I am the Picture of Beauty… Thanks to my Daddy.
When I woke up this morning, the first thing that I wanted to do after getting dressed was the have my Daddy fix my hair. My Daddy is the hair-fixer-upper in the family. Mama says that she is worried that she will hurt me while pulling it up, so she lets Daddy take over on that one. My Daddy is so, so gentle with his soft brush that I hardly feel it, and he sings and talks me through while he is getting my hair all pretty. My Daddy, he can be magical sometimes, especially when he sings to me.
There he is working that magic. It may not stay completely put together all day (because really, I play rough, and when I am busy being a toddler hurricane, my hair is the least of my worries), but it still stays away from my face, and my Mama says I still look like a beautiful princess even when it gets a little messy. After all, isn’t that what life is? Getting everything all put together just so you can work to mess it up again?
There I am, already working to undo the beautiful work that Daddy did. Play hard, but always look absolutely gorgeous when you do. 🙂
I am a Snow Queen! Can we Just Build a Snow House and Live Out Here?
Yesterday Mama, Dada, and me woke up to everything being white all around us. The grass was all gone and the cars and everything looked like big lumps of white, too. It looked like God had painted the whole world white. Dada told me that this was called snow, and he promised me that I would get the chance to play outside when it was a bit warmer. I kept looking out the windows at it all morning, but Mama said that the best time would be after my morning nap time because it was still a bit too cold for really little people.
I am too little to think about when I get tired… I just do. I wore out early from all of the snow watching, and when I woke up, Mama said that lunch would happen and then we would get bundled up to go outside. Mama wasn’t playing around with that one– she got me in my regular clothes, a pink slick suit called a “snowsuit,” a jacket, extra socks, mitten gloves for my hands, and a little hat. She laughed and said something about me looking like the little kid from A Christmas Story and “I can’t put my arms down!” I don’t know what any of that means, but I know that I sure was warm and ready to brave the cold.
When we got outside, though, I didn’t know quite what to do. My feet sank into the white world, and my legs weren’t long enough yet to be able to get them out. I got stuck, but I wasn’t scared. Mama and Daddy, after all, were right there to help me with that walking part. I got to use my mitten hands to pick up snow and I put it right in my mouth. It was like a soft ice cube, and I wanted to keep eating and eating it. Daddy took off the sharp part of a long ice stick that he called an icicle and helped me to snack on that, too. It was like a snow snack party, and it was my very favorite part. I love cold things, and there is an entire world of cold things outside right now.
Then Daddy had to finish working on the driveway to make sure that it was safe to be able to venture out into the rest of the world. He took a giant stick with a wide thing at the end that he told me was a snow shovel and he took the snow from our little driveway and put it in our yard. The snow got higher and higher around our little driveway, and Daddy let me play in the loose piles that were easy to get to. Daddy works too hard, and I like to help out, so I got the big stick and helped him get the snow away. I think that I did a good job, and Mama and Daddy both laughed and told me that I had a good shovel “technique,” which they said is a fancy way to say how you do a certain thing. I think by the end that I was quite the professional.
When Daddy’s work was all done, although Daddy says it never really is, he got down in his big work snow suit and played with me. Daddy made balls out of the snow and handed them to me to throw, and he threw some really hard across the yard and on our little Winnebago house on wheels, too. We laughed and played and played until Mama said that I must be a frozen Dorian-cicle, and she took me inside to do my other favorite thing… take a warm bath and get all toasty inside.
I think that snow might just be my favorite thing right now. This changes a lot… after all, I am still seeing new things all of the time, but playing in the snow with my Daddy? That just might be one of the best things that I have ever done. Love you, little white world in my backyard. Can’t wait to have another playdate soon.
Imagination… the Best Superpower on Earth.
Some people might call this a “laundry basket.” Mama and Daddy do, I guess because they seem to only use it to carry clothes from the washing place to the places where the clothes rest until we put them on again.
This is not a laundry basket, though, at least not when I don’t want for it to be. It can be anything that I choose, and right now, it’s a little house that I am safe in. You can’t see me because I’m in here, but I can see you… I’m looking right at you.
Maybe later I’ll make you into a sled or a rocket ship, little basket. Until then, I will sip on my juice and enjoy being invisible in here. See you later, everyone.
Can Christmas Morning Happen Again Soon?
I woke up a few mornings ago and there were lots of new things for me to play with. Mama and Daddy told me that it was Christmas morning, and that is why those things were there. They reminded me that was why we went and saw the big and gentle man named Santa Claus in New York City, so that he could know what I wanted to be able to have to play with in our little house. I didn’t really get, though, that it meant that new toys would appear for me to play with later. I really think that I can get used to this Christmas presents thing.
I got a big kitchen set with pans and an oven mitt and a toaster and a cash register, and I got a giant giraffe stuffed animal that is bigger than me to hug and hug and hug, and I got a stocking full of toys too and some Little People in an airplane. Nana and Granny brought over toys too, so there were so, so many new things to play with that I just kept going from thing to thing all day long until I passed out from all of the excitement.
Now I keep waiting for Christmas morning to happen again because it was really exciting to wake up and to see all those new things, but Mama and Daddy told me that it won’t happen again for a whole year, and by that time, I won’t even really remember this last one just like I didn’t remember the one before this year when I was a little bitty baby. They said as I get older, though, I will begin to remember more about what has happened to me. All that I know is that I hope that a year doesn’t take too long because I want for Christmas to happen to me again… maybe tomorrow? The next day? How long is a year anyway, Mama?
Yes, Little Dorian, There is a Santa Claus… and he just might be at the New York Macy’s
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.”
