DesignForMiniKind

Dear Bee // 53

bee-at-table

Dear Bee,

I find it an odd mix of difficulty/ease to sit down and write these letters to you. On one hand, it’s simple. Easy. There’s just so much to say – you are a fountain of exuberance, this helium balloon that floats around our home dancing with energy and zest and joy – and the pure humor you’ve brought into our lives is all so worthy of documenting. But on the other hand, I don’t feel a need to document it quite as much, because it’s clearer – this good amidst the hard. I don’t have to look for it. The good is all around us, permeating these walls, securing support beams for our family’s foundation.

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Billboard Parenting

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One of the more surprising byproducts of becoming a parent for me was the sudden introduction to a mild form of social isolation; the weird tension that existed when I chose a different route/method/strategy of parenting than my close circle of friends. It’s out of my wheelhouse; I have never typically rushed toward controversy or conflict. I shy away from it to a fault, downplaying my own passions and beliefs so that I might make others feel better about the decisions they’re making. It’s a big reason I wrote this – a post that still holds deep meaning for me – and is one of my daily struggles, the attempt to overcome people-pleasing and instead fix my eyes on the unseen.

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Fall Fest

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Fall’s my favorite season, with its changing colors and crisp air and first savory stockpot of Cincinnati chili. If seasons were a family, fall would be the mother shooing in her children to come inside before it gets dark – dinner’s ready, and don’t forget your jacket! It’s a season where we celebrate intentional change – the sharpening of our #2 pencils, the raking of fiery orange leaves, the feathering of our home’s nest as we prepare for a long, quiet winter.

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Costuming

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Just popping in to share a few darling Halloween costumes for next month. Bee’s going to be an astronaut (thanks for the hand-me-down, Charlie!), but if you’re in the market, there are some super cute options this year!:

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Gumption

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There are roughly five million lessons I need to learn from her – how to lay down in the grass and watch the leaves blow, how to ask for help when I need it most, how to twirl with my eyes closed. How to pay attention. When to pay attention. To whom to pay attention to.

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The Choice

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This past weekend, I made a choice. Of all of the worthy jobs I’ve juggled – from writer to assistant, from art director to stylist, from author to teacher – mothering is the one I want to matter most. Mothering is the one I want to hold to closest, to devote time to first, to offer the bulk of my energy. But for me, that is a choice. For many, it’s not.

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Two, Now

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Two is a sudden burst of verbal growth, stringing together sentences like, “Mom! Put down that poop and give me a huuuuuug.” It’s a continuation of hoarding, blocks and snacks and stuffed animals, everything, all at once and right this moment, please and thank you. It’s a newfound love for broccoli and an insistence that she loves tomatoes, even when she spits them out every.single.time.

It’s sunshine and thunderstorms – highs and lows, laughter and tears – with the rainbow showing up each night at bedtime when she asks to play Pat-a-Cake and look for owl holes in the rustic headboard, slowly, quietly – wheels turning, soul filling. It’s markers on the windows, crayon scribbles on the table, granola between the couch cushions. It’s, “Mama? Play iPad cuppa more minutes please? Just a cuppa minutes. Promise.” It’s manufactured phone conversations with neighbors, organizing her own play dates for the week ahead.

Two is skinned knees and smelly sneakers (just my kid?) and finding 800 different ways to explain obedience, or more accurately, lack thereof. It’s pounding down the hallway, the slapslapslap of dirty, bare feet. It’s sweaty, curly tendrils above the ears. It’s flushed cheeks, high-pitched squeals. Crocodile tears.

It’s “faster, faster!” and “louder, louder!” and “higher, higher!” It’s growing pains and hide-and-seek and “I want it” and “I don’t want it” and “I’m sorry” and “Kiss it, Mama” and “Now!” and “Later” and “Yes, yes, always yes” and “I love you, too.”

Two is mischievously, feverishly, exhaustively divine.

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Dear Bee // 52

baby in woods

Dear Bee,

Hey lady. I haven’t written you in awhile, mostly because you just cannot stop communicating at home and by the end of the day, there aren’t any more words. We’ve covered everything, from where duck dads come from to your preference for the blue lion shirt, and although I know I’ll forget many of these highlights, I also know I won’t forget the ones I need to carry with me.

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My Favorite Pregnancy Gifts

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One of my good friends just gave birth last week, and OMG I nearly had a panic attack on her behalf. It seems most mothers I know stand planted in two single-file lines: those who love the fresh scent of newborn babies and find them endlessly intoxicating, and the mothers who have panic attacks on behalf of other mothers the moment that baby emerges from the birth canal. I’m the latter (obv) – the mother who holds memories of nursing issues and chronic tears and clouded judgment in those early days of child-rearing; the one who has a hard time seeing past the hard to acknowledge the good. Pregnancy was hard(ish). Birth was harder. The newborn phase, for me? HARDEST.

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The Rise

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“When it comes to our children, we do not have the luxury of despair. If we rise, they will rise with us every time, no matter how many times we’ve fallen before. I hope you will remember that the next time you fail… Remembering that is the most important work as parents we can possibly do.” -Cheryl Strayed

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