Letter to my warrior: 23 months.
June 21, 2011

Dear Charlotte,

The last month has been really rough for our family, in large part because all three of us spent the majority of it sick.  Coughing until we vomited and/or bled sick.  High fevers sustained over several days regardless of intervention sick.  Blowing our noses so much that ears popped painfully for days and our jaws ached sick.

When you spend a month more or less feeling like death warmed over, it’s hard to think of anything extraordinary to write about.  Almost all of the ordinary things we do – hikes, trips to the zoo, girls’ night with you and your love-aunts, playdates at the park, crafts at the museum, etc. – were cancelled this month and we spent the vast majority of our time at home.

I’m pointing this out because all of this being constantly disease-ridden taught me something about you, something I never knew before, and that is that you are a warrior.  A tiny, mighty warrior.  When you had been feverish and red and furiously ill for days on end, you never cried.  You clung to me, naked skin pressed against naked skin, listless and clammy and exhausted, but you never cried.  When I wanted to moan and gripe, you smiled.

Forget not that the Earth delights to feel your bare feet and that the wind longs to play with your hair.    -  Khalil Gibran

Obviously I would have preferred to find this out through a more pleasant experience, but Charlotte?  I have never, NEVER, been more proud of you than I was watching you roll with the punches that brought me to my knees.

I think sometimes that it is easy to forget that children are people too.  Tots like yourself are small and do not communicate effectively and often seem unreasonably demanding or unyielding.  If an adult operated as a toddler did, we would think them appallingly egocentric, rude, unclean, and dimwitted.  So it’s easy to dismiss a small child, to put them in a class of their own somewhere above wolverines and below civilized adults.

But when I saw you fighting off the plague with a grin across your face, determined to enjoy life regardless of how miserable you must have felt, you suddenly seemed to me to be an example of the person I would like to be.  An example of the adult I want to become: resilient, persistent, irrepressibly happy.

Two years ago, I would have never thought that you would teach me, but there you have it.  You are my greatest teacher.  And oh, how I love learning so.

I love you more than bears love honey (and everybody knows that’s an awful lot),

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  1. By Jessika on June 21, 2011

    The photo of her standing on the wheelbarrow? Priceless. One of my favorite photos you’ve posted.

    Sorry you’ve been so sick. Here’s hoping the rest of the summer is much, much more enjoyable.

  2. By Ashley Austrew on June 21, 2011

    Ahh, the dreaded summer sickness! I had that, too, and it seemed like it was NEVER going to end. Beautiful post, as always. Hope you guys are getting back on your feet. The little warrior is looking sweeter than ever.

  3. By Kara @ Just 1 Step on June 21, 2011

    Aw this is so sweet!! I hope you are all starting to feel better.  Sickness is so hard to deal with in a child, much less when you have it yourself!

  4. By Donna on June 21, 2011

    They do teach us a lot and we learn about ourselves from them in so many ways. Beautiful pictures.

  5. By Catherine on June 21, 2011

    I love how children naturally just make the most out of any circumstance, even if it sucks, they just find the happiness because that’s what they know.  Glad to read you all are on the mend!  Charlotte is growing up so much!  She looks so much like you! Lovely!

  6. By Aura on June 21, 2011

    This is a beautiful post. We have so much to learn from our little ones :)

    Thank you so much for your sweet message, Sarah. I actually am switching domain hosting for bark and leaves, so my email is down! So I think your email must be lost somewhere in internet land.
    My veggie garden was spared, just my flower gardens and landscaping were destroyed, so I don’t have to completely start over. And our Oklahoma Summers are so ridiculously hot, that anything you plant past May burns up and dies, anyway. So I’m thankful to not have to replant.
    Thank you again for your message, and the seed offerings :)

  7. By Nikki {Perpetually Engaged} on June 21, 2011

    So resilient.  Glad you had eachother to make it through. What a cutie she is!

  8. By Wendy Irene on June 21, 2011

    That was so beautiful Sarah!!  It touched my heart.  The pictures of your daughter are stunning.  She is a gorgeous warrior.  Have a wonderful evening!

  9. By on June 21, 2011

    Sorry to hear y’all have been sick.

    In the ‘23 months beautiful’ pic, she has your EXACT smile =)

  10. By Alicia S. on June 22, 2011

    Ughhhhhh, us too! This is my first summer as a sahm—I’ve been looking forward to it for so long—and all we’ve gotten out of it so far has been a house full of 4 sick, miserable, bed-ridden people all month, 3 of them being children… in fact we have the third doctor’s appointment in two weeks at 1:00 today… no fun at all :-(

  11. By Taryn on June 22, 2011

    I love that you can find so much positive in a month of ickiness!
    I think babies often deserve more credit than we give them. I know my Charlotte constantly surprises and amazes me with her strength, good nature, and stoicism. I could definitely learn a thing or two from her :)

  12. By Melissa @TakeAnotherStepMelissa on June 22, 2011

    I’m so sorry you haven’t been feeling well. I hate more than anything when my daughter feels bad, I know you just want to take their pain away. She sounds like such a trooper! Way to go mom! You’re raising a tough little lady!
    That picture of her by the wheelbarrow is adorable. She is a beauty.

  13. By on June 22, 2011

    Oh no! Sick in the Summer is the worst. I am so sorry to hear that. Charlotte sounds like a champ! Very impressive. I hope you are all feeling better soon so you can be up and at em again soon. Lots of fun Summer still to be had!

  14. By elzimmy on June 22, 2011

    Sorry for all the sickness but isn’t funny how we learn lessons in the most unexpected ways?





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