Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Revising the Story, A Birthday Tale

Seth (nearly 3 here) and Lucy (one year) in our backyard in Phoenix, AZ (I was pregnant with Hazel)

A few nights ago:

She lay on her side, still, head propped up with her bent arm.  Her sister, in the adjacent bed, wiggled and kicked, unable to settle herself.  What a difference 20 months makes, I thought.  Then, I began as I always begin bedtime stories to these two sisters from the floor in their room:

"Once upon a time, there were two princesses--"
"No.  Mom, I don't want a princess story.  How about like a lighthouse story or about race cars.  I'm getting to old for a princess story.  Like a race car story or a roller coaster story."
If one could fall off a bean bag, I would have at that moment.
"You don't like princesses?"
"I don't like princesses."
I turned to Hazel, just to be sure I was in the right house, "Do YOU like princesses?"
"I LIKE princesses!!", as she bounced on her butterfly pillow and began naming each one by name.
Then, Lucy piped up with further clarification, "But, I still want to go to Disneyland (we've never been, but she is well aware that it is there that the Princesses reside)."

Today, she is 5.  The age most anticipated so far.  It always is.  Turning 5 is the biggest deal.  And to Lucy, turning 5 means becoming and doing like her older brother (who happens to like lighthouses, race cars, and roller coasters).  A brother who gets to sit and do homework with mom after she goes to bed.  A brother who gets candy from his teacher at school.  A brother who knows everything!

Lucy doesn't really care for lighthouses, race cars, and roller coasters.  Lucy is actually pretty care-free.  Of all the children, she worries least about the world around her.  To her something so full of wonder has no room for worry.  Everything in her world is not what it is, but something else that more appropriately strikes her fancy.  A pink satin dress-up skirt becomes a wadded up ball of cotton candy that she absolutely makes herself sick on by eating too fast.  Her cereal pieces chat at the edge of the bowl pool about the big plans they have for the day.

Yeseterday, in the car:

Lucy, lifting up her shirt and rubbing her chest, "Mom, we don't have stripes or fuzz or antennas or wings or stingers.  That's why we are not bees.  We are humans."

Yes, best start with what you are not, and hopefully, in time, figure out what you are.

Lucy, I know what you are.  You are stunning.  You are strong.  You are a song.  You like to eat oatmeal, unstirred, with a tiny condiment spoon.  You are creative.  You are compassionate.  When I am angry at you, you often remind me that, "Mom, you have to take good care of us".  You are a collector of small items, of so many small items, all over the place.  You have dry skin.  You have a mesmerizing mouth.  You have bitten your nails into oblivion (as well as many many household objects).  You are not a cuddler.  You crave your own space.  Your space is always crowded with Hazel.  You are a mostly gentle big sister.  Your heart at age 5 is bigger than all my hearts at every age combined.  I am honored to watch it all unfold.

So, that night, I revised the story, "Once upon a time, there was a lighthouse, in which lived a crotchety old lady with a roller coaster in her backyard..."

Lucy, a few days before turning 5


Ann said...

I love that Lucy!

Jessica said...

These were my favorite lines: "Lucy is actually pretty care-free. Of all the children, she worries least about the world around her. To her something so full of wonder has no room for worry. " Remember at the zoo when you pointed to a peacock and she threw her arms around you glee and exclaimed, "Good eye mom!"? THAT was awesome.

Susannah said...

What a lovely post! The fact that my 6 month old will be talking and requesting stories is unfathomable to me...but I know it will be here all too soon.

sara b said...

We love Lucy. We could all learn a thing or two from her.

Happy Birthday!

Kurt Knudsen said...

Once again, I LOVE LUCY!

olivia said...


Tasha said...

Jordan, I have tears in my eyes. She will read this one day and understand how wholly she was loved, admired and adored by you.

Love you, miss you.

Happy 5th Lucy.

Alyssa said...

it feels like yesterday when Lucy and Randall were being pushed around in a stroller at Scottsdale fashion mall! I can't believe she is five already. Randall is counting down the days until he turns five this summer. Turning 5 means he finally gets to go to kindergarten just like his brother.