As a three-year-old, I don’t have too many responsibilities. One of those, though, and it is a really important one I have learned, is to give love. When someone leaves, or when I go to bed at night, or when Mama or Daddy is leaving for work, my job is to go up to them and to give them “a hug and a kiss.” If someone forgets when they are busy or running late, I run as fast as my little legs will carry me and I will shout, “Wait, WAIT!!! I forgot to give you a hug and a kiss!” It is with a sense of urgency that only a three-year-old can have. I must do this, and I must do it before anything else can happen.
The next step is very, very important. I have to “stamp” those kisses and hugs to make them “stick.” I have learned by using the stamp and ink pads that I have in the house, when you stamp something, you push down hard and then you let go of the stamper. It then makes a picture that “sticks” on the page. As long as you have that piece of paper, that picture will be there forever. Kisses and hugs, after all, are done when they are done… but if you stamp them, they must stick, too. So when I give my family a kiss and a hug, right afterwards I say the word “stamp” and push down with my little stamper-hand. My hand becomes a stamp, and I make them stay there just like the ink on paper. They will stick all day, they will keep my family safe, and they will keep my family with me until the next time that I see them again.
Why is this important? It’s because big people can seem to get lost in all that they do that they do not remember what is most important. Hugs, kisses, and love– they are the most important of all of the things. If we don’t have that, what do we have after all? What we all need to remember is that we can all stamp those hugs and kisses on the people that we must leave for a little while. Stamp those hugs and kisses, everyone, and seal them on the people that you love.
Look at me, I am up in the air in my happy little hiking backpack. I get to sit on Mama or Daddy’s back and I even have a little place for my feet while they go do this thing called “hiking” things in pretty places.
I love my little pack, which is made just for little people like me, because I can see the world from up where my Mama and my Daddy are. Everything looks different from up here, and everything is a little less gigantic. I wish I could be up this high all the time so I could see more, but Mama says not to hurry to grow taller because she wants me just my size right now and wishes she could keep me that little. I know you don’t want me hurrying up, Mama, but the view sure is fantastic, so I can’t help it.
I love being outside in the sun, the water, and the trees… any part of the wonderful outside part of the Earth, so this is my new favorite spot to be. After all, a place where I can hug onto my Mama and Daddy’s back while getting warm in the sunshine? I just don’t think that you can get much better.
Oh Mama and Dada… when I woke up from my nap yesterday and we got ready to get into the car, I thought we were going on another adventure. Most of the time the car means something new or fun is about to happen. This time, though, we went to see Dr. Nyrienda at my little doctor’s office. I love my doctor’s office and my doctor, and Mama and Daddy do, too, but even though the normal fun of running around in the waiting room and meeting new people happened, something called shots happened, too. I found out yesterday that I don’t like those, and I’m still recovering from what happened to me.
They first took a little pricker on my finger and that hurt and made my finger have a heartbeat, but Mama talked softly letting me know that it was to check to make sure I was healthy on the inside, too. Then they gave me not one but two “shots” in both of my legs. I had never had that happen before, but I sure didn’t like it. Mama let me know that these were to make sure that I didn’t get bad germs that could hurt me. Still, even though I don’t like the thought of bad germs, but I’m not sure if the pain was worth it. Mama and Daddy tell me that it definitely is and that most little ones like me have them, but I am still not convinced.
There was a bright side. The nurse that came in to do the shots told me that I had done really well and I had been very brave, and she gave me a Doc McStuffins sticker right on my belly. That made it just a little bit better, but I didn’t tell Mama and Daddy– after all, they are going to be making this one up to me for a while.
On the way home, every time I looked down at my finger until they took that Band-aid off, I started crying a little because it made me remember what had happened back there.
Mama and Daddy, I am letting you guys know that even a day later, I feel a bit betrayed. See that boo boo in the picture, Mama? Daddy? See it? I am holding you both responsible, and you’re going to have to make it up to me over the next days with lots of popsicles, yummy food and snacks, and snuggling. Lots and lots of snuggling.
