Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

When I was a child, I idolized my dad. Honestly, not much has changed. He has always been prone to "flights of fancy" that I completely took for granted when I was little. For example, my brother and I were routinely treated to a "candy tree" where we were convinced that fairies or leprechans hid candy for us once a week. He loves holidays and always made sure that he went above and beyond to make them memorable. I can't even put into words how much I appreciate the memories I have because of the efforts both my parents put into things. Just the silly "imaginary holidays" like Flounder Roundup and traditions like river rafting, Spaghetti Factory and crazy Halloween endeavors help me to feel grounded and part of something that stands the test of time. I want that for my kids and I adore seeing them spend time with both my parents. I can see those traditions being handed down and it fills me with more joy than I ever thought possible. We'll be headed up to Seattle for a couple weeks this summer and even after only two summer visits to the NW, my kids know what to expect.
They can't wait to pick blueberries at Denae's, skip rocks at the cabin with their cousins, troll the beach for seastars with Craig, win kite flying competitions on Whidby Island and throw french fries to the seagulls at Ivars. I couldn't ask for anything more than that. Thank you, Dad, for teaching me to appreciate the little things in each day and helping me to pass what is important to my kids.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy Birthday 6 year old!

Tomorrow will bring festivities to our little house. There is a little boy who has been counting down the days until this moment. I hope he remembers this day like I remember my childhood birthdays. I want him to feel cherished and celebrated tomorrow on the anniversary of his birth. Maybe someday reading this letter will make him smile, warm in the knowledge that he is loved and seen for all of who he is and all that he will be.

Dear Mateo,
It's been an amazing year. So many big events...your first day of Kindergarten in August, our Adoption finalization in September, visits from Nani and Owie, traveling to Seattle and California, learning to read and do math... so many more I'm sure. I've been so blessed to watch you try new things like African dancing, speaking and reading Spanish, basketball, soccer and hula hooping. You are such a kind friend and a thoughtful person. I love to watch you share with your brother and your friends and take care of your beloved dogs. You are developing an amazing sense of responsibility and you love to see tasks through to the end. You've become quite the jokester this year too. I love to see your silly sense of humor lead to flights of imagination. You are a born leader and sometimes struggle when others don't follow quite as closely as you like. We've worked hard this year on self control and regulation. You've listened, you've learned and you are applying those skills. It makes me giggle a little but I'm so proud of you when you get upset and I see you struggle to take deep breaths ("to get oxygen to your frontal cortex"). Your vocabulary is unbeleivable and I'm so in awe of how quickly you learn things. Your sense of inquiry and creativity has really blossomed this year, thanks in part to your fantastic school.

Sometimes I wish I could have seen you take your first steps or hear your first word, but this year as I watched you swim across the pool at Jenny Jen's for the first time and read a book cover to cover, I realized I am the luckiest mom on the planet. I'm proud of you. I love you. I'm here and I can't wait to see what the next 365 days brings us. Happy Birthday, baby!