If I had to pick one word to sum up your personality at this stage in your life, it would be “fun.” Your father and I are constantly swapping stories about the clever things you say, the silly things you do, the adventures you get up to. We so thoroughly enjoy being a part of your life and watching you grow that it’s hard to imagine that there was ever a time when you were not a part of our lives.
For whatever reason, you LOVE to hear about this. To you, it is a great wonder that we existed before you were born, much less that we DID things or KNEW people. Interesting things. Cool people. And to you, these mystery activities and relationships are the makings of fascinating stories, stories that you simply cannot get enough of. Over and over you repeat these stories.
This, Charlotte. I LOVE THIS. People ask me sometimes how it is that I know so much about my family. The answer is that we told a lot of stories, kiddo. Every night we sat down around the dinner table and we ate and we laughed and we shared stories, and all these years later I remember them. Those stories give me a sense of orientation and I love passing them on to you (and watching you dress up later and act them out). I wonder endlessly at what sorts of stories you will help us create, which ones will become family lore and which ones will fade and be forgotten when we’re gone.
But we’re having fun outside of storytelling too. You especially seem to be having quite a bit of fun with your sister.
Charlotte, you are too young right now to grasp the meaning of this particular family story, but when your sister was born, your voice was the first thing she responded to. She was a silent and unhurried baby at birth, but then she heard your voice. She heard you come into the room exclaiming about her new baby, and she picked her head up off my chest and wiggled about as though she were looking for you.
And from that moment, you have been her very favorite person. For nearly a month, you were the only person who could make her smile, and she still makes your father and I earn her laughs but will give you great peals of laughter at every opportunity.
I watch the two of you together and am just left in awe at the relationship you are forging. The two of you are building a friendship that I sincerely hope will endure for many, many decades to come. When I hear both of you giggling together as “Evelyn the Flying Baby” and I chase you around the house or pull you along the floor together on a blanket, I find myself thinking about my own sisters and our relationships. I remember your Auntie E pulling me and a gallon of milk in a wagon on the way home from the corner dairy. I remember having a nightmare once and waking up to your Aunt R tucking me back into bed so that I’d stay warm. I remember climbing in trees with them and pretending we were Olympians on the balance beam our father built and doing cartwheels in the front yard.
And as I remember these things, I look at our relationships today. Your aunts and I sometimes talk very frequently and sometimes do not talk much at all, but there is something about sharing a childhood that creates a bond between two people which cannot be broken. It is a precious relationship, this one that you and Evelyn are growing together, and I genuinely hope that you enjoy experiencing life together for the rest of your days.
Speaking of fun with babies, by the way, you are also very much enjoying this:
I found that old pink scarf in a cabinet the other day. The next weekend your cousins handed you down an old baby doll that you instantly fell head over heels in love with. And boom!, ever since I’ve spent half of each day helping you wrap up your baby the way that I wrap up your sister.
Cutest. Thing. Ever.
May you always enjoy storytelling. May you always appreciate your sister. And may you never lose your creativity, sweet child.
We love you more than bears love honey (and everyone knows that’s an awful lot),
Momma and Daddy