Paloma,

Today you are fifty seven months old.



Before I forget, and how could I!, this month, you cut your hair. Yes, technically, YOU cut your hair. But then we had it cut professionally, as well.

My stance on hair cutting for babies is that hair should do its thing until the baby decides it's time for a trim. We've floated the idea past you a couple times, but you were always adamant that you liked your hair the way it was, and so we let it grow. And grow. Fifty six months of growth, to be exact. Then one day you said you'd like it cut. And you said it again a few days later. And again. So you and I sat down and looked at what a cut on someone your size would look like, and we established that you'd like something shoulder length.

Then you decided this was all taking much too long, and you took the scissors you'd just begun to be proficient with, and you did a little trimming yourself. Very subtle in looks, but a strong, clear statement of intent.

As with all things we do in this family, your first cut happened at home. A preschool mama who is a professional came over and had you trimmed and blown out in no time at all.

The best part? You are so, so proud and happy with your haircut. That's the best part.



As we put up our Christmas tree this year, I had one of those moments where I'm suddenly aware that your mother isn't coming home; I am your mother. It was one of those times when I'm wondering how the heck I know how to stand up a chopped down tree inside a house. It's not as if my parents sat me down one day and taught me how to do this; it's something I've figured out because (not that it's difficult) I've been taught how to problem solve and think analytically. This is one of those times when I wonder how good a job I'm doing at teaching you these things. Not the literal-putting-up-a-tree things, but, rather, the more nebulous-thinking-for-yourself things, which will take you much further in life than if I simply taught you tree-standing.

There are some days when I can't believe anyone let me be a mother. Not that I'm bad at it, just that it has such great responsibility. I hope I'm doing it well enough.



Happy fifty seventh Monthday.

Love,
Mama



Paloma,

Yesterday you turned fifty six months old.



Four days ago your little sister turned two, meaning you've been a big sister for two years. It is not an easy job. I know this, firsthand. Little sisters have the better deal.

Little sisters know not what it was ever like without a big sister. They only know the family they were born into, how it is now. As Arden opened her gifts on the night of her birthday, you were right there to micro-manage the entire affair. All of us adults were horrified as you "let" Arden open her gifts. You didn't let her. At all. You opened every gift and flashed the gift in front of her and then moved on to the next gift as fast as humanly possible.

But the thing is, Arden doesn't care. She doesn't know that you're stealing the show. She only knows that you are the coolest thing on Earth, and if you want to open all the gifts, that's fine with her. As the adults, we gently reminded you to slow down, let her look, give her a task or two, but overall, we let it go. It was hard to put a damper on your excitement.

The highlight for me, however, was how celebratory you were, the entire night. You could have been sour and jealous, but instead you enjoyed helping us celebrate your sister. You wished her a happy birthday at dinner, you sang while I carried in the "cookie cake" lit with two candles. (You're the one who got the two candles for the cake from the drawer.) And best of all, for me, you happily wrapped the two gifts you'd made for her (a "game" on paper, with her name on the back and a Cinderella coloring page). At the last minute we decided the little plastic puppy set we'd found at Target to decorate her cake should be a gift from you. In all honestly, and I'm not just saying this, the puppy set was her absolute favorite gift. I don't doubt she loved it best because it was from you. It was truly a gift - it was something you would have wanted for yourself - it was very hard for you to give. She appreciated it.



I want you to know that I understand how difficult it is to be the oldest. I wouldn't wish it on any child. It comes with great responsibility and loss. But so far it appears you're balancing the negative with the positive, and I couldn't be more proud.



Happy Fifty Sixth Monthday.

Love,
Mama

Paloma,

Forever ago you turned fifty five months old. I am late with this letter. There's a draft saved on my desktop computer, but I'm never in front of it, these days, so I'm scrambling to write this letter before you turn fifty six months old in two weeks.



This last month has challenged me in a way that I didn't see coming. Not now. Not this soon. You have said things that have hurt me at my core, the very essence of who I am. As a parent, I had assumed that my own values would transcend the placenta, nourish you from the inside out, and become a part of your DNA, as much as any other inheritable characteristic.

As it turns out, this is not how it works.

Then, by chance, I stumbled upon these words, and they hit just right:

"You can not save people, you can only love them." -Anaïs Nin

Perhaps my second mistake, after believing that you'd come hardwired to think like me, was that I was going to fix you, but that is not going to happen. Instead, I will love you. That I can do.



Happy Fifty Fifth Monthday.

Love,
Mama

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Paloma,

On Wednesday you turned fifty four months old.



I always liked half birthdays. Not because I ever celebrated them, but, rather, because they were unspecial. It was a day that marked a turning point, like a looping back, a full moon, then waning back to start a new year.



This month you started your second year of preschool. You're at a different school this year, and I could not be more pleased with how it's going. It is such a great fit for you, and I'm so happy we found this school for your last year of "pretend" school before the big, scary stuff begins.

In two weeks of school I have already seen progress in your social growth. You have used new words and phrases, you've engaged completely differently, both with your sister at home and with the other kids at school.



I whipped up a special dessert for your half birthday, and I don't know that I could have made the day any more spectacular. You are a sugar-fiend, and I think the light-as-air meringue, vanilla chantilly, and sweet, juicy berries were a hit.



Happy Half Birthday!

Love,
Mama

Paloma,

In two weeks you turn four and a half. I'm rushing to write this letter to you, as late as it is, so that I can write you a half birthday letter on time. Here goes.



You are now a big sister. Insert eyeroll here. No, but really. You are now a big sister. You say it is so.

My entire pregnancy with Arden you insisted that you were NOT A BIG SISTER in that big, insistent way that you do. You were adamant. You were a baby. And that was fair. No one in this family ever asked anything of you as a big sister. We were fully supportive of your babydom, and we let you keep it as long as you needed. And, nearly two years later, you are now ready to be a big sister.

And what a big sister you are! When the two of you get along it is like rainbows and unicorns. It is literally the most beautiful thing anyone has ever seen.

And then the two of you are clawing each other's eyeballs out, and Arden has a fistful of your fine, blonde hair, and you're growling and howling like a wounded 300 pound lion and it's so, so ugly.

Ying and yang, eh? I'll take it. Watching to two of you work it out over the last two years has been a process, but an honor to witness. You two will be quite the duo, I'm sure of it. You introduce her to strangers and defend her on the playground. She can hold her own, but having a big sister in her corner is probably what gives her the balls to do so. I don't doubt you will hold her hand and guide her, as only a big sister can, and she'll pull you off the path and show you things you never knew, like only a little sister can.

Enjoy your sisterhood, my dear. It's like nothing else.



Happy Fifty Third Monthday.

Love,
Mama

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Perhaps you're due soon? Maybe you're crushing on these colors as hard as I am? Nursery or not, these are a few fun things that collide quite well together.

Nursery

From Top to Bottom, Left to Right:

1. Metallic Gold Dots Pillow Cover by IVIEBABY

2. Taurus by KT SMAIL

3. Baby Blanket by myBlueMeadow

4. Party Girl by BRIGHT LAB

5. Single Strand Adjustable Necklace in Vanilla + Watercolor Brights by THE JONES MARKET

6. Organic Baby Leggings by luckypalmtree

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