Wednesday, January 9, 2013

. . . the day to adorable day

Averie Lucia rocks.
She still does.
Nearly six years into her life, she is such an amazing little girl.

She has a new favorite color.  It's red.

She still loves to dance, and she dances well.  She is, in her heart and in her movements, a dancer.  Once in the pink, now in the blue, and looking ever ahead to the black, strapped, feminine leotard that will be her uniform next year.

She loves school.  The (very, very, very late) arrival of the "Math Box" has been the biggest event of the year for her.  Counting bears, rulers, a balance, geoboards, tangrams, linking cubes, shapes, a colorful menagerie of things to touch and move and measure and weigh and count.  It is fast becoming her favorite part of the day, and she often begs to use the parts well after the school day is done.

She loves trains, planes and automobiles.  She watches "Cars" - both I and II repeatedly on movie nights, and knows all the jokes by heart.  She can identify a Ferrari, a Chinook and a 'Steamie' with ease and enthusiasm.  She has a bigger hot wheels collection than her Dadoo ever did, and miles upon miles of track for her engines.

She wears dresses.  And skirts.  And gowns.  She will always do as she's asked if encouraged to wear leggings or jeans, but her favorite attire is feminine and ruffled and twirly and fun.  She loves having her toes painted.

She loves her little sister.  She is a wonderful, wonderful big sister.  She is a helper, a nurturer, a teacher, never far from her 'baby', never late with her advice or help or words of experiential wisdom ("No, Isla, that will burn you.  Ee-ee* touched a light bulb once and it burned her").  She reads to this little shadow of hers, telling her with great detail all the ins and outs of the stories.  She rests with her, helps comfort the two-year-old who is fretful with the onset of sleepiness.  She races to remove a 'choking hazard'.  She hugs her and whispers, "I love you, Isla" at prayers.  "Goodnight, sweetheart!" she shouts as her sister races out the door.

She is kind, funny, intelligent, loving, the sweetest five-year-old-baby-adorable you've ever seen.

*"Ee-ee" is the name the baby sister gave her big sister when she couldn't pronounce "sister" or "sissy". Averie, when speaking of herself to her sister, refers to herself as "Ee-ee", too.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

the serious question

Summer was huge this year.  And in no small part because of the Olympics.

The Olympics were even more huge than the summer itself.  First of all, they were in England, in London, home of Princess Kate and all things *Royal*.  What more could you ask for.  But then, there's a Queen, and some fireworks and dancers and "costumes" and stuff.  And gymnastics (another post entirely). And swimmers. And runners. And jumpers.  And flags. And music. Lots of music. 

And in the midst of it all, especially the music, the brilliantly-adorable five-year-old, who'd been concentrating with intensity throughout every single musical interlude, posed the question of the millenium:

"Mama, what did God save the Queen from?"

Love her.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

. . . the pool, like a pro.

Last year, at four-and-five-months, we-the-parents enrolled our precious girl in swimming lessons at the YMCA.  Ah, the thrill of it, our little baby learning to swim.  Ah, the wonder, the dreams, the plans - weekends at the beach with our growing girl gliding through the waves, Saturdays spent at some remote mountain lake watching her sweet face popping up out of the water, holidays at the Auntie and Uncle's with pool time meaning real swimming.  We-the-family were set.  We-the-family were excited.  It was going to be grand!

The sweetest girl was excited, too. Right up until the moment she had to step through the fence into the pool area and walk over to the group of children waiting with greatly mixed emotions for the class to begin.  Some of the children seemed happy and excited to be there.  Most of the children seemed to have buddies already in attendance.  And little Bee was absolutely terrified.

She was terrified, but brave. She walked with her very loud, very jolly, very bold swim coach over to the side of the pool.  She followed instructions and sat down on the edge.  But when the stranger (because that's what he was, honestly, a stranger) tried to coax her into the water by picking her up, the tears began.

She did get into the water.  And she did do the first floating task.  But once the coach pushed her under the water, she was done.  Frankly, so was her mother.

Needless to say, the week wasn't what we expected and we did not spend the rest of the summer vacationing a-la 'Baby' at some amazing mountain lake resort.

In the end, brave girl switched to a softer, gentler coach, a sweet and kind young lady who had exactly the right touch, and Averie spent the remaining weeks of swim class happily kicking around on a board, blowing bubbles and splashing safely and confidently.

A year later, we-the-parents were certain we would absolutely not enroll the five and five month girl in the program again.  We would be the ones to lovingly and kindly teach our Bee to swim.  And our first adventure of the year took place at the aforementioned Auntie and Uncle's pad - a ten day vacation which saw the six of us spending every single day in the pool.  It was grand.  It was fun. It was the best part of the summer.

