Dear Little Miss Independence

While I’ve long admired¬†blogs like this one for the tender way the mamas write to their kiddos, I’ve been too overwhelmed with parenting to document said parenting. Now that our daughter is almost ONE YEAR OLD (how.is.this.possible???), I am getting into gear. (How I covet GoGoGadget arms.) So here’s a letter to our daughter, in part to remind me that for all the angst and worry and fear there is an unequally abundant portion of joy, and more goodness than I can measure.

Dear Little Miss,

When you were an infant, you (like all infants, I’m told) hated loud noises. The coffee grinder, the vacuum cleaner, the lawn mower, they all made you cry. (Everyone mows the lawn with their baby in a stroller nearby, right?).

But today when I got out the vacuum to do a quick sweep of the kitchen floor, you came charging toward it in your best, most intimidating crawl. (You started crawling 3 days ago. It has been a looonnnng 72 hours.)

You shrieked the I’m-gonna-get-you howl you persist on using with the kitty cat (despite my patiently logical explanations that such noises deter rather than attract the object of your desire).

You chased me and the vacuum through the house shrieking. I stopped to take a picture.

Baby Vs Vacuum

Baby Vs Vacuum

I think you were after the cord. You adore electrical cables of all kinds, little rabbit. Life on the edge, I guess. It keeps Mutti hopping.

In the past few months, you have made it very clear that it would be better for everyone if you fed yourself. You loudly advocate for control of the spoon. You have been holding your own bottle since you were four months old, and pitching it onto the floor since six months.

You croon along with Mutti’s singing and clap joyfully when Mama comes home from work and light up like fireworks when we visit your mom Lisa.

More and more often, your moms look at one another and sigh and say: “there she is, our little girl. All grown up.” Overhearing us, strangers laugh, because they just see a baby. But we see YOU, little one, the fierce personality that has always been there, just waiting for us to get out of the way (and provide enough milk, thank you very much) so that you could emerge.

In honor of YOU and your fierce personality, Mutti got you this shirt:

Miss Independent

Miss Independent

2013-07-03 18.18.35

Almost a year old!

It was *technically* a size too small, but LOOK! It fits. Oh how it fits.

Here’s to you, little one: to crawling, to charging, to independence. We celebrate you and all you are. We LOVE being your family.

So charge ahead! But hang on to Mama and Mutti’s hands for a little while longer, ok? We aren’t ready to let you go into the wild alone just yet.

Much love,
your adoring Mutti

Your Name

Hi squeak,

We have, all three of us, decided on your name!

We met at the agency today to sign a piece of paperwork called an “Openness Agreement.” It basically says how your three mommies plan to build a family together that you can count on, one that will love and support you no matter what. This paper was just for the agency and the lawyers, but it was like a small step toward the covenant we are writing.

Why a covenant? Well, a covenant is a sacred agreement, like the rainbow that God showed to the people on the ark, promising to keep the Earth safe. A covenant is a promise that you keep with your whole heart. Your Mutti and Mama covenant to claim and love and raise you while nurturing a close relationship with your Tummy Mommy and her family. And your Tummy Mommy and her family covenant to entrust your Mutti and Mama to care for you. That is such a big thing. So this was just one little step but it felt like a HUGE HUGE thing and made Mutti cry a bunch in the car afterwards.

Your Tummy Mommy is so amazing. She told us she had begun calling you E– and that’s when Mutti’s heart leaped and she thought your name was really true and right. We three mommies talked about names at the Chinese Garden several weeks ago. We thought of Brielle, Maya, and Mia. Then Mutti and Mama talked at home and thought of Spanish names to honor the stories of your great-grandfather who worked his way from Mexico to Sacramento during the 30s and 40s. Mama said “what about E–?” and Mutti’s heart did a little whirl of happiness and she said YES! So we asked Tummy Mommy and she liked it, too, and thought your name is unique but not so unique that everyone at school will mispronounce it.

Then there’s this woman in the movies who is very good with a sword.

I hope you like your name, that it suits you. You can be Elle or Lea. Really, you can be whoever you like, squeak, and we will love you completely.

The time is getting short and we can’t wait to meet you. Stay safe, little one, and dream big dreams.

So much love,
your Mutti

Vulnerable = Beautiful

Dear bug,

We’ve been having the best meetings and email messages with the best Tummy Mommy in the whole world. I am starting to get very excited about the idea that you are here, just waiting to be born.

Your Mama and I have been working on figuring out two very important things: food and poop. Yesterday I met the nicest lesbian couple who talked to me for a surprisingly long time about cloth pocket diapers. It seems everyone has an opinion and many mommies are extroverts. You have two introverted mommies (and I think an intoverted tummy mommy, too)…I hope that suits you, since I think you are going to be a Leo (RAWR) and Leos are not exactly known for being shy.

While it has been super exciting to get ready to welcome you into the world, it has been overwhelming, too. All this waiting and hoping. And now more waiting and planning. We want so much to know that you are ours, that we really really do get to be your mommies.

Mutti’s friends, especially Auntie Mellie and Auntie Tara, have been helping out a lot. Because while food and poop are super high on the list (as I’m sure you’ll agree), vulnerability is also important.

Last night while she was not working on the paper she was supposed to be writing because she was having emotions, Mutti saw the best TED talk. Brene Brown said that whole-hearted people believe that what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful. (See below – the good stuff starts at 7:46).

That seems so true of babies, don’t you think? All that needing food and having poop is what will enable you and I become quick friends. I will be right there for you in those vulnerable places. You can count on me.

And I am vulnerable, too. Now for a mommy to be vulnerable might seem like a bad idea, like weakness or irresponsibility.

But here’s the thing, bug: we are, all of us who love you, very vulnerable. Mama is vulnerable because she knows how much it hurts to leave the hospital with her arms empty and her breasts full. Your Tummy Mommy is vulnerable because she has to make a huge decision that will affect the rest of your life and no one but her can make it. And your Mutti is vulnerable because she is changing her life to be able and present to parent you, not knowing if she will get the chance.

We are, all of us, so vulnerable because we care so deeply and love so much. While that is risky, it is also right. Loving this way is to open our whole hearts to joy, to be a wide meadow of wildflowers in the summer breeze. While I don’t know what will happen, I do know that this is how I want to live. I want to be all in, holding nothing back.

I’m all in, bug…for you. For me. For all of us who love you.

In wide wide wildflower love,
Mutti