You are twenty months today. I can’t get a decent picture of you because you are a whirl of static, a flash of fuzz, a stream of of light.
You don’t like clothes. Nothing unique, but still amusing to see you walking around naked with your little orange rubber crocs on, peeing here and there and everywhere. You have removed your diaper and peed on the couch so many times this month, our microfiber modern sofa is officially over. Done. I am sitting on it now typing and I almost want to hurl at the smell of old urine that has soaked right down to the core. That’s okay. A red leather one is on our way to us and that one will not soak up your piss.
You really can talk and converse and count to 22 and say your ABC’s. You can sit down and recite Dr. Suess (almost) word for word. You try to snap. You sing along with The White Stipes (we get in the car and you beg for "Jooo-Ween, Jooo-Weeeeen"), Jack Johnson, Rob Simmeon, The Bravery, and Great Stone. You are especially fond of your Baby Sign Say and Play CD as well as Princess Stories…both of which I have heard one too many times. Your favorite book is Goodnight Moon which you ask for by "My Moon!" (Yes, it is your moon, Susulala. It’s all yours.) and Old Hat New Hat. But like your sissy, books of all types are your love. You’ll be gone into your room, a bit too long for my taste and I will think you have climbed up on your craft table and figured out how to open your window to take a stroll down the street (not kidding, because really that is the kind of little lady you are; looking for adventure) but when I run down the hall, I’ll find you and Mia sitting on the bed either reading books side by side or she’ll be reading one to you. And for that moment I want my memory to always work. To see you both with your noses in a book…the feeling is pure honey, warmth, a warm bath. I love it. I hope that words soothe you, take you away and mesmerize you like they do me.
You relationship with Mia is expanding in all directions. For all those months where you could not even lift your head, let alone defend yourself, you are now holding your own. Your tough, she’s tough, and that does make for an interesting day. A favorite game you play together is called "MY MAMA". Mia will come up to m, grab a leg and start with, "MY mama!" And you will come up to me and grab me and say, "MY mama." Then Mia will go over to a doll and grab the doll, "MY baby!" And you will grab another doll, "MY dolly!" Mia will take a bowl off the counter and say, "MY bowl." You’ll go right into the cupboard and get yourself a bowl and say, "MY bowly. (you put a Y on the end of almost all words)" Shit, this game can go on for hours and it cracks me up. You both get a kick out of it, too.When
I ask you to choose something, like, "Sula, do you want brocolli or carrots? A dress or jeans? This or that?" Your answer is always, without a doubt, "pink".
Your eyes are still saucers. Infectious with raw emotion and sage-like sparkle.
Your hair is all whispy and light and starting to curl and I could smell it forever.
You lay on you back, naked, and pat your bottom area saying, "Yoni, yoni, yoni!" Smiling. You know the sacred gate you possess already. I love it.
You really get into your wooden ricking horse. You climb on, not sitting on it, but standing on it, balancing on this narrow seat, and while you rock crazily back and forth, you sing, "Go Sula, go Sula go! Go Sula, go Sula, GO!"
You like to hang out on-top of the kitchen table, dancing close to the edge, pushing your limits. I hope your coordination catches up with your bravery.
You and your sister are sincerely becoming best friends. I never had a sister who was closer than ten years in age to me, so this is something so fresh, new, amazing. You have a SISTAH. A blood sistah. And I will do everything and anything in my power to keep you both so in love with each other. Each morning when you wake up, the looks on your faces when you see each other, a new day with a sister by your side…it is apparent that you both have one of the greatest gifts in the world. Sisters. If I could only catch in words what it looks like when Mia is looking down at you with pride and you are looking up at her in awe. Mia takes your hand and leads you through this world, sometimes gently, sometimes not. You accept her lead, and go down her airy and butterfly filled path of beauty and decadence, rocker style, but in your own way, you are teaching her a world of street smarts and fire and mystery. Her wind spreads your fire and your fire dances in the pockets of her wind. Perfection.
It’s such a pleasure to cook for you. You have a passion for food and eat almost anything colorful and nutritious that I prepare for you. I love picking out culinary combos, filled with color and shape and texture. You love quinoa or brown rice mixed with kidney beans and shavings of raw carrots and and shreds of raw spinach. You love to scoop handfuls of goat yogurt into your mouth, sucking away at each finger and licking your palm. You adore tofu (toe-food) that had been cooked up with sesame oil and you like to dip it in Goddess Dressing. Apples, ‘nanas and grapes rank with you. If you could you’d eat Salmon Sashimi every day (me too!)And blueberry smoothies you think are the bomb. You like to crunch on cut up cucumbers that I sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and salt and fresh mint from our garden. That’s another thing, you love to wander outside and climb yourself up into the raised garden bed and pick the heads off the chamomile flowers and pop them in your mouth. Your sister taught you that you could do that. Now if only the chamomile would get you to sleep like it’s suppose to. Next thing I’m going to grow are poppies. Poppies will make you sleep….
