DesignForMiniKind

Dear Bee // 48

dear-bee

Dear Bee,

We’re entering the part of the log ride where the waters get kind of choppy and I can’t decide which way to lean: left or right or not at all? Should I close my eyes and hold my breath, clutching the handlebar, preparing for the descent that awaits? Or do I power through, swallow hard and raise my hands overhead to release control entirely? It’s discipline time and suddenly, I feel like we’re back in the newborn days of guess-and-check. I’ve found myself trying on different hats to find a technique that works for both of us, one after another after another, until we find one that fits for a day, but then, no, our head must have grown two sizes since then so fling goes the hat, across the room and we dig, dig, dig for a different one.

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Dear Bee // 47

bee

Dear Bee,

We survived Molar Week, but not without a few bumps and tantrums and sky-rocketing blood pressures along the way, but hey, that’s survival. It’s bloody and scarring, but then you have a really good story to tell your grandchildren over a tall glass of lemonade. “My aching knee,” I’ll say. “And good Lord, those molars in the spring of 2014.”

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Dear Bee // 46

kid-in-sauna

Dear Bee,

When I lived in Los Angeles, I would ride my bike to a local coffee shop to work on writing projects. This was in the early days of blogging and I was convinced I’d pen an ever-so-slightly-embellished memoir about spending my college years in the thick of a formidable religious organization that was perhaps really a glorified cult? I didn’t write the book (thank the Lord), but I did pedal to that tiny coffee shop daily, convinced this would be the day a caffeinated bean would settle into my soul and sprout a brilliant, best-selling work of literature.

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Dear Bee // 45

sick baby

Dear Bee,

We’ve been hit with the sick stick repeatedly, and it is making everyone crazy in this house. You caught your first super high fever a few weeks ago, but didn’t seem phased in the slightest – still jumping on the couch ottomans, higher than high – until boom – everything ached in your tiny little body. Bee, you were miserable. And you whined this sad little cow-sound and lost your appetite and gained a new distaste for everything, even your boyfriend Cailou. Suddenly, we couldn’t fix it.

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Dear Bee // 44

baby-in-bath

Dear Bee,

We are experiencing the weirdest season together. Yesterday I was watching you move our office furniture around (future interiors stylist, called it months ago) and I realized just how comfortable I am with you, how normal you seem to me. You seem like – dare I say it – my daughter. Like you’re going to grow up to become a child, then a teenager, and then a grown-up (but hopefully not too much of a grown-up). You’re an actual person.

I realize this sounds crazy, because of course you are a person, but Bee, babies are these funny little drops of dye that land in our water and swirl and swirl and swirl us around until they change our truest colors. And when you’re in it, you don’t see it. But then we open our eyes a little wider and blink a little harder and realize we’re not quite what we used to be. That you’re not quite what you used to be. We’re yellow now, Bee.

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Dear Bee // 43

bee

Dear Bee,

You’re starting to teach other children bad habits. Sunday, I took you to church for our annual Hanging of the Greens and dropped you off in the nursery to play with fabric food while I stacked Christmas trees and stringed (strung?) ornaments and sipped cocoa. It was a magically delightful night of community and labor, and a few hours later all of the parents picked up their children to witness the most intense squealing baby band we have ever heard. Your father and I like to joke that you don’t laugh, you squeal, because that is the only word to properly capture the sound that spills forth from your lips. It is treacherously delightful, very swine-like and mildly annoying, especially for other parents that don’t love noise, or other people’s children, or other people’s childrens’ noises.

Still, in just two hours, you had singlehandedly convinced each and every tiny soul that squealing was the new laughing, of which I had to apologize on your behalf to each and every tiny soul’s parent. Bee, you are turning us into social outcasts, even among the church-folk who have to like us because Jesus said so.

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Dear Bee // 42

bee

Dear Bee,

You wake up before the sun now and your father nudges me in bed a few times before I realize what’s going on. For a moment, I struggle to remember that you exist, because in my mind, I’ll forever be an eleven year old sleeping on floral sheets surrounded by a few stuffed animals of my own. As I pad into your room, you reach for me, asking for Bump (your bumblebee) or Cack (your stuffed cactus) and I remember my own Paddington and Beauregard and suddenly, the wave of emotion comes over me. When did the days string a garland long enough to create the years that have passed?

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Dear Bee // 41

Mark-and-Graham

Dear Bee,

We’ve been spending a lot of time together, you and me. Last weekend we took our first solo road trip to visit my parents so your dad could have some uninterrupted time to work on home projects. Want to know something cute about your father, Bee? He’s a doer. I’m a sitter/thinker/dreamer, but my gracious does your dad have some serious wind in his sails. We celebrated our eight year wedding anniversary a few weeks ago and I asked him over dinner what he’d do with an entire weekend to himself. “Renovate the basement!” he answered with utter and complete seriousness, so of course, Bee, we totally had to make it happen for him. (It’s also worth noting here that my answer to that same question was to take a getaway to a tropical island for a massage/facial by the ocean and to order room service and eat late-night dinners on white sheets with a line-up of all of my favorite TV shows, but alas, Ken’s dream wins first. Someday it’ll be our turn, Bee, and I’ll bring you along if you’re nice.)

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Dear Bee // 40.

bee

Dear Bee,

Do you remember the night of your birthday party a few month ago? The night with the roasted corn and homemade guacamole, unusually cool temperatures and a quilted-together guest list of family and friends and loved ones? As the party ended and you grew tired, your grandmother suggested we roast marshmallows and tell stories around the fire pit. And Bee, the part of me that is responsible and a touch overprotective started to respond that it was already past your bedtime. But it was your birthday, and something within me wanted to celebrate with you a bit longer. So we stayed. It turned out to be the most magical evening I’ve experienced as your mother.

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Dear Bee // 39.

bee

Dear Bee,

It’s sometimes easier to write these letters when I need a break from you. And let me be clear: I don’t need a break from “you” you – the you that is Bee Loechner, a force of fun and charm and sensitivity and surprise. I need a break from the parts that come with you – the chasing and the second-guessing and the decision-making and the constant finding of that container of Puffs that Bernie stole and hid under his surface of choice. The parts that aren’t really about you at all – they’re about me and my own doubts or insecurities or gosh-darn inability to remember to keep the snacks out of the dog’s reach.

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