Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dear Hazel: You, right now.

Today, you fell dead asleep three times in the middle of the day.  You are rosy-cheeked and feverish.  Your body has a hard time with colds, it always has.  Today was supposed to be a much-needed "day off" for me.  Or, at least, a couple of hours in the afternoon.  Instead, I got you, hot and snuggled into my lap.  I rocked you next to the fire, singing to "Little Liza Jane" and "Goodnight Irene" until the music stopped and you were asleep in my arms.  There was the part of me that wanted to work on my projects, feeling my "free" afternoon quickly slip away.  But then there was you: your crescent eyelids, your plump apple cheeks, your little chin...nestled into the crook of my arm just so.  All I could do was sit and rock you, kiss your forehead, trace your heart-shaped face with the tip of my finger, memorize your elfish ears, nuzzle your wispy hair, place your warm hand in mine.  And wondering all the while how many more times in my life will I rock a child, asleep in my arms?  How many more?  Is this the last?

Later on, you were upstairs on the futon, I slipped away to bring you some water and came back to find you sleeping, again.  Oh, I could eat you up, I love you so.  
:: You are my little snuggler.  You are a lover.  You squeeze so hard with your hugs, your whole body shakes.  If we part from friends without hugs, you will throw your arms in the arm and gasp, "But we forgot hugs and kisses!"  And you will run up and deliver the love.  Right now, you prefer to give "doggy kisses," (we're used to it but it takes your preschool teachers off-guard).  You started preschool last month!  You cried the first day and have loved it ever since.  You used to run into our room first thing in the morning, crawl into bed next to me and snuggle.  Now, you run into our room, crawl into Ladybug's bed and snuggle.  (I'll admit: my heart sinks a little when you pass up my bed for hers.)  She is not a licky dog, but she licks your face like an ice-cream cone.  Nearly always, your face is bearing some scrape or scar.  Right now, it's your nose.  Yesterday, the sidewalk bit your face when we were running from monsters.  It happens.

You are a mama's girl, one hundred percent.  You stopped nursing just a few months shy of your third birthday and not because you wanted to.  You have the most beautiful smile, reminding me so often of my mom.  You prefer to draw on yourself over drawing on paper.  You love to show us your "tricks", preforming yoga and gymnastic moves with straight legs and pointed toes, entirely of your own creation.  You are stubborn as a mule with mad negotiation skills.  You know how to get your way.  We often joke that if we had to guess your future career, you would be a lawyer and a tattooed, coffee-drinking yogini on the side.      
Your tears come often, and fast.  It's been this way since you got your first teeth and started walking.  You know how to press your sister's buttons.  And you love and defend your sister fiercely.  Yesterday when you spotted Juniper finishing up her ski lesson, you started stomping up a set of stairs, and in a hoarse undertone timed with each step you said, "Dat's. MY. SISTER!  Dat's. MY. SISTER!  Dat's. MY. SISTER!"
(This next photo is deceiving.  Juniper had turned away from the camera and you had just reached up and pinched her chin.  You think it's funny and she's getting ready to tell you off.)  
You love to dress up.  Like, not just play dress up, but dress up all the time.  You will choose the boots that are too small over the boots that fit saying, "But deese ones are more beautiful, dat because dey have flowers."  The other day, I went to dress you for preschool and you said, "But dat dress isn't elegant. I want an elegant dress, mommy!"
You don't like any toys, to speak of.  If you are playing quietly alone, it's because you are smearing hand lotion all over the bathroom, breaking into the medicine cabinet, drawing on yourself, cutting your own hair, or scattering dog food over the house.  At the toy store, you'll choose "Gallatic Ooze" over any toy.  You'll play pretend with Juniper almost endlessly.  But you love to just do what we're doing.  If I were to show you how to turn on the stove, you could single-handedly prepare scrambled eggs and toast for our family.  You love to help cook, mix essential oils, feed the dog, work up elk meat, re-load bullets with pops, work the garden with me.    
Over the last year we have come to realize how much you are like me in personality and Juniper is like pops.  It's almost creepy.  You have a logical, organized mind.  You will sit and thread macaroni noodles on a string until you run out of string.  You will be a knitter, I am sure.  
You love to snuggle with me by the fire after a bath.  You like to try on my glasses (and, not surprisingly, my glasses are right now MIA).  You are a quirky little goofball.  If we had a third child (we won't), you'd be the stereotypical middle child.  Oh, there is so much about you!  So much more!  (I'll save it for another night.)  I love it all.  I'll eat you up I love you so!



  1. So sweet, especially those sleeping pics. Oh my. Eat her up indeed.

  2. They are so adorable. I've been feeling that lately, of them growing too quickly, of wanting to eat them up I love them so ;)


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