Now you are four
Happy birthday darling Rose Raven. Now you are four.
Four years ago, May 9th, I was still taking stock of my lower half, confirming that you did not in fact shoot out of my bottom, as it felt you might, when—twisted umbilicus still spooling out of your belly—someone laid you on my chest.
And I’m not sure what we expected, but everything about you was a surprise. Your olive skin; your cap of shiny, black hair; your mountains and valleys of pudge; your very girlness.
And it’s not that we exactly anticipated another wiry, blonde boy – as if Col were the prototype child, the only possibility to clunk out the assembly line of the Turiel-Hinds loins. No, it’s more that there you were, suddenly outside, your muffin-top face squinched and gorgeous and maybe a bit surprised yourself at where you had landed.
I think sometimes for you being a younger sibling is like trying to ignite a small campfire in the shadow of Mt. Everest while the wind whips about. You’re trying to show off your bright light and meanwhile it seems everyone is gazing up at the highest peak in the world.
Or maybe it’s like being on a perpetual hike with your older sibling, trailing slightly behind him and worrying about him eating all the granola bars. And after walking and walking and finally getting to the glistening waterfall, or the field of columbines, or the steamy hot springs, you find that your brother’s already been there for say, 2 years.
And even though it may seem like you’re always 2nd in line, reaching the summits of reading and bicycling long after the last paparazzi has gone home, the truth is darling, our binoculars are trained on you too.
You’re entirely you’re own little person, comical and fierce, loyal and sweet. Your friends often leave our house with gifts of dress-up clothes and little plastic trinkets, stuffed animals and books that you foist on them like an aggressive street vendor; you get so carried away with the spirit of giving, Col will sometimes step in: “Rosie, actually I wasn’t done playing with that bear.”
Today I heard you telling your assemblage of stuffed animals, “I’ll be back in a wink-eye.” And then you returned to read them a book about the little princess who eats roadkill. Last night when I said that you couldn’t have an apple after brushing your teeth, you disappeared for 2 minutes and then came back to tell me you had some bites of butter instead.
Yesterday you wore pink plaid pajama bottoms under a flowered summer dress, with an extra couple skirts wedged in between. A whole package worth of barrettes hung off your head like brightly colored snapping turtles. “I’m so psyched,” you announced at 6:05 am while Dan and I groped at our coffee, “I’m gonna explode into candy!” And then you twirled around the living room singing Baby Beluga like you were auditioning for the lead role in the new drama: Pippi Longstocking visits the Arctic.
And then Baby Beluga turned into a song about beans. “Beans above and beans below, you’re a little white bean on the go.”
You can be my trail partner any day, Rose.