These are letters to Jack, my son, and my daughter, Audrey. You have given me the gift of motherhood. This is just a little gift back. I want to share my experiences with you of your childhood from my perspective of watching you grow - of being your Mom.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Yesterday afternoon after the visit to the Castle of Chee-zus, we were ready to show you more.Right next door is the Arch. We walked over to it and you excitedly sprinted down the ramp under the Arch, sure that this next new experience would be wonderful, too.Luck and good fortune were on our side becase we didn't have to wait for a ride to the top as most do.As soon as we arrived, they said they had enough seats for us to take the next ride but we would have to hurry to get there. We rushed up and waited maybe 4 minutes which was much less than everyone else had to endure, but you howled to get down and tossed your body left and right in my arms as though if you could simply disslodge yourself from my grip, all would suddenly be right with the world. I don't know if you thought that the act of pulling away from me would make the ride doors open and the world spin again, but you wanted to be free.So, when the ride car came and it was the size of a space capsel, I was a little anxious how the ride up was going to go. I shouldn't have worried. The small size didn't bother you in the least.When we reached the top, you were excited to see out and had no fear of the obvious height that we were at, practically lying on top of the window in order to make sure you had full view of everything possible.You pointed out Mommy's Orange Juice Car which I was amazed that you could pick out. Yet you did!You also noticed Cheezus' castle and talked about the race while watching the cars speeding along the highway far below us.Daddy pointed out the stadium and the casino boats and things floating in the river as they made their traverse of the Mississippi.It was a lot of fun.More fun than I remember having when I was last there on a class trip.I only remember looking out the window briefly as a child and all I remember thinking was how small the people looked from down there.After descending in the elevator, we checked out the museum under the Arch which hasn't changed at all from when I was a child. At. All. That bear? I remember him AND I remember touching his paw in spite of the signs not to touch. I saw that as a challenge.You were a little freaked out by the robotic people that they have talking about the time of the Indians and the early settlers to the area. They are nothing more than human-ISH looking versions of some bad Chuck E. Cheese characters moving their mouth out of sync with the words that they are supposedly saying. Except these characters look like they died. Twice.We checked out some of our area's history.You loved the Teepee and were more than a little disappointed that you couldn't crawl in, but you took it in stride.When we came down out of the Arch, we looked up to show you the tiny windows at the top that you had recently been peering out of. Just then, a plane flew overhead looking like it could touch the top of the Arch. To think you had been high enough in the sky to be as high as a plane was exciting and added to the event in your eyes.
It was a great day!
Monday, January 28, 2008
Today was an amazing day.
We went to the dog parade after an early nap. We had to fit in the nap before going because I knew what a nightmare the event would be if we tried to go without. For this reason, we weren't able to get there early enough to be in it, but we were able to watch some of the dog parade from the sidelines, caught a couple of Mardi Gras necklaces for you to wear and petted a dog while checking out the others that were dressed up, milling about sniffing each others rear ends, rearing up excitedly at each other and then the occassional overly aggressive dog that would go into an all out frenzy while everyone backed up and swore under their breath hoping that the clueless owner would be able to keep a hold on their animal. Kind of like the idea of a baby getting it's hands on a weapon and wielding it about totally oblivious to the dangers that they are subjecting themselves and everyone around them to.
So - that was MY tangent for the day.
Back to the story at hand. After the parade, we were walking back and passed a small church that was closed up (on a Sunday). You wanted to go inside saying "I go see castle!"
Education, as I see it, shouldn't be weighted towards one's own beliefs if you want someone to develop their own opinions. I won't be afraid of you learning about this faith. I hope to have open discussions with you as you grow that will have a lot of honesty in them and that you arrive at your own conclusions.It isn't always the easiest thing for me to remember - to teach you about everything, even those things that I may not believe in - because when you turned to me on the altar for the first time and indicated that this was Chee-zus, a part of me worried while another part of me wondered at your spongy little mind. I have to remind myself that growing up doesn't mean that you become an exact replica of me. Truth be told, I wouldn't want that. There are so many things that I see about myself that are lacking. Nobody's perfect and I have no allusions that you will be, but I don't want to be the reason that you don't have a full perspective of in order to arrive at your own decisions.
In the meantime, we'll keep adding to your experiences and knowledge and each time we learn one more thing, your world becomes a little bigger.
In the near future, though, while other children are asking to go to the park or the zoo, you will be asking to go to the Castle of Chee-zus. And that is fine. :)
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Last night your Daddy and I went out on a date night. You spent the evening with Grandma and Grandpa Rose and I think you had a fantastic time because you were still up when we got there to pick you up at the end of the date.This morning you were playing with your cars oblivious to the fact that Mommy was walking around in the date dress she wore the night before that was obviously slept in and the fact that Daddy and I were ultra quiet this morning.Here's the conversation that took place over your head:
"Daddy - you want a cup of coffee"
"Sure. I'll try it."
"What do you mean? You think I made it wrong?"
"No. I mean my stomach. I'll try it."
"What do you think Daddy? Want to Irish up that coffee a bit? Hair of the dog?"
"No Thanks. I already have dog hair in mine."One could say that we had a good night. :)
Saturday, January 26, 2008
We had some quiet downtime today. You've had a cough and congestion that stubbornly has clung on for a week now. It tires you out a little more quickly because you have less of an appetite and probably aren't feeling your best.
So I dug these books on tape that I had copied ages ago when I was a preschool teacher at Clayton Early Childhood Center. This was before your Daddy and I were married and you were FAR from being a reality. Even then, though, I thought someday these might come in handy because I knew the children in my room loved them. So I copied them. And today, the plan came to fruition.
And that, my dear, is how you rationalize being a pack rat.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
We have a local children's museum that is all contact activity.You call it the Turtle Store because there is a tank downstairs with turtles in it amongst the tunnels and climbers.The "store" part of the name - I don't really understand. Maybe you think you could buy one if you inquired....This place - the City Museum - is as inventive and creative as it is dusty and dirty. The dusty and dirty part is certainly nothing to bother a toddler, though, so we are loving it right now.They have slides made out of roller conveyor belts that they painted multiple colors. I have a feeling that some of these conveyors used to be a part of this old building since it's a converted factory.If that is the case, then kudos to the genius who foresaw this fun activity because you are just loving it like crazy.Check you out being all adorable!
Another feature of the City Museum that you love is the train.All the kids line up for the mini train ride which goes in a circle about 100 feet in diameter and stirs up enough dust that you usually come off of it with itchy and puffy eyes, and howling to go again.
There are also sections where you want to play that are a little crazy.Teenagers like the ramps and will run up and down them paying little to no heed to little ones that are also playing there.My Momma Bear instincts kick in when this happens and I will plan myself in the path of where you are headed to slide down a ramp and make sure you are safe.You don't understand and many times will try to make me move away - off to the side - convinced you don't need me there, but some things are just too important, Sweetie.And the most important one of those things is you.You'll understand someday I'm sure. :)
Here you are signalling that you want to go one more time around.Hi, Buddy!There are tunnels around the train where the older children climb over and around the tracks and you love to watch this as you drive by.Do you see that, Mom?Love,