I have dreams of Santa. I have even said the word “Santa” over and over, even though Mama and Daddy have no idea how I would know his name yet—after all, I am only 16 months old and my memories of last Christmas are really fuzzy. I remember the tree lights, and I remember my brother and sisters laughing around me, but I don’t remember the day really as I was much too little. For me it was almost a lifetime ago.
I know Santa, though, even though Mama and Daddy don’t know how I know, and I know where the real spirit of Christmas is—everywhere all around us. It is in everything that parents do to make their children have a happy Christmas, and it is in the feeling of happiness and love that is all around us everywhere that we go during this time. You can feel it, and it is like a soft and fuzzy blanket tucking you in. You can’t really see it or touch it, but it is there all the same.
Santa is kind of like that, and he is real. I know it, and I feel him in the spirit of everyone around me. He is a bright shining light all around all of us, coming and bringing cheer and happiness and presents to children all around the world. No one knows exactly where he is or what he looks like, not exactly, as he looks different all over the world. We think that he is big and jolly where we are, and we have stockings hung up for him. Not everyone sees him that way, but that is what makes him so wonderful—he can be big or small, he can put little presents in shoes or giant socks, and we all love him just the same because he is one of the most giving powers on the Earth.
No one knows exactly where he goes before Christmas, either. Little children all over the world go to see him, and they let him know what they would like to have from him and that they have been good, but there are many, many children in the world, and there are many places where you can go to visit with him. Some people think that he is everywhere all at once because of his magic and that he looks different ways to different people. Other people think that he is only at one place and that he has a lot of helper Santas all working to make him able to see all of the little children. Some people think that his spirit is everywhere that we go at Christmastime and that we all have him in our lives even if you do not go to see him. No one knows for sure.
The big Macy’s in New York City, I think though, just might be the place where he really is. I know, because we went, and it was one of those places where you could feel Christmas spirit all around you. When we went up and up and up to the number 8 floor where Santa is, there were many children of all ages and even big people like Mama and Daddy all waiting to see him. There were elves everywhere, and they all talked about how excited they were that Christmas was right around the corner.
There were scenes behind glass that moved that Mama called “displays” that were “animated.” They were beautiful, and they looked like they had been around for a long time and that they had been seen by many children that were now big people like Mama and Daddy and older than them too. After the displays that moved there was a train, and it was bright and took us into the world of the North Pole—which I hear is the place where he lives. There was a giant tree and trains that moved around in little miniature towns, and there were reindeer that laughed and talked to you. With everything happening around us, time went by really fast—like magic—until it was time for us to go into the little room to see Santa.
I told you that this may have been the real Santa. It wasn’t all of the things that were magical or the elves or any of those types of things… it was the feeling that I got when I sat in his lap with my big sister Addie. He was so gentle in everything that he said, and his smile was so warm when he had us speak to him that you couldn’t help but to love him and to want to stay. I would have stayed all day with him if I had been able to, but there were a lot of people that wanted to talk to him, so we had to let them go, too.
He first asked Adalyn, “What is the one thing that you want for Christmas?” She told him a giant kitty stuffed animal. Then he asked me. He didn’t ask Mama or Addie or Daddy like most people do because they expect the big people to answer for me—he asked me. I couldn’t say what I wanted because I really can’t let all of the words out that I know inside my head yet, so Addie said, “a little kitchen with little pans and food.” That was right—I like to cook like my Daddy does, and I know how to stir and mix ingredients already, but I need my own pretend place to make things for Daddy to do special things for him too like he does for us pretty much every day.
Then it was time to go.
Mama picked me up to take me away, and I stopped. I stopped right there and I stared at him, Santa Claus, love of all small children, and I reached for him. I reached out silently, not shouting in my big voice like I normally would (as I knew that it was the time for silence) as far as my arm would go. I looked at him, and he didn’t go on to the next people that wanted to see him—he spent a moment with me instead. He waved to me like other small children wave to me, with his hand opening and closing, and said, “Santa loves you, dear,” and he smiled. His soft voice was love, and I knew that he meant for me to hear it, not Mama or even Addie. It was meant only for me, and it was what I know to be part of the love of Christmas spirit… the love of bringing others joy. We had to leave then, but I took that part of Santa Claus along with me, and it is still there… the spirit of giving and the kindness of Christmas.
