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Archive for the ‘September 2013’ Category

lyla flowerDear Lyla,

When I look at you I can clearly see both daddy and me staring back. You have the color of my eyes, but the slope of his forehead. His nose sits squarely in the middle of your face while my hair provides the frame for your face. It will be all but impossible for you to deny your parentage; our DNA has lefts its unalterable mark on you. Although your chromosomal inheritance is clear in your physicality, it is your mannerisms and your language choices that truly reveal your lineage. Often I will hear you utter phrases that parrot my own language choices and I am taken aback at how much you have already assimilated from daddy and myself. Your penchant for science fiction at the tender age of six is entirely daddy’s fault and your need for happy endings with a soundtrack rest entirely upon my shoulders.  Since you began to speak I have marveled at how much of our family history is already embedded into your vocabulary. The ability to turn a phrase or tell a story is certainly part of one’s personality, but it occurs to me it is also a map of one’s family culture. I often hear myself responding to someone that I am “finer than a frog’s hair.” While the chuckle in response is certainly gratifying and I would like to think myself clever; the use of that phrase is most likely due to the fact that I heard my grandfather say that more times than I can count. My uttering the phrase keeps him in the present with me even though he passed away when I was in the seventh grade. Language is a way to keep my dad close as well. Although you never met Bumpa or listened to him spin a colorful yarn, he has certainly influenced you. When you get yourself into a sticky situation and I say “you are up a creek without a paddle,” that’s Bumpa talking to you. When I get frustrated and say, “I am as unhappy as an outhouse mouse,” you are hearing your Bumpa. Grandma Jo also has a specific vernacular all of her own and I am afraid you and I will both someday lament our housekeeping and say “It looks like the wreck of the Hespers in here.” Or we will make a silly mistake and declare “Right church, wrong pew.” The point is Little One that we are more than our DNA. We are a reflection of our familial heritage and those who go before us live through us in many different ways. You come from a long line of talkers Little One; your ancestors have left you with a hefty collection of colloquialisms and one-liners…use them well.

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lyla colorDear Lyla,

Sometimes change is hard. Often when it seems like you have a handle on this game called life, someone comes along and changes the rules. Getting used to new ideas and experiences can be a little scary. When you came home from the first day of school and I asked you how it went and you replied, “Mrs. Taylor did not do her job last year;” I knew you had inherited my predisposition to be a bit wary of change. Apparently, according to you, Mrs. Taylor (whom you adore by the way) did not do things in precisely the manner in which Mrs. M. (whom you also adore) does and thus….”first grade is going to be really hard and Mrs. M. says there is going to be A LOT of homework.” Now that you are almost a month into your first grade experience it seems that your apprehension has all but dissipated. The stubborn little girl who insisted on not reading and only making up her own stories (because Mrs. Taylor said that was acceptable) has now demanded that after mommy reads it is Lyla’s turn. A looming fear of any pain that would come with losing a tooth has been replaced with anticipation for the return of the Tooth Fairy (mostly because Daddy instructed her to put a $5 bill under your pillow for the first one). Anxiety over homework becomes a celebration of  “Mommy-Lyla” time and you seem to love school now more than ever. I am sure that to your six-year-old psyche it seems ages ago since you had any trepidation over beginning a new school year; and that is the lesson to remember Little One. Change is inevitable and sometimes scary; but time has a way of softening our memories and dulling the ache of fear associated with the anticipation of something new and different. Life will continue to offer new and exciting adventures; not all will be welcome but they will come just the same. My hope for you Little One is that you remember that without change we cease to grow both in body and in spirit.

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