, along came a frog--then there was...Today I told you the story of your birth, how Daddy and I were watching "Caddyshack" on tv when I felt something, the drive to the hospital, how when you came out you looked like a smurf. And I was just so happy to meet you! I said, but of course that wasn't quite right. What is right is that I already knew you, maybe not the smell of your hair like bread or the way your eyes are the exact color of the ocean, but how when you lay next to me it was all so familiar, is all so familiar, my verbs of being mixed up in a space somewhere without tense or skin. All that time, I thought, still numb from the spinal tap, all that time it was you! When I close my eyes now my scar itches, crawls. It is still you, one little ladybug sitting all alone, along came a breeze--then she was...

Home. Sweetie pea, promise me nothing but this: never forget that you are loved. Are lovable. Were born of love and have so much to give. Tomorrow you turn 4 and so tonight I will kiss your closed eyelids as you sleep next to me. Happy Birthday, baby girl. Hold on.

Love,
Mommy

31 comments:

Shannon said...

Thank you for writing.

leigh said...

you make me want to be a mom, and i hope that i'm even a tiny bit was wonderful as you are.

Anonymous said...

Lovely.

Paloma {La Dolce Vita} said...

So lovely. Happy Birthday, sweet Zoe.

Cindy said...

Thanks for making me cry at work, S! Yeesh. My younger son turns 9 this summer, and my older son is... wait for it... 22. "It goes so fast" doesn't even begin to describe it. Your lovely post comes close.

xo and Happy Birthday Miss Z.

Vanessa said...

Love your writing. Happy birthday to your Zoey.

Michelle M in KY said...

OH SUSANNAH...
Thanks for making me cry first thing in the morning. A good cleanse never hurts, I guess.
HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your sweet Zoey!
My eldest, Faith, will turn 5 next month and she reminds me of it nearly, almost everyday. At night when I put her to bed, we read, and talk, and giggle and then I walk into the hallway and quietly weep.
The other day she was at the park with her preschool class and was playing on the monkey bars (which she is not suppose to do - they are 7 feet tall and she can barely hold on)...anyways...the discussion went something like this...yes, I was on the monkey bars...why I say? Mama...I was just practicing to be a big kid. And the weeping started again. Hold on tight girl, hold on.

Booklover said...

Thank you for putting into words how I feel about my girls. They are now 13 and 10 and it truly feels like "just yesterday". You really are an amazing writer.

jennifer said...

I feel you here, I even feel the parts you didn't say.
enjoy the day, congrats on four years in the hood.

Anonymous said...

I just don't believe that writing gets any better than that.

amber {daisy chain} said...

happy birthday Zoey!! love Ruby & Layla

Anonymous said...

This is why I come here every day, to see if something like this will be sitting here, waiting for me to read it and be moved profoundly. The only thing more beautiful than your fabulous writing is your precious 4-year-old Zoe. Thank you very, very much for sharing both. Happy birthday to all three of you!

Richie Designs said...

yah that makes my uterus hurt.

Happy Birthday cute girl!

Megan said...

Happy Birthday little Zoey!

Ciara Obscura said...

Wow. That- right there- is love.
Thank you so much for sharing...

Simply Mel said...

Nothing beats the warmth of 'the crossbar that sturctures the night' ~ I'll hold onto it tight!

S ~ this was over-the-top beautiful!

Happy Magical #4 to Zoey!

Judy said...

And you also made your Mom's eyes glisten up today. What a beautiful piece of writing! The strange thing is that I felt as if I had already thought/spoken/written every word you wrote about Zoey. The words and thoughts were straight from my own heart-so familiar-but as ME thinking of YOU. I hope that it doesn't sound creepy but last weekend when I visited you and Zoey, both nights I was up late and I crept in to look first at Zoey and then at you...both of you so beloved to me, both so beautiful as you slept, both so very much alike. I felt as if I were in a time warp because only a moment ago I was standing over your cozy bed watching the 4 year old you sleep, a mirror image of Zoey. And now a few dozen feet from you there is Zoey. The smell of you both different but the same-a smell I know both of us could recognize blindfolded in a sea of children. Your cheeks against mine feeling the same. As I watched you both sleeping-my baby now the wonderful Mother to her own baby, Zoey, both of you such an indelible part of me that I felt that we were all breathing from the same body; I felt indescribably right, so blessed and so proud to be a part of the cycle. I look at Miss Z. and I watch you with her...and at rare moments I can watch me watching you and we are all one. Zoey, like a young colt with her bright eyes and long legs turning 4 when it was only yesterday that I was hanging streamers for your 4th B'Day. I have no worries about Zoey holding on because look at you holding on so beautifully. Happy Birthday, ZoZo. Grandma Glitter will always be holding you and your Mom safely, lovingly and proudly in her heart on your 4th, your 40th and every minute before, after and in between. And, if I'm very lucky, I'll get to sneek peeks at you both as you sleep like the angels you are.
Grandma Glitter/Mom

Anonymous said...

I read your wonderful post and I cried once. I read Judy's comment and cried twice. What an AMAZING gift you all that in communication - and it's from the heart.

Thank you again and again for your inspiration to see the world with words hanging onto each breath.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Moved in such a beautiful way for all the cherished memories of my own beautiful girl.

You have such a gift in your words and of your daughter.

Happy birthday to the lovely Zoey!

ZDub said...

Good sweet Jesus, AMAZING.

Happy Birthday, Zo.

sherri said...

beautiful post. happy birthday to your petunia faced girl. I say "in a minute" a lot. "the stop motion speed of cumulous clouds." wow. what a perfect warning visual to stop and appreciate all of these fleeting moments. great post, thanks.

mosey said...

Happy birthday sweet girl.

Rosalie said...

Happy Birthday Z-Lady Zoey. So happy to share your fabulous world and awesome momma with you.
Xo
Ro

DREAMER'S DEN said...

goosebumps.
thank you for your words.
happy birthday to zoey and happy birth-day to you.

Still Life With Coffee said...

Oh so wonderful!
I want my kiddos to know that they were born of love and have so much to give too. What a great line. Happy birth-ing day to you and happy birthday to your sweet 4 year old.

meinkc said...

...you are the most amazing girl in the history of ever. What a beautiful story. In your words and photos I can seen my daughter at 4 and remember every single thing. I'm so glad you are remembering-things-as-you-go. It's so amazing to hear you, and then your mom share your thoughts about each other, Z, motherhood and love. I'm right in the middle of where you guys are with my girl and am so grateful to have found you both. My girl is going to Pratt this summer and is going to be a Senior next year. Yesterday she was trotting around the kitchen in fairy wings and a tiara. Really. Yesterday. Happy birthday to Z. :)

Earthier said...

I am 40 and my baby left for college this year. It goes fast..savor it.


Lovely post.

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Dayum! That was beautiful and soulful...and so spot on. And our hearts just expand and expand.

Thank you.

krista said...

sweet sweet zoey. so much love. happy birthday and i'm terrified finn is going to turn four. does that happen? two to four, blinking eyes and all that? *sigh*

thevioletpear said...

ahhh my baby just turned 4 a few weeks ago and asked me if i was going to die recently as well... lovely lovely writing, twists my heart and tearducts.

Robin said...

Such a wonderful birthday post...happy birthday to Zoey!