Letter to my princess: 40 months.
November 26, 2012

Dear Charlotte,

I honestly have no idea where to begin this letter.


You pick out at least 95% of your outfits now - and you’re always pretty proud of it!

Should I start with a discussion about your blossoming curiosity?  A treatise about your never-ending question-asking, your incessant desire to understand why why why and how how how?  An explanation of the extraordinary intellectual leaps you’ve been making over the past couple months?  A list of ways in which your vocabulary is developing (“What shall we do now, Momma?”) (SHALL?!?!) and the frequency with which people now mistake you for being a year or two older than you are because of the way you speak?

Or should I start with your newfound love of artful self-expression?  Should I tell you about the way your eyes light up when you see collage materials and scissors on the table after naptime?  Should I make jokes about your love affair with stamps and ink pads?  Should I tell you about the many, many afternoons you spend with a paintbrush in hand, covering your body in paint, exclaiming proudly at your masterpiece, then splashing around as a “bubble mermaid” in the tub afterwards?  Or tell you about the way you burst with pride when you “write” your relatives’ names in squiggles across a paper?  Or explain how much I love walking past our fridge and seeing the drawing you made of us together?


Those papers never got a lick of paint on them, but our porch is still coated in blue and green footprints!

Maybe I should tell you how damned adorable it is seeing you mimic our daily activities – from carrying your babies in your sling to hanging up onesies “to dry” with clothespins, from giving your dolls a bath in an old peppermint bark tin to making believe that you are cooking with Daddy in the playroom.  Maybe I should relate your love of hide-and-seek.  Maybe I should discuss your obsession with all things fantasy – your fascination with the princess get-up your cousins gave you, your constant appeals to me to buy a pet dragon (“it won’t be too big, Momma, it can live outside”), your love of the monster books we received in our French-English book exchange a few months ago.

(Just last night, your father tried to convince you to help him cook dinner, but you refused.  You were too busy playing make-believe.  “No, I can’t!“ you told him.  “I have to go to Wild Island!  I have to rescue the baby dragon!“  And then we heard you banging around in the spare bedroom talking to yourself and lost in your imagination for a solid forty minutes afterwards, dictating your adventures on Wild Island.  I guess all that bedtime reading of My Father’s Dragon is rubbing off on you.)

Maybe I should talk about your developing interest in music, about the way you demand your “children’s music” in the car (we’ve been listening to an absurd amount of Minicroche lately) or the way you hit the dance floor at your Aunt L’s wedding and just boogied the night away.  Or maybe I should tell you about your newfound love of the Olympics, about the way you sometimes request old YouTube clips of gymnasts from Olympics past and the way you can recite Olympian divers’ names the way some children recite Disney characters or letters of the alphabet.


Taking a break from some of your crazy dance moves at Aunt L’s wedding.  You were so excited about showing off the baby (ten days old).

Or maybe I should tell you how much joy it brings me to see your fascination with, understanding of, and connection with the natural world unfurl.  Maybe I should focus on how sweet it is to wander down to the creek with you on a lazy day or discuss how enamored you are of climbing trees and playing hide-and-seek with your grandparents or tell you about the elaborate nature stories you concoct with only a single pebble as your inspiration.

Or maybe I should tell you how incredible it has been to see you slide effortlessly into the role of being a loving big sister.  Maybe I should tell you how much your father and I love the way you love Evelyn.  Maybe I should tell you how sweet it is to see your sister calm when she hears you singing her a lullaby – you always sing her “Une Souris Verte” – or to watch her turn her head about curiously when she hears your voice in the morning.


Holding “your baby” when she was about 15 hours old.  What a happy big sister!

It’s all so amazing, so unbelievably amazing, that I cannot even begin to capture the magic of this age with you in words.

What I can say, sweetheart, is that your father and I are loving every moment we have with you.  We have loved watching you grow and change from the day we knew you were alive in my womb and we are always thrilled to be a part of your life.  Every night, your father goes through the bedtime routine with you – brushing your teeth, putting on your pajamas, reading a book or a chapter from a book, singing some songs together, and finally laying beside you until you drift to sleep.  Then he slips out of the bedroom, comes to the living room, and we spend time recounting stories of our time with you that day.  You are, to us, a most wonderful miracle.

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

** Charlotte is three years and four months old.  Evie is three weeks old.


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  1. By on November 26, 2012

    Too cute for words!  Not to pry, but do you think at some point you might write a blog with Evelyn’s birth story?  Of course that’s 100% up to you but I know I would love to hear about it in whatever detail tou choose to share!

  2. By Sarah Christensen on November 26, 2012

    Hmmm…I don’t know yet how much I’m going to share about Evelyn’s birth.  I’ve told pieces of Charlotte’s birth story but kept the details private because I feel like it’s sort of HER story, not mine, if that makes sense, and I feel the same way about Evelyn’s birth right now too.  I don’t mind discussing most of it, but I feel like the details are HERS.  And without the intimate details, I always wonder if a birth story is really worth telling?

    That said, as time has passed I’ve felt much less private about Charlotte’s birth story simply because she has other stories that she owns that don’t wind up on this blog - and in most of those circumstances, she is an active participant and she now remembers those stories independently of us.  By contrast, she has no recollection of her birth story or of the hours and days that followed, so it doesn’t seem like her birth is as sacred as some of those other stories.

    I’ll have to think about it; I didn’t think the birth story was something people were particularly interested in, but I’ll consider what I’m comfortable sharing and not and make a decision sometime soon.

  3. By on November 28, 2012

    Hi Sarah,

    Congratulations on the birth of Evelyn!! And thank you for continuing to share some of your family with us out in the wide world of the internet. I’d like to second the idea of being interested in the birth story!! Of course you have reasons to keep it private, but I’d love to hear your experience—particularly because we seem to share the values of low-intervention, natural, body-empowered birth!

    Best wishes,
    Joanna

  4. By Amber on November 28, 2012

    This is a magical blog post. Beautiful, Sarah <3

  5. By on November 29, 2012

    Aw! How sweet as always! Although I was (at first) seething with non-threatening jealousy that Charlotte would use, “Shall” in a sentence. But yesterday NIkola did it too! “Shall you join me in bed?“ Than he answered himself, “OF COURSE you will”. Is it these fancy preschools they go to, or just our amazing parenting?...lol

  6. By Sarah Christensen on November 29, 2012

    LOL Mary!  I think we should give ourselves the pat on the back - Charlotte’s preschool is in French, so she didn’t hear “shall” there!

    Cute little Nikola!  We need to see you guys again soon!!


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