I saw those window displays of “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” too. Mama explained the letter where the little girl asked the New York Sun if there was a Santa Claus and their response that yes, there was a Santa. I knew it anyway. There is a Santa Claus, and as the letter says, “He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times and 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”
Mama and Daddy have been working with me walking for a while now. They are working hard to help me, and they are holding my hands while I go in circles around the house. I can even go with them holding one hand when I am strong. I am practicing my standing now, and I stand and stand and stand and I balance. I will walk soon, but I am not ready, and when I get ready to take steps forward, my mind tells me that it is not time yet and I sit instead and crawl ahead. I am faster that way.
I may not walk, but I can climb. I have been climbing up and up and up on the couch, on the bed, on the chairs, even on the table. I can get to one place and then another one that is higher up and then another if I put things together like steps. I can even climb an entire staircase, and I can get right back down again by carefully sliding backwards with my little legs. It’s hard work, because the steps are about half of me each, but I can do it because it means getting to other, new places.
One day, not long from now, I will take off. I will take flight, and I will go and go and go and go and go and run and run and run. For now, I will climb to the highest of heights that my little legs will let me, despite my Mama’s and Daddy’s worry, and I will be just fine. Don’t worry, Mama and Daddy… I may stumble, but I know that you will be right there to catch me. You always, always are after all—right behind me, helping to lift me up and make me better when I fall.
Mama told me last night that I had been nominated for another blog award, and that this one was a sisterhood. I thought that meant that we were getting more sisters in the house besides Addie and Lilli, but Mama laughed and let me know that it means that it is a group of women (or in my case, little girls) who are all in something together—like blogging. I couldn’t be more happy to be in a group of people who have things in common with me, and if it is the kind of people that Mama reads the blogs from for me, I am in great company because they sure are pretty amazing people.
Melody of “Life’s Daily Dose” nominated me, and she is pretty fantastic. We love her blog, which is about making life simple, making others happy, and helping others overall. We seem to be like-minded in that way. ☺ Her blog is http://www.lifesdailydose.com. Check it out when you can if you have not already, and gain some insight on what really matters. You’ll absorb a bit of happiness in the process. Thank you for recognizing me, Melody! It means more than I can write here.
There are “rules” to all things, and this is no different. The rules for this award are:
– Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
– Put the award logo on your blog.
– Answer the ten questions they have set you.
– Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
– Nominate ten people
Here are my 10 responses to Melody’s questions:
▪ What is the last book you read?
“That’s Not My Monster” By Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells. It is a torrid tale of a little mouse looking for its monster, but it keeps finding the wrong one. Spoiler Alert: It has a happy ending.
▪ In your opinion, what is the perfect date?
Oh, Mama and Daddy go on dates sometimes, and they have even left me behind while they do it. Mama said that it is when you get to go out with the one that you love most. I love Mama and Daddy most, so I think that the perfect date would be going outside with them in my fancy jogging stroller and them making me go fast and making me laugh. Then I want to go to eat Vietnamese food. I love Vietnamese food already. Then… a nap.
▪ Why did you start blogging?
Mama and Daddy and me went all the way to California when I was 8 months old. Mama took a picture of me touching the Golden Gate Bridge, which is the top picture on my blog, and a friend of ours wrote Mama to tell her that it was a great idea for a website. Mama loves to write, so she got excited, and here I am… an award winning blogger. 😉
▪ Small town or big city? Why?
Oh, I love them both, but my very favorite things to do are to be around lot of people, to go out to eat, and to see new things that I haven’t seen before. I like quiet too, so I think that I choose a bit city near a small town so that I can have both.
▪ If you could be one of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S characters, which one would you be?
