Monday, August 31, 2009

21 months and some-odd days

Dear Alli,

I know I normally write you a letter each month, but our morning was so adventurous, I wanted to preserve the memory for you.

As my business has grown, we've been taking regular walks to the bank and post office. It has gotten so frequent that you know the routine. At first, I would push the buttons that open the doors at both locations, but eventually, you asked to push them yourself.


So now when we approach, I get you out of your seat and hold you up to push the buttons. Then I carry you inside and allow you to open the next door. You're very good at staying with me while I fill out a deposit slip and ask to hold my hand when we walk to the teller.


You like to be a helper by handing over the checks, then you immediately start asking for "some," meaning a lollipop from a basket that isn't even in sight.

Usually we go before your morning nap, so a stick of sugar is the last thing I want you to have at 9 a.m. I explain that we can have "some" after lunch, and that usually is an agreeable arrangement.

After the teller hands you the slip, you put it in my purse and we repeat the steps with the buttons on the way out. Today I even had to politely decline passage from a woman who was holding the door for us. The buttons are just too good to pass up.

Then I strap you back into your stroller, and we walk a few more blocks to the post office. I'm thrilled to say we've mailed out a lot the past few weeks.

Today there was a long line, so when you asked to get down, I knew it would be a heck of a lot easier allowing you to roam than listening to your whine echo off the high ceilings. You were very good exploring the space, sitting on the steps and saying hello to everyone.

Eventually you discovered the rack with decorative envelopes and screamed "MICKEY! MICKEY! MICKEY!" when you got to a Disney-themed one. Oh my eardrums. And I had been worried about the whining.

You carried that MICKEY! around as we waited, showing off what you thought was your new toy by declaring it MYYY!

Yes, mine. Everything is MYYYY!

But we waived goodbye to Mickey after I explained that he lived there and had to stay. Then we walked out, pushing the buttons as we went. I asked if you wanted to get back in your seat, and you very clearly demanded to WALK, so I figured I'd try it and see how you'd do.

It has never taken longer to get back home, but I had a blast watching you. You aren't scared of much, but the trucks passing by with their revving engines had you running as fast as you could to catch up, arms wide, yelling "HONEY, HONEY, HONEY."

That's what you say when you need comforting. I think you picked it up because that's what I say to you when I hold you tight: "It's alright, honey." It's one of my favorite things you do right now. HONEY. HONEY. HONEY.


I'd comfort you and tell you that you're safe when you're on the sidewalk with me. And that trucks are only dangerous if you're in the street. But we repeated the process a few times. You'd inevitably get distracted by something at your feet -- a bug, a leaf, a neat brick -- and I'd continue slowly, telling you to catch up. Then, when a truck passed, you'd run to me. HONEY. HONEY. HONEY.

We made a few stops along the way, including to put your hands in the water fountain downtown. You also had to press your nose to the candy store window to check out the stuffed horses on display, which have become a favorite thanks to the hand-carved carousel at the amusement park. And one lucky bug found its way to the grass before you were able to pick it up.

But you did make a few collections. You found a small wooden dowel of some sorts and flashed me the biggest grin as you held it up. It might as well have been a new baby doll. You were so excited over that piece of wood. Then, a few steps later, you found a dandelion and stopped to pick it.


You now had two things and only two hands -- one of which needed to be in mine. I watched as you assessed the situation and came up with a solution. You shoved the wood under your armpit, put the flower in your right hand, and held mine with your left.

Genuinely impressed, I praised you for figuring it out on your own.

When we got home, you showed Toby your finds and we placed your flower in water before a little juice and a nap.

Lady, there are a lot of days like this that come and go that I don't write about or take pictures. In fact, one of the downsides of starting this business is that I have less time to invest into capturing your everyday moments. I can't allow myself to dwell on it, though, because in the long run, I'm doing this for us. And that will pay off with a few sacrifices.

But just because I don't have as much time to write, doesn't mean I'm not appreciating every moment. In fact, I may even appreciate them more. It's a completely different experience going somewhere with you without my camera. I can focus on being in the moment instead of documenting it.

I guess all I want to say is that I love our mornings together. Most of the time it's nothing out of the ordinary, but you bring such a joy to things I haven't paid attention to in years.

Like a dandelion.

Thanks for being you.



ǝuoʎuɐzǝɥʇ said...

I love these letters, Kelly.

I have nothing from my childhood...a house fire destroyed everything when I was in the 8th grade.

This will be something so precious to her, and you, as she gets older.

Good job, Mom!

Maria said...

How wonderful, these stories about Alli make me feel like I really know her. What a beautiful child.

Timberly said...

Awesome letter!

Jaclyn said...

Aww...I love the "HONEY!" part. I can just imagine her doing it.
Katelyn will come up to me when I'm sitting on the couch, flash me an adorable grin and say, "Hi, puddin!!!" Which I say to her sometimes. Although hers actually comes out more as, "Hi, punnin!!" It's still so adorable when they mimic us (ok, not when they mimic bad words, but the cute stuff).
Glad you are enjoying your little girl; it's going so fast!!
Oh, and I have a request: Katelyn has hit the terrible twos alread. Has Alli?? If so, please share some of her moments so that the rest of us feel human. =)

Anonymous said...

I'm sure she'll appreciate you choice of balance eventually. She knows you were there and doing the best for her. She has one of the best supermoms known to man. :)

the_plainsman said...

Sometimes words still capture moments better than the camera!

Very cool moments and letter.

Ray said...

I LOVE, LOVE this spontaneous letter to Alli!! =D It's awesome even without the photos. And you're right in that sometimes capturing photos, you miss out on things being on the opposite side. Being on the "lens" side of things that is.

So many things in this letter made me laugh. And I can't believe how smart she was figuring out what to do with the dandelion and the piece of wood. You have a wonderful little girl there. ;o)

Take, care.

Fit Mama said...

aw, so true that even the mundane tasks of the morning can be the highlight of our day when our little tot is there with us :)

Kristin said...

These letters make me smile like there's no tomorrow(:

Also, I'm sick of my signature, so that's why it isn't here ;|

Jennifer Suarez said...

You said "It's a completely different experience going somewhere with you without my camera. I can focus on being in the moment instead of documenting it."

and I can relate to this so much.

Great letter as always.

Hi to Alli years from now because I know she'll one day be lucky enough to read these.