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May 11, 2010

Lately Piper’s been putting herself to sleep like a champ. We do bath, jammies and bottle and she goes into the crib to listen to her story. When the story’s over we leave and she just, hangs out.

We let her keep her Violet dog toy along with Mr Quackers, her lovie. After I leave and there’s no screaming for the 5th night in a row, I carry the monitor out to the backyard with me while I water the plants. There are no caterpillars today, but  theres a kink in my hose someplace and while I’m tracking it down I listen to her push the buttons inside Violet’s paws and make the music start over and over and over and over. She listens to it for a little while and then pushes a different button. This time Violet asks for a hug. I wonder if Piper gives her one.

I water the broccoli and think about how awesome it is that she’s got the confidence to put herself to sleep lately, and I think about when I was a young girl waiting for my parents to leave me alone in my bed with my imagination. I always had so many things to think about before sleep. So many imaginary scenarios that I needed to play out, built like castles in the sky around something I’d read or seen or heard that day. So much for my little girl mind to get done before I could rest.

I wonder what she thinks about as she listens to the music again and again.

I water the tomatoes and think about how it is that a broccoli became a broccoli and a tomato became a tomato. What makes them different? How did the broccoli decide that its leaves needed to be so bold and serious? Is it because heads of broccoli are so very serious looking? What about the tomatoes? A sillier looking plant you will rarely see. If you consider the plant as a whole it look ridiculous, even without hundreds of caterpillar holes in the leaves. But I get it, the leaves gather the sun and the rain and funnel it all perfectly. Watering them both I watch the water pool at the bases of the plants, right where it’s needed.

But the carrot. I only have one root vegetable planted in this, my very first garden, so I admit I have no idea what I’m talking about. But carrots are just so mysterious. You can’t tell what’s down there without completely ending the party, so you need to be sure before you pull them up. And how the thing survives until someone comes along to liberate it from the dirt I have no idea. The carrot tops themselves seem to practically wilt when I water them. They just fan out and around and seemingly do a terrible job of getting the water to where the actual plant is. But then again, the root IS the whole plant, which is in the ground, all of which is now wet because of the fanning of the carrot top itself. Obviously I have a lot to learn about gardening.

I know a lot of people who say that they never truly believed in God at all until they had a child. The inability to trust faith and not require proof is pretty universal it seems. I know it’s hard for many of us, including myself. But for many children do offer proof of some kind, or at least it seems that way when they’re yours. They are so very much more than just the sum of their parts. There is so very much more happening inside that tiny mind than what was put inside of it by the genes her father and I passed on, she’s only 1 and I can see that as easily as I can see the surviving tomatoes starting to ripen. I have no idea what made them choose today to begin, but they have. Yesterday they were green green green like the grass but today a gentle orange tint is starting to push at the skin from the flesh inside. It looks like magic, just like the light in her eyes that seems to come from a rainbow. We still haven’t decided what color they are you know. Some days we say hazel, others gray or green.

How does a tomato know it’s supposed to be a tomato?  What is she thinking about after I close the door, listening to her music in her crib and putting herself to sleep like a whole person?  Who will she be someday? How will she know whether she’s supposed to be a ballerina or an engineer? A writer or an astronaut? What magic will I watch push out from the mind inside of this child, who I made with my body, turning her life beautiful colors?

I water the carrots and I think about God, and my daughter.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2010 7:41 pm

    This is beautiful. And I got a little teary-eyed… maybe because it’s so beautiful and maybe a little because I’m sleep deprived. But I loved it. 🙂

  2. May 11, 2010 7:54 pm

    ok… thanks for making me cry. but it is so true. i wonder the same things.

  3. thenextmartha permalink
    May 11, 2010 7:55 pm

    This was very sweet.

  4. May 11, 2010 8:47 pm

    I have no words, except to say that you’re wonderful. Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us.

  5. May 11, 2010 8:55 pm

    Wow. That was an awesome post. Loved it.

  6. Robyn permalink
    May 11, 2010 10:27 pm

    Wow. When I have kids, will you write them love letters on my behalf? Amazing.

  7. May 12, 2010 5:23 am

    What a beautiful post!

  8. May 12, 2010 7:38 am

    Really, really beautiful words, Mae. You’re so right about seeing and believing in God once a child is born. Life truly is a miracle in so many ways.

  9. May 12, 2010 9:59 am

    Gorgeous post. I love it.

  10. May 12, 2010 10:08 am

    This was beautiful. So eloquently written and so heartfelt. I look at my children and am continually amazed. I too wonder what their little minds are doing, seeing and thinking about. You can spend endless hours just thinking about it.

  11. May 12, 2010 10:15 am

    Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing!

  12. May 12, 2010 1:54 pm

    This is lovely and seems like the very best way to end your day.

  13. May 12, 2010 4:26 pm

    Mae, this was really inspiring. I often find myself wondering the very same things. It would be amazing to see things from their perspective. Hudson gets SO excited just doing the simplest things for the first time & I just think- WOW! What it must feel like to learn these things for the first time? And how sad it is that I’ve no memory of learning and doing and thinking things for the first time myself. Great post.

  14. May 12, 2010 7:16 pm

    It’s already fairly established how badly I want the mom-kid thing, but now you have me wanting a garden of deep thoughts and good food. Blargh!

    aka, I think this is a beautifully written entry.

  15. May 12, 2010 8:48 pm

    This is your best post yet, Mae. Just beautiful 🙂

  16. May 12, 2010 8:54 pm

    Love it!

  17. May 13, 2010 1:52 am

    THIS is why you’re so amazing.
    absolutely beautiful.

  18. January 3, 2015 5:22 pm

    I’m not wohtry to be in the same forum. ROTFL

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