I have never seen that show, and Mama says that I wouldn’t get most of what they are saying. She did say that there was a pet monkey in it for a while, and I know what monkeys are. They are fun and they like to get into trouble and to get into everything. Mama says his name was Marcel, and so that’s who I am choosing. Daddy does call me a “little monkey” sometimes after all.
▪ What makes you unique?
Mama and Daddy tell me that no one is exactly like anyone else, and they tell me that I am very special every day. They, and other people too, tell me that I am one of the happiest babies that they have ever met and that I “shine.” I do shine on the inside, and it shows on the outside, too. As Mama says, I glow.
▪ Do you have any tattoos?
I know what those are! Mama has a few and Daddy has a whole bunch of them—and Mama and Daddy even have the Legend of Zelda characters on them with half a heart each. They said that means that they love each other so much that they put something that will never, ever go away on them to show that they are a part of each other. I love that Mama and Daddy are like Link and Zelda. Me, though, I don’t have any tattoos and haven’t even had the temporary ones. Mama just whispered that that is something called “illegal” and that it is going to be a long, long, long time before I get any of them.
▪ What is your favorite quote?
I have had a lot of books and stories and poems read to me already by everyone that I love. My very favorite quote now, though, and my favorite thing to hear, is “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe. I am a really busy person and it is hard to get me still when I am awake, but when Mama reads that poem to me, I always get really still. It has a wonderful sound to it, like water moving back and forth in the tub.
“It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee; —
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.”
That is why I rewrote it in a poem about the joy in my life early in my blog. https://dorianshand.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/edgar-allen-poe-eat-your-heart-out-i-can-make-word-music-too/
▪ What is the last movie you saw in the theatre?
Being that I am a little baby, I have never been to a theatre. Mama and Daddy and Addie just went to see something called “Ghostbusters,” but they told me that it was too scary for me. The last movie that I saw was “My Neighbor Totoro.” All of us love that movie. I wish I could hug Totoro and that I could see the Susuwatari dust bunnies that must be in the house watching us somewhere.
▪ What is one thing you are looking forward to?
Oh, I look forward to things every day. As Mama says, every day is a fun day for me, even when we are just hanging out at the house like we are today. One thing that I know that I am doing soon is going camping with everyone this weekend in our Winn-e-bago house on wheels. It is the first time that we have had all of us in that little house. It’s going to be crowded in there, but I like being in crowds and they are my very favorite people in the whole world, and I am sure that there will be veggie dogs. I love veggie dogs.
Now I need to nominate other folks for the award, too, and I need to nominate all girls like me too, I think, since it is a sisterhood. I am choosing all women who embrace happiness, art, and beauty in themselves and others. Mama helped me with the wording on that last part because I had trouble putting what I wanted into words. Mama and I spent this afternoon looking for ones that hit us hard and made us happy.
I just found her because she found me, but her pictures are gorgeous and Mama says that she lives in a beautiful place that she has never been but would love to go to. I thought that my Mama had been everywhere, so that was news to me.
This site is just beautiful and has information on health, life’s daily chores and responsibilities, and being a Mama. We love all of those things, and smoothies are my very favorite food right now.
This blog has a lot of things having to do with being a girl and being powerful in the world, but it is anything that strikes her to write about. There is a lot there that hit my Mama hard and that she identified with. Plus, my Mama just finished reading “If I Stay” this morning early, and she was crying, so Panda’s review on the book hit home with her too. Plus, plus… she lives in Ireland. I haven’t been yet, but Mama says it is her favorite place on the Earth.
This blog is about finding what makes you happy and isn’t just by one person standing alone. Outdoors and exercise are two things that are in a lot of the posts, and those are some of our favorites. These aren’t all women—but it involves happiness in people, so we are counting it in.
This blog is all about writing, life, and inspiration. It is a beautiful blog.
This is a beautiful blog about life, writing, and family, too. There are a lot of beautiful pictures, and there is a lot of nature… and I love the feel of leaves against my feet and the itchy grass in my toes.
