I am now 3, and I have been through so much in my long, long life that I don’t remember a lot of it. Apparently my brain is still catching up with all of those memories, because I remember some pieces of things and don’t remember others. One of those things is Halloween. My Mama tells me that I was a ninja when I was a baby, and Daddy and Mommy took me all around in their arms because I couldn’t walk yet. I don’t remember that at all, but I can see the pictures of when I was a teeny baby. I think that I made a good little ninja, although I don’t think that I look too dangerous. My lightning fast grip on hair, though, you had to watch out for that.
The next year I was walking, although I wasn’t that good at it yet and couldn’t go too far. That year I got to be Spidergirl. I have never been shy, and so once I got the hang of this “Halloween” thing, I went all by myself to trick or treat. My Mama says everyone was so very proud of me going all on my own. A girl knows what she wants even when they are small, and what I wanted was candy… lots and lots of candy.
Last year I was so into Frozen that I couldn’t have been anything but Elsa. I was a miniature Elsa and my big sister Addie was Anna… backwards I know, but Halloween costumes don’t have to make sense after all, and I couldn’t have been Anna because my favorite is Elsa, plus I have hair just like her. That year we went all over and I got the hang of things, and I got lots of candy with just a bit of help from my Mama and Daddy when by pumpkin got too heavy for me and when my legs got so heavy and sleepy that I couldn’t keep walking. I don’t remember being a ninja or Spidergirl, but I remember a little bit about being Elsa. I felt so fancy, and I did get the hang of collecting as much candy as my little bucket would carry.
This year though… this year I got to choose my costume for the very first time, saying what I wanted to be. At first I wanted to be a witch, then Shimmer and Shine, then a zombie, but I didn’t really want to be any of those things… I didn’t know what I wanted to be and I kept changing my mind every day, because that is what 3-year-olds do about pretty much everything (lunch, treats, what clothes to wear, what books to read…all of the things). When my Mama said I could be Kung Fu Panda, though, that one stuck. I could be my favorite hero, getting to take out Tai Lung with my iron fists? It was no longer a decision. I was Po, and I was going to carry a nunchuck and to be very, very tough (but with a soft and funny side, just like Po).
That is me with my nunchuck on the way to our friends Jill and Stacie’s neighborhood. I might not look too tough, but I played the part well. You wouldn’t have wanted to be a bad guy and to cross my path.
We had to wait until it got dark after we got there, and although it seemed to take forever for the sun to go to sleep so that it was dark enough (I kept asking over and over), the sun did go down and we did get to go out with all of our neighborhood kids. There were so many, big and small, in all sorts of scary and pretty costumes. There were decorations too all around us, light up ghosts and pumpkins and cats and monsters. It was very scary, but the good kind of scary where you know that nothing is really going to come out and hurt you.
I went up and down the streets collecting candy in my little panda suit, and my Mama said my whole suit shook when I ran just like Po’s big belly. I was told I was cute a lot, but really… they had no idea that I have a scary side too. They just better be glad that they were treating and not tricking.
I have Halloween down pretty well now, although I had to keep being reminded to say “trick or treat” and “Happy Halloween” and “thank you” (Mama told me that is the most important one to remember, but sometimes I grabbed candy and ran away and she had to shout it for me). I could have said, “trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat, if you don’t, I don’t care, I’ll pull down your underwear” to them because I know the whole thing, but Daddy said that “Happy Halloween” was way nicer because that song might make some people upset if they don’t have “a sense of humor.” I thought that everyone loved to laugh, but Daddy says some people like to be very serious all of the time. I think that I need to watch out for those people, because I don’t know if I can trust someone who doesn’t laugh about underwear.
We trick or treated for a long, long time, and I got a lot of candy even though I didn’t always remember to say trick or treat or thank you just the same. My bag and legs got all heavy again, and I said I wanted to go back to Jill and Stacie’s house. I checked out all of my candy first…
Then I was so very tired that I took a mini-nap on the couch (I didn’t really sleep, but I needed the rest for my legs and eyes).
Then, at last, I got to meet Jill and Stacie’s little new baby, Jaden. He is 2-months-old, and he is so very little. He was a dinosaur! My Mama said it seems like it was just a bit ago that I was that little, but you can see how big I am now next to him, so it really was ages.
