Dearest Beautiful Girl-
At 11 weeks old, you have fallen in love. Her name is Star, and her craft paper body hangs tantalizingly over our bed, riding the heater vent current and dancing just especially for you. No person nor thing can capture your imagination as reliably as beautiful dangling she – you greet her with the most generous of heart bursting smiles, and it’s all I can do not to melt into a giant puddle of jealousy.
The words on your wall, painted there before I knew you, were first to the Little Prince: “Only you will have stars that can laugh.” I wonder how you know. I wonder how I knew. Magical happenings.
Tiny you, you are already waging war against our addiction to screens with your giant blue eyes and your stubborn old soul. Even on your happiest days, in the middle of your lightest moods, you pout pointedly at the appearance of an iPhone, a camera, or a computer. No one will believe me that you are the most delightful, borderline giddy kiddo most of the time – all evidence is to your marked disapproval of all things electronic. You are a lover of wind and trees, of intentional snuggling, of prolonged eye contact, and you have little use for gadgetry.
Sometimes, late at night, I wake to the sound of you stirring and open my eyes to find you watching me sleep. When our eyes meet, you close yours and are out in moments. Nothing has ever been more precious to me than those moments with you.
You can almost fit your whole hand in your mouth now. Why you want to, I don’t know, but you’ll gladly gag yourself in your determined pursuit of your goal. You are your mother’s daughter.
You know all the secrets, and you whisper them to me when you join us in our bed in the early hours of the morning, beating my cheeks with your fists and murmuring all the wonders of the world in your sleep. Later, you’ll smile at the blank spot on the wall for decades of minutes and I’ll dream up the residue of your connection to heaven, the magic someones and echoes that your unjaded eyes can still see. I dream my grandfather hovering there, his hair standing on static electric end as he fastens invisible balloons to the wall. I envy your blurry baby eyes.
No one, short of Star, can hold your attention like Daddo. Though you seldom let him catch you, I’ve seen you staring at him when you think no one is looking. Don’t worry – I feel the same way about him. Your secret is safe with me.
As I have promised you, tiny Beautiful Girl, I will paint you pictures and sing you songs. We will walk these streets and breathe this air and feel the wind until you fall asleep snuggled. These arms are yours as long as you’ll have them – together we will write your name in the sand and build your big beautiful life out of twigs and crayons and dough and laughter and love. We will claim this place as your home. The three of us, now, ours.