i clearly remember my very first thought when i saw the double lines on the pregnancy tests indicating my third pregnancy in 4 years...
i thought, “what will i do with another baby?”
and i clearly remember my thoughts every morning when i go to wake this girl and when i go to “check on her” every night....
i think, “what would i do without my baby?”
she is nothing like i thought a daughter would be. i thought she would be more like me (like her sister, millie, my clone). but instead she possesses qualities that i have no understanding of. she is athletic. she is crazy for animals. she wears a ball cap whenever she can. she has freckles.
and i love her for these differences.
she is however my only child that talks to stoplights, like i used to do. if they are red, she addresses them by name and asks them politely to turn green. if they don’t, she gives them to the count of 5 to turn green. they usually listen to her. i taught all three kids this trick but she is the only one that uses it regularly.
she is the only one in our house besides me who wakes up well. and she and i are the first ones in bed on weekend nights. we are the two early birds who live amongst a house of night owls. once she is tired it is OVER for her emotionally. she must go to bed or break down crying (and a lot of time she goes to bed WHILE breaking down crying).
she HAS to eat three meals right on time or she gets CRANKY. we call it “hangry”, hungry+angry. and after she eats dinner, we make her run outside sometimes because she is HYYYYYYPER.
she has lovey nicknames for her brother and sister. when she is really loving to maxx, she calls him “macko”. when she is really loving to millie, she calls her “mallie”. she made these names up herself. she also calls chicken, “CHICKAAAAAN” and if you call it that, she says that you owe her 5 cents because she has patented that word.
she is so grateful for everything. for her birthday we are all going to NYC in two weeks, so no big party. but i had gotten some cupcakes and we surprised her after her shower with a little cupcake and one candle to blow out. later that night as i was tucking her in bed she said, “thank you mommy for my little surprise party, it was so much fun.” sometimes she will get in the car in the morning and thank me for breakfast, or in the afternoon thank me for putting a yummy snack in her lunch. she notices the little things.
she reads her Bible in the morning at breakfast and writes verses that she likes in her journal. she loves to say “God knows” in response to any discussion of unknown entities.
when she is really happy about something, she likes to turn her backside to us and “shake her booty”. and she still likes to run around naked in the house sometimes. we are hoping both of these traits do not last long into the future.
she loves certain movies with an intense passion, each for over a year was her HOT movie. first it was buzz lightyear, then spirit, then newsies, and now for three years, cars. she has watched each of those movies hundreds of times. she listens to the same CD that i made her a few years ago EVERY night. her favorite song on it is “He leadeth me” which is her hymn that i choose for her before she was born. she loves that song and loves to sing it with me.
she talks to her stuffed animals (and i make them talk back to her sometimes) and she write letters to lightning mcqueen. sometimes he writes her back. there is a return letter in her lightning mcqueen mailbox this morning for her. she wrote him a letter on her birthday. she is his biggest fan.
i am her biggest fan.
i know that i baby her WAY too much. that i encourage her to be a baby WAY too much. i know that i had to really work to forgive “miss nell” when she babysat her and taught her to say lemonade instead of “lemolaide” and spaghetti instead of “psaghetti” and animal instead of “aminal”. but i worked through that and summoned up the grace of the Lord and still love “miss nell” with all my heart and soul (especially since she wants to be like me), but i do miss “lemolaide”... one day, i will make “miss nell’s” third child pronounce a word correctly and i will feel totally vindicated.
and even though it is that third child that sends you into crazyville (and i have been living in crazyville for a full decade now and forsee no change of address EVER), i wouldn’t have missed the sights and sounds here in crazyville...
because she loves me with a thousand “guess what mom?” “I LOVE YOU THAT’S WHAT!”s. her hugs are huge and body crushing and she has been known to kiss my face ALL over. she still curls up in my lap at least once a day. sometimes she, millie, and i pile together on the couch and call ourselves, rosie, cozy (that’s my nickname), and posie (millie). and of course there is the nightly “will you check on me?”
isn’t that what we all want? someone to check on us...
she writes me love notes and always asks if she can help me cook dinner. she loves to crack eggs, stir things, and is a fairly good potato peeler. she rakes leaves with her dad and has an ability to stick to tasks and she years to be a good helper. if i am tired, she lays a blanket over me on the couch and tucks me in. she always asks me if i had a good day. and she calls me “mouse potato” if i am on the computer too long.
when she was born my grandmother was in the hospital dying. i drove home to my grandmother’s funeral with rosie as a three week old baby. last year on her birthday, my mother had a stroke that caused her death her two weeks later. and so it is no wonder that this girl is so full of life and love and laughter. her birthday will always be bittersweet to me. goodbye to two women who were so important in my life, and a hello to my rosalea.
and all the time i wonder what i would have done without her. i pray that i never have to answer that question.