Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Her Name Means Jewel

She is almost five but she still willingly begins and ends each day in my arms.  At bedtime, after we read a book or three, she slumps contentedly into me and turns her head so her cheek rests on my left shoulder.  I smell her hair and scratch her back before I tuck her in.  Mornings, she opens her door slowly and comes out sheepishly, squinting at the light in the kitchen where the rest of us are already having breakfast.  I scoop her up and we snuggle.  Her warm body is not yet ready to talk.  She wants oatmeal or yogurt or fomps.

She jumps out of the car to go to school after she kisses me on the nose.  She talks to me the whole ride home and all through lunch.  She wants a cheese quesadilla - in the microwave! not the stove! - for lunch almost every day.  She hums while she draws.  She sings songs to herself while she builds with Legos or pages through books.  She has learned to do the monkey bars all the way across without stopping and to ride her sister's Razor and to play Doe-a-dear on the piano.  She can write all her letters and is working on her numbers and wants to know what two plus three is, please.  She brushes her teeth and washes her hands and cuts her waffle all by herself.  She gets dressed every morning and comes out, proud, to smile at herself in the full-length mirror in the hall.

Her bedroom is a mess of puzzles and pop beads.  There is an old Easter hat turned upside down, filled with a blanket, made into a nest for a stuffed animal in the middle of the floor.  It can not be moved.  There is a stack of books in her bed and a swaddled Bitty Baby, too, whose clothes must be changed from time to time.  She finds treasures on the ground everywhere we go, says, "I'm not picking up garbage, Mom," just before she hands me a penny, a pop-can top, a fall leaf, a cicada shell, an orange bead, a shell, a rock, a dragonfly wing.  The treasures must be kept in her bedroom, too.

She spills almost every time she eats.  She calls out "'Night!  Love you!  See ya in the mornin!" when we're closing her door at night.  She scowls when she doesn't get her way, says an emphatic "Phooey!" when she doesn't hear the answer she was hoping for.  She loves her sister, her Dumbo, her purple water bottle, her friends at school, her crayons, her bed.

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