I am a woman of words. Written words. Spoken words. Pontification and conversation and discussion. Words work their way out of my brain and my fingers and my mouth and they tie me to the world; they tie me to my daughters; they tie me back to myself. So when I try and try to pull the words out that will help you understand the state of your world and my world, that will help you understand how I feel about you, that will help me understand how I feel about you, and they don’t come, I feel a little panicked because I can’t access myself.
So I pause. I take a breath. I try again.
I am a woman of words. Sometime they don’t come easy and I have to try again. Sometimes I say too much and I have to reframe, to refocus, to repeat, because they don’t come out right. Sometimes I have to pause, to give my heart time to bubble up to my brain so that I can figure out what I’m trying to say. Words are important to me. They are a connection and they are hope. So with that in mind, because honestly I can’t think of better words to say what I’m about to, here we go.
You are two, and the world is a fucking mess. Looking back at my letter to you on your first birthday, I likened the state of the world to an unraveling ball of yarn, and promised to spend the rest of my life trying to braid new strings for you. One year later I can’t even remember what I thought was going so badly. If a year ago the ball was unraveling, at this point it feels like humanity can’t even find where the thread begins. It’s fucked up and ridiculous and shitty and there are better words I could probably use here; less negative, less R-rated words, but sometimes, babe, the best words are the simplest. Remind me to let you swear, when you’re older and having a hard time finding productive words and just need to express yourself. Sometimes the word fuck can be cathartic. I can’t find words for a situation I don’t understand, and at the moment all I want to do is stand at the top of a cliff and shake my fists and scream into the wind a big “fuck you” to all things 2016 – to politics, and polls, and warfare, and relationships, and climate change deniers, and racism, and privilege, and pediatricians, and marriage, and anemia, and white people, and the media – and everything that is going to make your life harder than it should be, harder than I want it to be, harder than it needs to be. I feel a little done, at the moment. This is not the world my generation was supposed to inherit and it is certainly not the world we were supposed to leave for you.
Okay. Deep breath. You are here. You are two. The world spins madly on.
You are two, and you are amazing. You are a light in the dark. You are kind. You are brilliant. You are hilarious. You are sweet. You are beautiful. These are the words I will always come back to, when I just can’t; when I’m at the point of screaming into the abyss, when I am so done. You are here. You are perfection and peskiness and challenge and joy and sticky hands and those curls! and ocean eyes and full sentences and counting to ten and jumping and coloring and refusing to sleep unless Molly is in the room with you and loving on me so hard just when I need it the most and splashing water out of the tub no matter how many times I tell you not to and stripping fully naked to go potty and that laugh! and all of the other millions of pieces of you that light me up; that pull me back from the wilds, that force me to be present because if I can’t control any one thing, I may as well sit with you awhile and find peace in the moment.
Those words aren’t enough! They don’t do you justice. You are more than a sum of your parts. You are hope. You are exhaustion. You are mine and I am not deserving of you because look at the state of things! It’s all such a mess! You are so much more than this world, little birdie. Can we please do better, together? You, and me, and Molly, and your dad, and Aunt Jodie, and your Nanas and Papas, and your Aunts and Uncles, and your cousins and second cousins and Aunties and friends and relatives and teachers and all the future people in your life? Can we fix things? Can we try really hard to always talk to each other openly and honestly and to always remind each other how much love still exists, as the world burns down around us? Can we remember that we all deserve better? Can we believe that there is hope, together? Can we please, please, please start a new thread of humanity? I’m here. I’m reaching out my hand to you. I know your other hand is already in Molly’s. Can we start here?
Lucy, I love you with ever fiber of my being. I love you more than all the water in all of the oceans and all of the stars in the sky and all of the sand on all of the beaches. I love you more than time and space and gravity. That’s all I’ve got for you, babe. Those words aren’t enough, but they are true. They will always be true. Always.
I’ll end where I ended last year. Happy birthday, little birdie. You make the whole world spin.