Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Birthdays

Tomorrow my girl will be five. And Monday my boy will be three.

I have put together a small gift for her to wake up to, part of it a handwritten note that says, "Happy 5th Birthday Aidan" placed above a row of waving paper dolls that she cut out and clothed this afternoon. A few months ago she wouldn't scissor them herself for fear of cutting off their fingers, but today she has done it. Quietly and confidently. Fingers unscathed. One's in a red and white polka dot dress. One's in a pink dress. One's in a greenish blue dress. Clothes have been attached with several pieces of tape. And the best part about the girls, the sparkle hippy flower stickers embellishing their dresses, large flower extending from the "queenie's" head like a hat.

Earlier Cole and I drove home from Target. In the truck. He told me that he liked sitting next to me, and finally alone, no siblings to compete for his mother's attention. I tried to teach him the words to "Ring of Fire" so that he'd sing it with me. The Social Distortion version. But he preferred to move his head and shoulders in a mosh pit kind of way instead of to sing, slightly impeded by the straps of his car seat. So I danced with him, glad for his company, lump-in-throat sad that I have not been able to spend more time with just him.

And yesterday morning I found the two of them eating apples, sitting in beach chairs that they'd pulled into the open doorway. They'd done this while I'd been busy with the baby, on their own this deliberate enjoyment of juicy apples and dry summer sun. They are growing and becoming and I am trying to watch. I am trying to remember to watch.

I hear gentle noises coming through the speaker of the baby monitor. The turning of his body. A car passing by our window, soft, faraway sound. The baby is in the room, sleeping and I try to remember a time when she wasn't with us, the essence of her already imprinted, even without the memories.

All of it seems right. At this time it seems right. The growing. The becoming. The struggle of it. And my love for them. Especially.

almost five

almost three

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