Mama and Daddy got to play with him too, but then I got oh-so-sleepy and we had to go home. I think that I am now a Halloween expert, and next year I’ll do even better and my legs will be even stronger to take me further faster so that I can get oh-so-much-candy. Thank you, Jill and Stacie, for letting us be a part of your family for the day. We love you and your little dinosaur Jaden too.
A friend of mine wrote this post about helping her young one to begin a path to learning kindness. 🙂 I am working on this path with Dorian everyday as well.
This month, my sweet and silly 11-month-old baby has developed a new habit of swatting. She does it when she’s tired, excited, or frustrated, and it’s her way of communicating that emotion or need to us. Regardless, being swatted in the face isn’t pleasant, so 3-4 times a day my husband and I lightly redirect her hands and encourage her to be gentle.
That’s a powerful little hand.
Be gentle. I’ve repeated that phrase so often lately: patiently, calmly again and again.
I’m not always the most patient. I don’t always communicate my needs with grace. I can be downright demanding. I can approach a disagreement with a certain amount of righteousness. I’m often quick to judge and quick to speak, and the result is sometimes that I say things I wish I’d said kindlier—or not at all.
When I tell my daughter to be gentle, I’m asking her…
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Mama and Daddy and me all go out for walks and runs and play sessions outside a lot. I can go and ride on my little balance bike, and I can run as fast as I can, and I can go and play with the bugs under the rocks and throw little rocks into the water near our little house. I love being outside in the warm, warm sun, and I love to feel the ground beneath me when I run so fast, so fast, that no one can catch me… not even the wind can keep up. No one, apparently, but shadow me.
When I was outside last time, I noticed while I was on my little bike and I noticed that a bigger version of me had made the ground dark in the shape of me, but bigger. I said, “what is that?” because I had never noticed that I had another me following me around before. My Daddy stopped me, and he explained that it was my “shadow,” and that it goes everywhere that I go, all over the place. He didn’t get too much into the “how” yet because he said I wouldn’t understand until I was a bit bigger, but he showed me instead how he had a biggggg shadow and that when you lean down really low that you can make shapes with your hands and move your shadow around the way that you want for it to go.
Then I tried it out myself, and I made my hands move all around while my shadow-hands moved with me. Everywhere I moved, they moved, and Daddy was right… I couldn’t get away from my shadow. My Mama says there is a boy who once lost one somehow named Peter that had to have it sewed back on, but she says not to worry because that can’t happen to me. I’m glad, because I like my shadow Dorian. I am never alone as long as I have her with me after all.
My Daddy is so, so smart, and he says he will teach me all sorts of things as I get bigger. As I tell Mama, I am so, so big already that I am practically grown. I have to admit, though, that I still have a lot of things to learn, and my Daddy is the best teacher that I could possibly have as I figure everything out and as I grow.
“All children, except one, grow up.” — J.M. Barrie
My great aunt Chris’ birthday was yesterday, and a little bit before that, we had a surprise birthday party that my cousin Mandy planned so that we could all celebrate with her. My great aunt Chris is one of the very nicest people that you will ever hope to meet. She gives and gives and gives and gives all of her heart to all of the people around her that she loves (and there are a lot of those).
Chris’ celebration was also because of the end of her treatments for something that the bigger people around me call “cancer.” I don’t really understand what that is, but my Mama says not to worry because I don’t need to know anything about it quite yet. She said, though, that Chris had a long time of getting medicines that made her kind of sick to make her all better again. That is why she is wearing that fancy headscarf, but now that she is all done with the treatments, she won’t be wearing the fancy headscarves for too much longer (unless you want to Aunt Chris… you do look really fashionable you know).
I got to do a lot of things at the party like eating food before I was really supposed to (my Mama says that I can get away with these things because I am so little), playing with hula hoops and giant balls, and running around in the giant gym over and over again. I also got to stare at the Peanuts cake that was right in the middle of the room every time that I passed it.
The best part, though, was getting to help blow the candles out of that Peanuts cake with Chris. She said that she couldn’t blow candles out quite as well these days, so she needed to have my help. So suddenly, even though it was Chris’ birthday, it was like it was part mine too because everyone all around was singing the happy birthday song and I got to sit in front of the cake on Chris’ lap and blow out all of those candles with her. Everyone clapped and cheered, and I felt like the life of the party. Honestly, that was about it for me because all of that action packed adventure was a lot for a little person to take in. I slept like “a rock” that night, Daddy said, whatever that means.
Happy birthday again, Chris, and many, many more to come.
