Tuesday, October 03, 2006


        My Alethea,
        You've reached the milestone of having been with us for one-and-a-half years. I just re-read the letter I wrote you six months ago, and you've changed so much. You were a little bud then, still a baby, and now you've blossomed. You were then just a hint of who you are now, and it's been delightful to watch you grow and change. We see so much more now of what makes you you, different from your brother, different from any other little girl. And the more we see you become you, the more taken we are; the more we love you.
        There are the obvious things that have changed; you've learned to walk, from your first wobbling steps a few months ago to fairly running now, especially when you want to catch up with Peregrine. You are adventurous and will climb just about anything you can. You're also learning to talk; some of your first words were 'balloon' and 'brother', which sounds like 'ba-lah'. You have lots of words in your repertoire and will repeat anything we ask you too. You still do a few signs, a frantic rubbing of your little chest which means please when you want something, and a dainty putting of your hand to your mouth and pulling it away again for thank-you. Peregrine is quite pleased that you will repeat words too, and has taught you a few, like 'mine' and 'gun' and an emphatic 'no'.
        You are a girl, and in spite of your brother's boyish company, you love all things girly. You get excited about dressing in the morning and prance around touching your dresses as if they were made of the finest silk. You bring us shoes and hair clips and already seem to feel the need to accessorize. (And you didn't get that from your plain-jane mama!) You are delighted when I let you have a dab of lotion of your hands; you smooth it on your skin and smell it and smile. You carry dolls around and touch them gently, just like a little Mama. You love it when we get out the play dishes; you're so pleased when I taste the things you bring me in the little Tupperware bowls whose colors betray the era I grew up in. (Olive, Brown, Orange, Gold.) I was the little Mama then, practicing for the day I'd have my own babies; I never could have imagined the sweetness of seeing my own little girl, so tiny, already finding joy in playing "house". You're quite pleased now that you can stand up on a chair next to me at the counter and "help" me with the real cooking. I just made you a tiny apron, and you were thrilled to grab your little broom this morning and help me sweep the floor. You're a good helper!
        You're cute. You have big blue eyes and dark wispy hair and a very happy smile. (I have to be careful not to praise you too much on account of your cuteness.) You're sweet too, happy and easygoing. Peregrine has been working on teaching you "Silly-ology" and you've been an excellent student! You know now when you're being silly, and laugh and squeal as though you're the funniest thing in the world. You still love to peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake and make itsy-bitsy spiders with me. And you like to dance, not in the wild and crazy way that Peregrine always did, but in a feminine way, twirling and gently bobbing around the room. You also love to be read to, and will bring book after book after book to whoever is willing to read them. You'll pry my hands open to get that book in there, and when we reach the end you're already off to the shelf for another one! I'm glad you like books and I look forward to all the stories we can read together.
        You love your Dada, and there are times you even prefer him to me. That makes him happy, to have his little girl stretch out her arms to her Dada, content with none but him. He plays with you and reads to you and sings to you, and your blue eyes shine like his. You love Peregrine too, and want to be where he is and do what he does. Most of the time you don't even mind when he bowls you over running down the hallway, but sometimes you let your voice be heard! I think you will be great friends.
        You are wonderful. I look into your eyes and wonder who you will become. It's a great honor to be your Mama. You inspire me to be a better woman, a better wife and mama and friend. Because I know that what I want you to become I must be myself.
        I love you my girl, my Poppy Joy girl. And I'm so glad you're mine.
        And I'm yours,


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