We are in Maine. We are enjoying these last few weeks of summer in Vacationland and I can't help but compare my little girl to the baby that we brought here previously. This little girl is my baby and yet, she is so clearly not anymore. She talks constantly and I'm afraid that if I don't document her here than her little sayings may slip to the cobwebby part of brain that holds old recipes and the pythagoriam theorem.
When I say that she amazes me everyday, I mean it. Tonight when I unpacked the groceries, she spent 20 minutes drumming on the boxes of seltzer singing Gotye...which from the mouth of a 2.5 year old sounds more like her shouting "SOMEONE THAT I USED TO KNOW!" over and over again, followed by an enthusiastic "That was my favorite song ever!" or "That was a good song!" Her voice is high-pitched and somewhat nasally and yet everything that comes out of it is music to me.
I woke up this morning to her standing in her Pack N Play, shouting playfully "Hey Mama!" She was all giggles and cuddles after that. She can tell me emphatically what she wants or doesn't want. Food sometimes gets a snarky "Take this away." Or she will point to the edge of her plate and "Put this here," which basically means take this away but I'm trying to spare Mama's hurt feelings. Her demanding "I want this now!" makes me yearn for silence but when she adds a "please" to even her most awful rants, I melt a little.
I picture her mind full of floating jig saw pieces that she is learning how to connect words to objects and experiences, slowly weaving together her own vocabulary. Her sentences have become complex with subject-verb agreement complete with adjectives. When she says particularly impressive, I say "I'm so proud of you." Only now I hear her say it back when I give her dinner or after I finish my run or after a million other tiny things I do, I hear her tiny voice mimicking mine.
At a garden exhibit yesterday, we were surrounded by twenty different kinds of flowers. The flowers stood clustered around each other looking perfectly staged and yet also perfectly natural at the same time. Swarms of butterflies flew around the purple buds and yellow flowers dancing back and forth to each other and Bean and I stood transfixed with our outstretched hands hoping that a butterfly would land on our wayward hands. One tiny butterfly did get so close to Bean that the wings just barely brushed against her finger resulting in fit of giggles. The butterflies scattered and we continued our horticultural journey through the many different colors and smells. When we came to a flower that looked similar to one that we had in our own garden, one that we had watered countless times this summer, Bean looked at me and said "Mama, did you water this flower?" "Mama did you plant this?" Whether she saw the similarities or simply remembered that plants grew from the tiny seeds that we also planted, I was amazed. Amazed at her synapses for making connections. Amazed at her ability to absorb information that I didn't even know I was passing on. Amazed at her ability to inspire me and surprise me all at once.