She got an umbrella for her birthday.
It was the one thing she wanted.
She now spends hours hoping for rain. Even dark clouds will do.
She also received two volumes of Shel Silverstein.
Two volumes because, well, one can never have too much Silverstein.
Her favorite poems are the most disturbing ones.
She laughed when the page opened to this drawing.
And said she'd like to have this hat.
Her own drawings have improved. I often find her huddled up in a corner devotedly sketching the things she loves. Trees, penguins, our family and furry Japanese forest spirits.
I asked her if she would share her umbrella with Totoro.
She was understandably conflicted.
Yesterday she emptied her piggy bank and carefully counted each coin with her daddy. We took her riches to the credit union where she proudly endorsed her first check. She told the friendly teller that she liked her earrings and thought she looked "beautiful this morning." Then she told her that her funny voice sounded like the Wicked Witch of the West. I deflated. Then I snatched up the innocence that trickled through the words.
That stream grows thinner by the day.
She creates worlds I cannot see populated by friends whose names belong to no language but her own. I have waited years for her to begin calling her invisible companions by names which are found in the known world. I hope she keeps me waiting a few years more.
I will miss Hulla, Hairydo and Flaxsa.
The booster seat is gone from the table. The bed rail is permanently tucked away and each night she is tucked under a more sophisticated bed spread. But she still wants her blankie beside her. This helps soften the blow.
When asked her age at the library today she held up an extra finger.
She doesn't even hesitate, as if she has spent her whole life preparing for this question.
Those scratchy marks there on the wall,
They show how short I used to be.
They rise until they get this tall,
And Mama keeps reminding me
The way my dad would take his pen
And as I stood there, stiff and straight,
He'd put a ruler on my head
And mark the spot and write the date.
She says that it's my history,
But I don't understand at all
Just why she cries each time she sees
Those scratchy marks there on the wall.
Shel Silverstein from "Everything on It"