You are my totally awesome three year old, Mia.
The further away we travel from the day you arrived the more wildly in love I am with you. Like you still dwell inside me, I can feel your heart and my heart inches away. Actually, I feel your heart like it’s my heart and my heart like it’s yours. The pink of your skin, the length of your toes, the swirly pattern in your eyes, the smell of the middle of your palm. I suck you inside me.
3 years ago today you came out of me, the blood and the tears and the rubbery skin of a new babe. Such a simple act. I opened up and out you come, a small entity of flesh and from that day forward it’s been us. Just to think of it leaves that sting in my eyes and that thick taste in my throat. This may be harder to write than I thought. How can I write of something so simple, so miraculous? So pure? Such love can’t be put into words, at least no words I am able to form. This kind of love can only be felt. Expressed. Created. This act of creation holds my indefinable essence of life.
So forgive Mia Rose, if I babble on like a lovesick mama. It’s just because I am.
You are this rapidly growing tender and bright girl who sleeps across the hall in bed as I write this. You are curled around your sister, one leg under the quilt, the other leg lays across your little sisters narrow back. You sleep so hard you probably are creating a puddle of drool on my pillow. Soon I will crawl in bed with you, moving you over towards your fathers side and I will squeeze in between you and Sula. This is my favorite part of the day, to fall asleep hearing both of you breath in and out, on either side of me. This is where I receive all my gifts and energy is renewed after a long day of feeling like a giving tree. This time, in the quiet of the night is when I am instilled with more faith than a church or a dogma could ever offer.
You heart is made of gold and when you want to be, you can be the sweetest, kindest, most gentle creature in the world. Other times you are a rambunctious green dragon who breathes fire and jumps on people and kicks and screams and throws things at your baby sister. You are still so primal and I try hard to honor that.
As you grow our conversations and connections are getting so entertaining and interesting. I get to talk about why there are stars. Why doggies have fingers. Why daddy has a penis.
This week you climbed up on the toilet and almost fell in. You laughed as you saved your little bottom from the toilet water and said, “Ahhh, I’m dying!” I asked you to repeat yourself because I was sure I heard you wrong. Then you looked at me sweetly and sincerely and asked, “Do I die?”
“We all pass through our body baby. Everyone.” Then I thought why did I have to say this? Why do I have to admit ‘death’ to you?
“Why, mama, why?” you asked me in the middle of my own deep thoughts as a mother thinking about the mortality of her own child.
Before I had a chance to answer you asked, “We do die? Like going back to The Source?” (going back to The Source is the explanation your dad and I used when we would walk by road kill, dead birds, bugs, even dead cats. I could never stomach saying the word death to you, it seemed so…well…final. And you seemed so young when you noticed a squashed bird on the curb. So we just said, “Oh, that animal has went back to The Source.”)
You made the connection on your own, in your own time.
“It is like going back to The Source, Mia. We came from there and we go back, at least that’s what I think. It’s like we transform. We get the chance to transform. You know, like the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. What do you think, Mia?”
“I wanna be a butterfly, too, Mama.”
“So I do, Mia!” I smiled big and I got up and flapped my wings and we both had a good laugh while you sat on the pot. It is easy to forget what a simple fantasy your life is right now. You are made of dreams; shapes, sounds, and love. Spirits, angels and colorful quantum energy still dance and shift before your eyes. Butterflies, princesses, clouds and the moon speak to you. You are much less separated from the Universe than I am wise little one. For this reason you are my teacher.
This morning, at exactly 10am, the time you came into this life, I told you your birth story and for the first time, you were into listening to it. You wanted me to tell you over and over again about the part where I lifted you up from my yoni and pulled you to my chest (and from this story I hope you will know how you are born is so important) and how your dad and I rubbed your back in circles, together, saying baby, baby over and over. You liked hearing about that a lot. Then you let me give you a birthday massage and I rubbed your back in circles again and said baby, baby, just like the day you were born. You looked at me with such love and a sense of safety this morning, Mia when we spoke of your entrance into the world, it reminded me of those moments after you your born and we just endlessly stared. I think you and I have been looking at each other like that for lifetimes. These quiet moments are rare moments. Mostly you are running screaming like a banshee, singing, dancing and dropping everything you touch in a different location than it belongs. And most likely you are wearing a puffy, pink, princess dress I’d much rather eat than wear and a headband around your forehead in lime green and pink cowgirl boots with broken zippers. And you probably have paint smeared across your face. You always seem to look like a warrior or ceremonial dancer for the punk prom queen clan.
You can walk on the knuckles of your toes in the most amazing yet freakish way.
You have an obsession with all things rock n roll, skulls, princess, shoes, and sugary coated candy. You are beginning to understand ownership at a new level and you like own things, have them, keep them put away, far from anyone else’s hands.
You also still like to put your hand down my shirt and hold my right breast when we cuddle. I am hoping you stop this on your own soon.
Most days I get to see your naked little body jumping and leaping through the back yard, mixing hose water and the sunshine to make rainbows, kicking a ball around with your friends Baca and Bica (the bodiless friends you have had for a year now. Baca and Bica are brother and sister. They are from Africa. And they are blue). You like to torment the dogs by chasing after them and bossing them around and dressing them in purple tulle. My heart can’t take it when I look out the kitchen and see your bottom in the air and your head looking over the ledge of the wooden raised bed garden, your little shovel in your right hand and a water can in the left. You’ll come running inside announcing the plants are all good and fed.
You are a little vandal and sneak in my purse to get out my ‘lick-stip’. You often look like the little old lady who lived in the old folks home next door to my first apartment in Hollywood. She never got that bright pink on her lips, just on her checks and her chin and her shirt collar. The only time the lickstip goes anywhere near your actual lips, is when you eat it.