Yeah. Your sleeping habits are starting to get to me. Even though you are exhausted you will fight your sleep until you are blue in the face. You’ll fall asleep regardless of nursing you down or not, but either way, you fight it. You do sleep in your own bed now with your sister, both of you spooned together like two little bugs. I lay down between you and devour those moments when you’re both breathing rhythmically and heavy, together, knowing the fairies have taken you away to dreamworld. The other night Mia was talking (yelling) to you in her sleep: "Sula! Sula! Look! It’s MAAAAGIC. MAAAGIC!" And you whimpered, "Mia. Mia. Mia." But until that happens…we have a bit of a struggle. When you do nurse down you have begun to so something that Mia did when she was months and months younger than you are now. You switch back and forth on my nipples in the most compulsory fashion. Not only do you switch, but once you are done with one side you try to push my nipple, like a button, back into my flesh and you get really annoyed when it won’t go in. Like you are trying to cap the milk or shut off the tap, you want it to be officially ‘pushed off’ before you go to the other one. You won’t stop trying until I stuff my poor boob back in the bra so you can’t see it anymore and you then move on to your next. Oh, this is so hard for me Sula. My body, my breasts, my life…they are all still so yours and of course I give to you as I can, but it is a hard journey. Not one I would ever regret for one single second. We are attached and I would find no comfort in any other way of raising you. I am sure when you ween I will cry and mourn and wish I had just one month longer, but while walking this present path, the lessons of motherhood ram into my face like a right hook. I don’t sleep as much as I want. I don’t spend nearly enough time on myself, my practices, my arts. I am never alone. I can’t put my professional sights anywhere yet, because you are my view. But my practice right now is Mama: giver, nurturer, guide. I try to breath these lessons in deeply and let my heart release into a wide open sun, but there are times when I lay down on my belly and bury my front side into the bed or couch and I refuse to give it to you. I refuse you. I hand you to Dada while you scream "Mmmaaaaammmaaa!!!" But I walk away. Done. I am done some moments of some days (and these days you cling to me like Velcro). And that is okay. I am allowed to walk away and you are allowed to scream for more. We are setting up gentle boundaries. It all happens in time and naturally. I move on intuition. So do you. You move on need and emotion. So do I. You grow. I grow. We learn. Sometimes you can’t have all of me, all the time, all at once. Sometimes I just don’t get you off me. Sometimes I have to just sit down and remind myself you are growing like a wild weed, and soon I’ll have more space around me then I could ever imagine. Until then, we give. We take. We do our dance, together and alone.
Twenty months is two months younger than what Mia was when you were born. Wow what a different perspective! You are still such a baby to me and your sister seemed to precocious. At the same time, you are growing into little wee girlhood. You fingers and legs are getting even slimmer. You face is taking shape, cheek bones lifting, lips filling out, muscles carving curves and dips. My favorite being the goddess arch you have in your lower back, right above your fanny. You have your own special walk and your own special Sula Looks. Dada and I always talk about the 1000 faces of Sula. From happy, to perplexed to stunned, to sad, to "are you kidding me?" to "go to hell." all in five seconds flat. You look like so many different people, all of which come from my side of the family. Your Auntie Candy Lisa (yes, this name is because she is famous for her packages of sweets) noticed how you really could have been a baby of my mamas. You look like a perfect mix of my Sicilian and my Eastern European mix. I love it. Your Auntie Becky and Auntie LeeLee call you "Mini-Mary" because they think you look so much like me. I swoon. Seriously.
In essence, I look at you and I sigh. Can I have had something to do with this wonder? Can I possibly do justice with this job, being hand selected by you as a parent? There are so many mysteries that surround you. From the speckles of freckles randomly scattered around your body like the consellations of lost galaxies, to the middle eyelash on each eye being a good millimeter longer than the rest. Or how could it be that a human could have such perfectly aligned, tan toes? And those ears, are elfin or pixie? You have a slight obsession with Bald Eagles ever since seeing one in New Mexico three months ago. You wake in the middle of the night and in your sleep will mutter, "Bald Eagle." You have done this 3 times now. Every bird we see you say, "Mama! Bald Eagle coming! Bald Eagle!" Eagle medicine in Native culture is a direct connection to Divinity or Great Spirit. Eagle is fierce and challenges us to find the courage to soar to great heights, and if we have the faith to do so, the thermals of the Universe will carry us through anything we desire. I hope you find freedom from reaching and soaring, daring to go to the greatest heights of your being.
At night, when we go on our walk, and you are bouncing up and down on my back, you look up at the sky and say, "Sing, Mama! Sing Moon! Sing Mama Moon!" So I make up songs about how Grandfather Sun has gone to bed and Grandmother Moon sails high in the sky. And you listen. And that is what I have noticed about you these past couple months. You listen. You listen and listen. To me. To Dada. To Mia. The birds. The crickets. The wind. The moon. You slow down to a stop and I watch you listen to what is happening around you. This is new to me because Mia does not do this. Not yet. But you seem to have grasped the goodness in opening the ears and the mind and the heart and taking it all in. And that is prayer for you this cycle, this newness of Spring, is that you keep listening to what is being born around you. That you continue to develop this virtue. Because to truly become intuitive, to become a servant, to become whole, is to be a listener. What you hear is most likely more important than anything you will ever say. Blessed be.
(sorry so short, but you are hanging from my boob right now and it sort stings.)