This blog is all about life and hope and writing. The author, Donna, states that writing brings her joy and happiness. I get that already. Mama and I love to write and create, and we love to explore the world through words.
This blog is a lot of “random.” Mama and I both think that random really means wonderful. Therefore, her blog is wonderful.
This blog has a lot to do with getting what you want out of life, living your life to the fullest, and being happy. It also deals with making “money” (Mama says that is a necessary part of life that sometimes she wishes wasn’t) by being at home. This is Mama’s main goal in life—freedom—so she loves this one.
Oh, this blog… the wonders and beauty and sadness and happiness of life. The poetry selections here are wonderful.
The last part… whew, this is a long one to do. My little brain hurts from all of this pondering. These are the questions for my nominees. Note to all of these wonderful folks—if you do not wish to do the post, that is absolutely okay. Some folks may have been nominated for this award or others before, and they are work to do. This is just for the recognition of being wonderful bloggers and writers and artists. If you wish to, though, please do, and know that we are grateful for your work. ☺
1. What inspires you most to write?
2. What it your favorite thing to do in the entire world?
3. If you could travel anywhere in our beautiful world, where would it be?
4. What is your favorite book?
5. What are you most proud of?
6. How has your blog helped you most?
7. What is your favorite childhood memory?
8. What is your biggest passion?
9. Your favorite food?
10. What is your favorite quote?
If you got way down here, you read this entire post… and it’s long, maybe the longest one I have ever done. If I laid it down flat on paper, it might just be longer than I am. Thanks for getting to the bottom of the post and hanging in there for this one. Please do visit the bloggers’ pages when you can and enjoy them like Mama and me have. Thank you again, for this award, Melody, and thank you to everyone who has supported me, too.
Endless love, admiration, sorrow, worry, anxiety, fatigue… all rolled into one big ball that will always be in the shadow of my little girl.
Sorry, my sweet little lady, but Mama took over your blog just this once since she doesn’t have one of her own yet. Since you are napping, I am sure you won’t mind, especially since it’s about your big sister Adalyn. After all, the sun rises and sets in you according to Addie.
I responded to a blog today about my daughter, who is a type 1 diabetic. It is diabetic blog week, and there is a prompt for each day. I responded to yesterday’s topic, “What Brings me Down?” because the blogger spoke about having diabetes since the age of 4, but seeing it in her small niece felt worse than her living with it herself. The blog link is here:
She wanted to “explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes,” and she asked, “What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?” As her blog affected me emotionally since I know exactly what it feels like, I wrote her back. It’s waiting for approval, so I can’t reblog it so that others can see it. I wanted to share it because it was therapy for me to write. This is long already, sorry, I am longer winded than my baby girl, but if you are still there, please read on to the end… it’s worth it, I promise.
My 6 year old daughter was diagnosed with T1D a year and a half ago. It was Christmas day when I noticed that she was really grumpy and that she didn’t seem excited to get her gifts. I said to myself, “It’s nothing, she’s just having a moody day.”… even though her father is diabetic and my mind knew differently. Some days later I fell asleep with her, and my husband woke me up in the middle of the night when he got off from work. I was disoriented and sweaty. Well, I thought I was sweaty, and I wondered why. Then I felt the bed. The entire bed was soaked with urine from the middle to the bottom, it had soaked through the sheet and mattress cover. There was my beautiful daughter sleeping soundly, a girl who had never wet the bed after toilet training, not once. I cried. I cried because I knew. I couldn’t say that she was moody anymore.
Her blood sugars were tested a day and a half later, when everyone was ready to know… and they were in the 500s. Before I could process it, she was in the hospital and I was looking at her, so little, in a hospital bed with an IV in her arm looking washed out and weak. She was in good spirits until they came in to do her check or to give her insulin, and then she screamed. She fought. Before we left, I had to do her check, and thank God they let me use a regular pricker. I had to give her a shot. That was way worse, because all that I could hear while trying to put a needle in her leg for the first time was, “No Mommy, please no Mommy, please, please, Mommy, please, don’t Mommy…” in my ears ringing while trying to concentrate because I didn’t want to hurt her. No one wants to hurt their child.