Thanksgiving, a Celebration of Food, More Food, and Family
We celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, which was Friday. Mama and Daddy and me hung out together on Thursday, which is apparently the day when almost everyone has all of the food and the sleep and the playing together, but we waited to celebrate.
We spent the whole morning instead watching the big parade at Macy’s, which is a giant department store in a giant place called NYC that I haven’t been to yet but I am going to soon. Mama says that is where Santa is, and I know that is true because I saw him coming to town in his big sleigh at the end of the parade.
Daddy then spent the whole day making food a day later than most people because he was getting ready for our food happening for Thanksgiving on Friday. You see, Mama and Daddy have explained to me that we have a blended family, which means that everyone isn’t all together all of the time because those people have to be shared with their other family, too. That means that holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, sometimes happen in pieces and sometimes happens on days that aren’t the days that almost everyone else celebrates. Our Thanksgiving, then, changed to a new day—yesterday—because that is when my big sister Addie, my big, big sister Lilli, and my giant brother Jonah were able to be there together with us.
Mama and Daddy told me that it doesn’t matter what day you celebrate—it matters when everyone can be together. That makes it a holiday, and it isn’t a holiday unless you can be together with the people that you love so, so much. Our own little family is all of us, even though we don’t see each other every single day. That just makes that time even more special, because everyone realizes how much they have missed each other and how much they love each other. When we get together we play and play and play and play and play.
When everyone got to the house, which this year was my sisters and my brother, Mama and Daddy, and my Granny, Daddy started making food happen again, complicated giant piles of food that Daddy made with love, and Mama helped him and she made more food happen, too. Mama and Daddy are vegans, which means that they don’t use any things that come from animals. They said that this is because they try to make it so that they try to do as little harm to others as they can. Daddy is such a good cook, so he can make delicious food happen with whatever his magical food hands touch.
After the long time of food happening, we all sat down to eat. Before that, I had a lot of Mama’s sunflower macaroni and cheese that she loves to make. I got to eat first, but that is because I am little and when my tummy says that food needs to go there, it has to go there right that moment. Waiting is not something that I am good at yet.
We had a cranberry “jello,” soy Turkey, homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes swimming in yummy Earth Balance butter, Brussels sprouts made with cinnamon sugar, pears in a sugar sauce that was so, so yummy, Mama’s macaroni, rolls, and brownies with SO Delicious ice cream on top.
I ate until I couldn’t eat anymore, which is what Daddy said that I am supposed to do, and then we sat around and laughed and talked, which is the other thing that Daddy said is supposed to happen. I think that I like Thanksgiving, because two of my favorite things are food and laughing, and that is what it seemed to be all about.
The important thing, Mama said, is that we are all together and all playing and spending time being happy to get to love one another. Our time goes by fast, but we still all get to play and to hug and to celebrate. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, no matter when and how you celebrated with your group of people that you love.
Little Teeny Shoes Just for Me and the Magic Shoe Lady.
Mama and Nana took me on a surprise journey yesterday to a magical place called a “shoe store.” I know what shoes are because I take Mama and Daddy’s all the time and carry them around the house. I even hide them far under the big bed and the crib, and I’m so good sometimes they can’t find them for a long time. I call this “the shoe game.” Mama sometimes looks like she may not like the shoe game, but I sure do.
I knew that there were little bitty shoes my size because I have sandals and tennis shoes and dress shoes for when we go out sometimes (although I prefer my toes to be bare and free), but I have never been on a journey to go and get my own shoes before that are just the size of my feet.
We went to a store called “Saxon’s,” which has been around for a long, long time in Richmond where we are. There were so, so many little shoes, and everything was bright and colorful and beautiful. A lady came over named Betty, and she asked about my walking and my age. Then she took this giant foot shaped metal thing with slides and put my foot on it to “measure” it. She talked to me softly and played with my feet, and I couldn’t help but do everything that she said (without words– it was her eyes that told me what to do)… she was like magic. She said that she had been fitting little people for shoes for 37 years, and Mama later told me that she could have even fitted her for shoes when she was small ages and ages and ages ago.
Then she came out of the back with a bright white pair of shoes with little teeny flowers on them. Mama sighed and said they were almost like her first walking shoes, and Nana said they were like hers as a baby, too. Some things, Mama said, stay the same for a long time because they are so good– and those are often the best things. Betty the magician then put my shoes on just right without me curling my toes. Mama can’t do that all the time, but all that she had to do was to look at me and tap my foot, and I straightened them right out. Once they were on, I stared and stared at them… until Betty gave me a bright orange balloon that said Saxon’s Shoes on it that floated in the air no matter how much I tried to hold it down.
Mama and Nana say that these shoes are going to help to support my little ankles when I walk and keep me from walking on tippy toes. Mama later told me that the way that I just got my first pair of shoes was exactly the way that she remembered getting shoes when she was little. She told me that there weren’t many places that still paid attention to making sure that you got everything to fit “just right” and that Saxon’s was special because they did things this way– making sure that little ones like me are taken care of and are happy. Most of the time now, including Mama, everyone just gets what they want on a computer or they go out and are on their own. Mama told me that people used to pump gas for you and check your tires, that clothes used to be fitted, and that shoes were always just the right fit because others helped to make sure that they were a long time ago, but even when she was little, that was starting to go away. I think that she may be right– that we need to hold on to moments when others truly take the time to help you out and to help, in small ways, to take care of you.
As for my shoes… I have already worked on scuffing them up and making art out of them. Mama says that will just make them even better to see when I am big, so I’m going to really get these ones worn down to make her proud. Wind me up and watch me go, Mama.