Sunday, July 19, 2009

So She Dances

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:"

1. I love that you always want to go with me wherever I go. Whether it is the grocery store, or shopping, you are always there to keep me company. I pray that never changes.

2. I love that your favorite thing to do is to get your nails painted. I hope the simple things will continue to be important to you.

3. I love that when you draw, and create stories, the princess and the knight get married in the temple. I hope you will remember how important eternal families are, even when the time comes to make tough decisions.

4. I love when we are in a store you ask to get something for Logan and Reagan. Your siblings are the longest lasting relationships you will have here on earth, I love that you are good to them.

5. I love that you want to be friends with everyone. Friends are important at every age.

6. I love your compassion. Your tender heart shines through in everything you do, from feeding the dogs, to helping Reagan wash her hands. It is a characteristic people will seek out your friendship for.

7. I love that you don't quit. Even when it is tough, even when the task seems impossible to complete, you see it through. This will serve you well in every aspect of your life. I am proud of you!

8. I love that you are a happy person and find joy in everything around you.

9. I love that you want to learn. Knowledge is the one thing no one can take away from you. You may lose a house, a car, a favorite toy, or even loved ones, but once knowledge is acquired it is yours forever.

10. I love that you let me call you "baby girl" and still love to snuggle. I hope that never changes!

There is so much about you to love. Mostly, I just love you because everything about you is unique to you and who you are. I am honored I was chosen to be your mom!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


There are many things you believe yourself incapable of doing before you become a parent. Things such as discovering the best way to navigate a onesie off of a newborn at 2:00am after a blow out of epic proportions. Or learning that the stomach flu is going around, after you catch the morning breakfast in the make shift cup from the palm of your hands because nothing else is available so quickly. You also become oddly comfortable with the sight of blood in large quantities. Like when your five year old runs in with blood pulsating from a four inch crack in the center of his forehead. The result of a meteor shower into the Buzz Lightyear pop up tent.

To this point I have been very successful in avoiding the dreaded tooth wiggling, pulling, and bleeding rite of passage for young children. As Hollywood started losing teeth in kindergarten, we were virtually obsolete in the process. The school nurse pulled one during recess, he swallowed one before he realized it was gone, and the others he diligently wiggled, bent, rocked, and twisted out on there way to the tooth fairy. There hasn't been one tooth I have to reach into a slimy, salivating mouth for and pop out...until now.

The past three weeks have been filled with corn on the cob less nights, delicate tooth brushings, and plenty of tooth rocking with the tongue. All in an effort to dislodge Curly Sue's two bottom front teeth. But it has all been accomplished with much trepidation. The four shiny quarters compliments of the tooth fairy have not been quite the same motivator they were for Hollywood. Fear has been the overwhelming motivator, or lack there of, in parting with the only teeth her mouth has ever known. She won't let dad near them since she knows he will dislodge them by any means necessary. She doesn't trust Hollywood anywhere near her face. Which means, it became a job for mom.

It started the other night as a ploy to avert bedtime. As I was wrestling the wee one down for the evening in our nightly match, Curly Sue ran in after brushing her teeth and huffed in panic tones "Mom, mom, my tooth is coming out right now. I swear, right now mom, ehh ehh ehh...I'm scared." To which I replied, "Come here, let me see." Wiggling the tooth back and forth between my fore finger and thumb I gently slid my finger behind her tooth, then slightly underneath, and popped it straight up and out leaving the small hole in her gums to pool with a lovely mixture of saliva and crimson blood. Before too much drama could ensue, and before the wee could escape my evening DDT, I told Caitlyn to go get a tissue for the blood and a baggie for the tooth and the tooth fairy.

When she awoke the next morning to find only one quarter, she briefly felt the pings of a wronged middle child, until Logan came in to show her the other three quaters had slid off the mattress and under the bed. Today, when the neighboring tooth became crooked and could essentially be rocked in all four directions, I again reached in pinched the tooth between my finger and thumb and gave the tooth a good yank.

Now, despite the temperature outside being a flesh melting 113, inside the house a cool breeze blows between missing teeth in Curly's mouth. And if you listen closely, you can even hear a whistle.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Yankee Doodle

Fireworks just aren't what they used to be. Bottle rockets, sparklers, and flares have been replaced with poppers that shoot streamers and glow worms that look like a pile of growing dog poo. I miss writing my name through the air with a flaming tin stick that shoots off little flesh burning sparks.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

Eleven years ago, sitting on an old seven inch bleacher, I watched sailor after sailor methodically march left, left, left, right, left across the pine floors. The smell of lacquer lingered alongside the anesthetized stench of harsh cleaning chemicals in the humid summer air. A few steel fans buzzed against the trumpets and drums of the Navy band. Each sailor's white uniform told a unique story of service. Emblems signifying this rank or that, a duty station, or a specialized field of study. Not one out of place. Four hundred sailors marched their way onto ships, off to forlorn lands, and into hospitals taking care of the country's wounded and broken.

In the years that have passed most of those young men and women have assisted in earthquakes and hurricanes. Some have saved a soldier's life on the battle fields. Others have been a witness to the birth of new democracies as bronzed statues of oppressive leaders fell at the hands of their people. Still more have come home wounded themselves in attempt to leave no soldier behind. A few have been left behind. A pair of dog tags and a tightly folded American flag with it's stars standing squarely at attention against their midnight blue sky are all that remains of an ultimate sacrifice.

Amid the barren housing and lacking pay, there is an honor in serving. It is revealed in the clean square line of a new haircut, the stretched khaki canvas of a sea bag slung over the left shoulder, and the tiny fingers of a small child grasping the plastic pole of a rippling flag with thirteen strips and stars while his daddy stands firmly planted aboard the edge of a ship beckoned to help another in need.

There is a code they live by. An unspoken brotherhood of understanding. A knowledge that despite the mummer of politics, and the rants of citizens both home and abroad, they are engaged in an important work that connects them to something bigger than themselves, and gives them pride in serving a company and country they love.

To those who have served, continue to serve, and have died serving...thank you.