She cried on and off for the first couple of months, but she adjusted. She started liking for others to see what she was doing. She still likes to explain her blood sugar checks.
My daughter is my hero. She is so brave and wonderful and beautiful. She will never again be that little girl who can just run and play and eat whatever she wants, though. As for me, there are some nights that she has been low and I can’t sleep after checking her sugars again twice to make sure they are okay and I still don’t believe that her numbers will stay okay, and every time that I see her run I worry on the inside because I have seen her sugars plummet, and I feel so sad when she lashes out because her sugars have had a roller coaster day– because it’s not her fault, and it’s not anyone’s fault… but it isn’t fair.
She has spoken in front of her school about the JDRF and raised money, but sometimes, when there are cookies out everywhere at Christmas and I know that her sugars are stable and I can only give her a little teeny bite so that she doesn’t feel like she is different, she still does, and she will say that she hates diabetes. Every diabetic does, but it is a large part of everyone with it. It is a large part of her that I embrace as I need to but inwardly despise. It took part of my daughter away… part of who she was became something else. It is beautiful as all of her is beautiful, but it is beautiful with restrictions. So that’s how it feels to be an outsider looking at your child with diabetes. It feels like endless love, admiration, sorrow, worry, anxiety, fatigue… all rolled into one big ball that will always be in the shadow of my little girl.
My big, big sister Lilli’s birthday party was today. Mama said that it was a “French” party and that we were going to dress up really fancy. Mama got into an all black outfit because she told me that some French people enjoyed simple fashion that was pretty kind of like a lady named Audrey Hepburn that is no longer with us. She told me, though, that I was going to get into a big, fluffy yellow dress that was like a princess and that everyone would think that I was beautiful. I don’t know what “beautiful” is, but Mama says it’s kind of complicated and that I don’t need to worry about it nearly as much as some people do. Mama told me something about women needing to do a lot of things to be pretty on this Earth, but really, when it came down to it, that those things are choices and that beauty is different for different people. I see her do a lot of things though when she is getting ready like putting stuff on her face and wearing different clothes when she is going one place and other clothes that she wears to another, so she must be still figuring out that “beauty” thing too and doing stuff just to make other people happy. I’m lucky since most of the time I don’t have to do any of those things… people tell me I’m beautiful no matter what I look like.
I came to the party in my “beautiful” yellow dress and everyone played with me. Actually, I couldn’t play right because of the dress, so my Granny got me back into non-fancy clothes so that I could play and move better. Lilli got to open a bunch of things that were in paper that Daddy called, “presents.” I don’t know what those are, but Lilli seemed to scream louder and louder every time that she opened one. Her last present was a big metal thing with wheels that Mama called a bike. She changed out of her fancy clothes then too and rode it up and down the street with my giant brother Jonah and even Daddy, who had a bike that made noise that he called a motorcycle. He could have won with that I think cause it can go really fast, but he let Lilli and Jonah win. Mama whispered to me that those fast things scare her a little, but I thought it was wonderful to see Daddy zip by me so fast I couldn’t keep up with him.
Then we all sang to Lilli, and she had to blow out these fire things Mama called “candles” that Mama said I couldn’t touch because they were something called “hot.” She said I would have one of those, just one, soon. I got cake after the singing, and I got to put my whole hand in the piece of cake and then eat it myself. Daddy helped, and then he said something about the fact that I was “a big mess.” It was sticky, and Mama said it was a good thing that I wasn’t “all fancy” anymore.
The big excitement seemed over then, and everyone just played. I got to hang out in a big circle with all of the bigger girls. I’m really not that different, just smaller, and all of the girls played with me with dolls and I played back too. I think that if they would just pay more attention, they would see me as just a slightly less coordinated big person in a small, small package. 9 years old, 9 months old… what’s the difference?