Did I mention you like gum? You like it so much I wonder what the ball of it will look like when and if it every digests and comes through your body. Girl, we gotta lay low on the gum from here on end. Come to think of it, let’s cut out the lickstip snacks as well.
You are physical, Mia. You can do forward rolls, backward rolls, cartwheels, insanely high jumps off of furniture and tables and a really smooth backbend. Sometimes you stop in the middle of the grocery store and go into Warrior pose, take a step and go into again on the other side. It’s like your warrior walk. You have not lost your birth-right as a born yogi. I’ll try to help you on that path, if you want. Your breath will be so free and your mind so clear by the time you are my age you’ll be released from all bullshit. Dancing is in your blood. No matter the song, you have just a fantastic way of moving your bones to the tunes; part head-bangers ball, part fly-girl, part (dare I say this?) poll dancer. Never stop dancing, Mia. Never. You will see me knee-lift and arm sway until the day I transform into something else. The body ride rhythms like the waves ride the sea. They cannot be separate. Enjoy your body. Explore it. Experience it. The world is made of sound and so is your body. Move it when you are not keeping it still.
You go to school 2 days a week. I know you like it and you love your little 6-kid class and your teacher, Mrs. D. You love the room set up with a little section for each of your most favorite things to do: dress-up, kitchen play, blocks, paint and clay and sand/water play. I sneak peaks at you in your classroom here and there and I see a happy, social butterfly. You hold hands with your friends while you march around the room at the end-of-day parade. You hug your teacher goodbye. But the best is when you see me at the door. You drop everything and come running to me with a great big smile on your face and your arms open wide. I have struggled with sending you to school, farming you out to someone else to ‘teach’ you things. I have come to terms with it all by now, but I hope by the time they actually try to ‘teach’ you something at school we will either be traveling the world part of the year, cruising on a sailboat, or perhaps running a school of our own. Regardless, we are home/unschooling parents at heart. It’s just nice to have 4 hours a week without you. And this is okay to admit. Never feel guilt about your parenting choices, Mia. Someday you will be the best mama you can be. Know that.
I remember when you were just an idea, a dream way back when my life was so different from now and I thought, “I can’t wait to be a mother and have a little friend to play dress-up with. I can’t wait to be a kid again and do all the things I wish my mother did with me.”
So my biggest gift to you this year is that I am going to play dress-up with you all the time. I will not see your involvement in ‘play’ as an opportunity to get a ‘few things done’ or catch up on everything I am behind on. I am going to play with you, get out my wedding dress and ruby red heels, sparkle up my face and put a crown on my head. We’ll gallop around the house. We’ll tend to the garden in gorgeous garb. We will eat crackers and hummus as empress and goddess. We will be free from rules and be high like kids on life. I will start being a butterfly with you, Mia, on a regular basis. You and I…we have this thing. It’s a deeper bond than what the roots have with the earth. We will play more. Sing more. Throw dance parties after naptime. Let’s even eat ice cream for breakfast once in a while.
Your use of the English language is incredible. I am so amazed at your vocabulary and sentence structuring and just plain desire to communicate with the world through speaking. Everyone that knows you is delighted when you engage them in a conversation about your life, be it your new tutu, your little sister, your school, your love of music. You can talk with the best of us. About anything. It’s a good skill to have and it will serve you through life. Communicate. It does relations good. My favorite words you use frequently these days: actually, truly, possibly, and perhaps and I especially like it when you use many of them all in one sentence: “Actually Sula, perhaps you truly do me a favor and close your mouth possibly to the sun goes to sleep.”) I love it when I say thank you to for something and you answer with a sing-songyy, “my pleasure.” You have awesome manners. Sometimes. You still say ‘laster-day’ for anything that has happened in the past week. Farther back then that it’s ‘longer-day’.
You told us you wanted a Rock n Roll birthday. You wanted to have a band. Your father has had you in the music studio testing sounds out on you since you were 9 days old, and with your love of all things musical your request doesn’t surprise me. You rock hard. So how could we deny you? A kid that can learn the words to a song by the 2nd go deserves a rockin’ party.
You dad built a mini-stage in the backyard and we decorated with all the fabric we could find in the house and brought out all instruments that could take a beating. We painted cardboard guitars and ate a guitar cake. You picked out a skull and crossbones piñata. You had blue hair and blue suede boots. We took a razor blade to your shirt. You named your girl band, Princess Skull. Oh- how I love you for being a kid who comes up with totally rocking names like Princess Skull (though you love a good Barbie doll just as much as you like skulls, I’m not sure how happy I would be about throwing a Barbie party. I’m totally biased, Mia. Sorry for that.). You got to invite 3 friends over to form “Princess Skull” and it looks like ya’ll had a good time running around like freaks. At one point when you were rocking on stage with your girls, your most favorite song right now came on through the little sound system your dad had rigged up. Iron Man by Black Sabbath. I saw you taking instruments out of your friends hands. You looked really nervous and anxious. You pushed another friends hand who was rocking the keyboards and told her to stop. I went over to you and asked what was up. “Mama, mama it’s Black Sabbath! I can’t hear them! I need to hear Black Sabbath.” We gently asked our friends to refrain from playing for a minute so you could have your moment with the rock-gods-of-bliss. Mia, thank you for introducing me to the sounds of Black Sabbath. Before now, I would have never given them the chance. Personally, I find them to be scary. Not you. Thanks for keeping my mind and heart open, Mia. Thanks for helping me squash my fears and preconceived notions about this life.
And most of all my girl, thank you for choosing me. Me. Of all people, you picked me to hold you and love you and care for you and learn with you. It’s a short trip, this life, and with your pool of brown eyes and your chubby little chin and your chamomile yellow hair, I am happy to rock it with you, girly-girl. Three. It’s the magic number.