:: Dear Juniper Autumn, Junebug, Bugs, Bugsy, Turkey, Chicken, Bean:
Today, it snowed. You said, "It's snowing! Because Santa Claus can come now. [Pointing to an empty spot in the garage] Can he park right here?" I mentioned that he usually parks on the rooftop. Stretching both arms up to our metal roof you said, "Oooooh! Yes! Santa Claus can park UP THERE!" I reminded you that Santa doesn't show up until we have LOTS of snow, but still. You are excited. You get excited about almost everything. People often comment that you are so animated. And so happy. Dramatic. There is a reason why your quotes are punctuated with exclamation points, italics and capitals. This is you. You are outgoing, social, loud, brazen. We ALWAYS know where you are and what you're doing. You tell us.
You love pink, red and orange. You regularly make cupcakes for me and Hazel. You love dogs. You love "friendly" bears. You are "scary of" other bears. You hate goodbyes. You have the memory of an elephant. Lately, you love to be held "like a brand new baby." I will never stop holding you.
Yesterday, you awoke from your nap, scared, yelling these words: "MAMA! MAAAMMMMAAAA!!!!! The bear! I went out to the garden and the bear grabbed me and took me far, far away and I was looking for my family! Oh nooooo! Mommy, I had a bad dream!"
And the other day: "Yesterday, when I was a bear, I bit my car. My pink car."
^Nursing your black bear. July 2012.^
I worry that I'm not good enough. That I don't have enough time with you. That I don't get to be with you enough. I worry that I'm not enough of a role model, or I model the wrong things. I want to do the best I possibly can with this heavy responsibility of raising two amazing little humans. Bear with me, I'm learning. We are in this thing together.
Saying "I love you" is just the tip of this great huge iceberg of love I hold for you. Happy birthday sweet girl.