I have been told that I am “beautiful” for a while. I knew what pretty was, but “beautiful”… well, I could not really understand that one. I responded every single time for a while, “I’m not beautiful, I Dorian.” My Mama and Daddy laughed at me, but I was serious. I know who I am… I AM DORIAN.
The other day, though, my sister Adalyn took me upstairs to her room, and she put me in some of her dress clothes that she is too big for now. I tried on dress after dress, and Adalyn called down to my Mama and told her that she couldn’t come up to see what we were doing. Mama usually won’t listen to that one because it can mean trouble, but this time she waited for the surprise.
Then we tried it… the most fancy white dress that looked like a princess dress. It was a teeny bit big on me, but it was just the right one. Adalyn smoothed out my hair and brushed it, and then she put on the finishing touch, blue clip-on earrings that made me just like the princesses that I watch. I felt so very pretty.
When I walked down those stairs, just like a princess would in my fancy shoes and earrings and dress, I felt different. I felt so very grown up and big, but I did not know the word for how I felt.
Then Adalyn said it. She said, “Look Mama, doesn’t Dorian look so beautiful?” My Mama said, “Oh Dorian, you are so very beautiful. You look like a princess.” For the first time, I did not argue back. I knew what it meant, and I was… I was beautiful, just like the flowers outside and the stars in the sky. Beautiful is how you feel. Beautiful is flowers and trees and sunshine and mountains and water. Beautiful is me. I am Dorian, and I am beautiful.
Spring has finally come, and with it are beautiful things in all kinds of colors everywhere. I love seeing all of the bright pinks and whites and yellows and purples that the Earth has this time of year. I stop to see (and smell) all of the flowers. After all, isn’t that what you are supposed to do? I know that it takes longer, but enjoying the world is what us little people do. We are really good at noticing what big people miss sometimes… after all, we are closer to the ground, and we have a better view.
My very favorite flower is the dandelion. My Mama says that is her very favorite too because my Daddy calls her his dandelion, so it is very special for her. Dandelions are “weeds” though so I hear, which is a type of flower that a lot of people want to get rid of. Why they would want to make any flower go away I don’t know, but my Daddy says that they can take over the yard and they can go everywhere with their little blooms, so a lot of people don’t like them because they just want green grass and nothing else in the yard. Doesn’t make sense to me, but big people often don’t make any sense at all, so I just have to go with these things when I don’t understand them.
What those big people don’t understand is that Dandelions are really special flowers because they start as one thing and become another. They start out as little yellow flowers, then that part goes away, and then there are little bitty white fluffy seeds that blow in the wind and make new yellow ones all over the place. This, my Daddy says, is why the are called a weed, because they end up all over the place when the little seeds blow around. There end up being too many, he says. Silly big people… don’t they know that there can never, ever be too many flowers?
I think that my little dandelion friends are beautiful, and I do my part to help them to grow instead of stomping them down. Us little people (and big people who never wanted to grow up like Mama and Daddy) get to grab the white puffballs and blow on them, making their seeds go up in the air into the wind to go to new places to grow. They do this on their own, but I like to think that I am helping nature along to be faster when I spread them around.
I am busy making brand new dandelions, and they are all so very beautiful, just as nature intended them to be. We are all like dandelions if we want to be, beautiful little flowers that are wild and free and can move in the wind.
My Daddy is so silly, and he made me a little apple buddy to play with that had a face and little hands. I called him Mr. Apple, and I played with him, telling him, “Don’t worry, Mr. Apple, I won’t hurt you.” I had him play with my little Barbie dolls, and they talked to each other and had a great time. I was even wearing my Snow White dress, and I know that an evil witch gave her an apple too, so I was just like her (well, except for the fact that my Mr. Apple was not a poisoned apple and was a dressed up apple instead, but otherwise, it was just like the movie).
See? There he is. Isn’t he cute? The problem with Mr. Apple, though, is that deep down I knew that he was an apple. Deep down I knew that he was one of my favorite foods, and I knew that he was delicious under all of that cute. After a while of playing with him, I took his hands off and took a bite of him. My Mama heard me chomping on him… I just couldn’t resist his deliciousness.
He was just pretend after all, and he was food, so he couldn’t go to waste. He couldn’t have stayed my play friend for long because he would have gotten all yucky, so I made sure that he was nice and happy in his new place… in my belly. I’m sure that there will be a new apple buddy soon, and he just might meet the same fate… because apples? They are one of our very best foods. Crunch.