I wrote your sister because she is three months old today. And in my ongoing quest to keep things equal I thought I’d write you, too. I’m not sure if you keep score, but I do in my head. I probably won’t always, but for now, I want so badly to be certain that you never feel like you are getting the shaft.
Today I thought I’d level with you about one thing. Sometimes I have no idea what I am doing. You started playing soccer this month. I don’t think I even know all the rules of soccer. And I am sure I don’t really know how to be a “soccer mom.” I know the last thing in the world I would have expected was to see you run off the field during your first scrimmage in tears. I know I am supposed to talk to you about being a member of a team and give you supportive speeches about never giving up. So that’s what I did. But I have no idea how to keep my body from wanting to run on the field and put my arms around you.
So, yesterday when I told you that I was sure that you were going to have a great game and that you had nothing to be afraid of… I wasn’t being totally truthful. I wasn’t sure that you might not burst in to tears and really hate it when the game started. And I really had no idea how I was going to make it better. I know your soccer league doesn’t keep score, but last night when you looked at me from the field and you gave me a thumbs up and you smiled you earned BIG points with me. Because my post-partum heart just couldn’t handle you hurting. So, thanks for being such a champ, kiddo.
And your bike? Oh man… your bike. Seeing you ride away, watching you start to wobble and then right yourself… it is such a metaphor for parenting. I let you go, watch you wobble along, while I holler “Keep peddling!!! Keep peddling!!” all the while delighting in your fearlessness and wishing you would slow down.
You’re growing up so fast. I brought you with me last weekend when I went to get my nails done and we laughed and for a moment it was like being with one of my girlfriends. I brought you with me when I went to get my IUD inserted and you held Lucy and swayed back and forth and chatted with me about birth control so I could bite my lip with my hands free. The nurse asked me if I wanted her to hold Lucy for me and you piped up “We’re good. I got her.” And you did.
Just when I think you are just too big too fast you make me smile and remind me what a funny little girl you really are. You were big and brave at your soccer game. You did not cry. But you did stop and shove your entire arm down your shorts about fifty times in the course of ten minutes of play. My girl needs her shirt tucked in. Perfectly tucked in. At all times.
I’d laugh about this but I could have predicted it. Apple does not fall far from the tree and all that. Last week, in preparation for your game, I did not google the rules of soccer. I started practicing cute and clever ways to get your bangs out of your face during the game. We might not always know exactly what we’re doing, kiddo. But, dammit, we are gonna look fierce while we try.
I love you, Emily June. I look at your face and in you I see myself looking back. And I love you like crazy. It reminds me that I’m not so bad myself.