Even with the amazing coaching of her Uncle, a great swimmer and former life guard, Averie still refused to  venture into the realm of swimming.  Even with a flotation device strapped around her chest, she would not pick up her tiny little feet and kick.

Until we returned home and took a Saturday trip up to the YMCA, the same spot that saw the disaster of last year's teaching attempts.  But this time, this year, this summer, the bravest swimmer, the fastest swimmer in the world (take that Michael Phelps), strapped on her life-vest, stepped into the pool and SWAM her way , past the three-foot-six-inch mark, all the way to the four-foot-six-inch-mark!  Over and over, around and around, up and down the length and width of the pool she went.

She was amazing.  Day after day, she continued.  A trip to the natatorium saw the same determined strokes, this time all the way to the deepest part of the pool.  Say it again, she was amazing.

And we-the-parents, as the proud parents of an amazing swimmer, the fastest one in the world, again look forward to next summer's trip to the mountains, where in some freshwater lake, (maybe at a place like Kellerman's) we'll celebrate with our little fish.

Friday, March 23, 2012

. . . a prayer


Just like that.  It is a statement, not a question, not a calling, neither a wish nor a command, just a statement.  


"Ma-ma," said the baby.
"Maaaaah-maaaahhhhh," said the toddler.
"Ma-ma?" said the three-year-old-adorable.
"Mama," says the five-year-old.

"Mama. You know, I pray every day."

Actually, Mama did not know that, not in the way the grown-up-girl means it.  Not in the way that clearly means "on my own", "not with you", not at meal or bed times, but "all by myself".

"You do, Averie?"

"Yes. Everyday, Mama.  I pray every day."
"Mama, do you remember that day when I went to go tt and then there was a spider, that big, huge, humongous, spider, in my potty? Do you remember, Mama? Every day, when I go in the bathroom, I pray every day that the spider won't be in the potty."

Monday, February 27, 2012

. . . the fancy

Every single day, Averie asks to dress up.  Sometimes this means in actual costume, like on her birthday when she decided to become Francisco the Party-Indian.  Most often, she just wants to dress up: ball gown or other suitable dress, tights, shoes, ribbons, jewelry, tiara, the works.  Nearly every single day, Mama lets her.  Because really, how many days in the life of a grown-up can one spend wearing an extravagant ball gown?

And so, day in and day out, the girly-est of girls finishes her breakfast, requests a wardrobe change, and proceeds through the rest of her day bedecked in her finest, fanciest fashion.  It's how we do school, how we eat lunch, how we clean up, how we nap.  The big sister doesn't leave her 'baby' out of the fun either, and always makes sure her little sister has something equally fine and fancy to slip into.

Knowing her penchant for the fancy in all areas of her life, we-the-parents were only mildly surprised (but still greatly amused) when she expressed her fondness for the automobile she glimpsed in the Waffle House parking lot:
"I'm a fan of fancy blue cars with fancy headlights."
Equally fancy is her recently adopted standard reply to her Dadoo's requests ...
Dadoo:  "Averie, will you pick up the cereal that's spilled all over the floor and take it to the trash?"
Averie: "Word up."
Yeah. Fancy that.

Monday, February 20, 2012

. . . five

It's a milestone. One of those numbers that feels weighty and significant.  And the baby-turned-toddler-turned-little girl-adorable reached it today, a sweet bundle of smiles and laughter and readiness on her fifth birthday.

She remembered last night that we dress up the house the night before this anniversary and asked her dear Dadoo if he and Mama were "going to decorate after I go to bed".  Funny how one year changes things, how a year ago yesterday she didn't remember about that tradition and was genuinely surprised to wake on her fourth and find dinosaurs and balloons adorning the table.  This morning, though, our girl smiled widely  when she saw the streamers in spite of her foreknowledge.  It is still a precious view - her in pink little girl jammies, tip-toeing out to see what kind of party spectacle is waiting for her.

When asked on her last day of four-dom what she liked best about being four, Averie replied without pause, "I liked best being a big sister".

And last night, as she lay snuggled up next to her Mama beneath her 'princess canopy' in her twin sized bed, her last four-year-old words were, "Is it time to get up yet? Will you lay by me?  I love you, Mama."

Oh, Averie. Mama loves you, too.

Happy Birthday, my Darling.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

. . . the vernacular

Four-year-olds have a lot to say.  There is a lot going on in their worlds, and a lot going on in their minds.  Regarding her world, Averie says:
"If we don't have sugar, then little kids can't have any candy."
"I love this salad dressing. Italian, its my favorite. I'll eat it 'til I go to heaven."
"Mama, please can you plant a tomato tree?"
"That music was hittin' on me. I felt it and I was like, just dancin'."
"This ice cream is making me hot hands."
"Mama, I rub your kisses in so they stay in my heart."
Wait, what? 
Did you say, "Awww, that's adorable?" 
Thought you did.