Paloma,

Today you are nineteen months old. Which makes me a bit sad to say; there was something special about 18.



Today is your second day of preschool. It's not that kind of preschool, the kind that makes mamas and toddlers cry, no, not yet. It's the sort of preschool where I stay with you the entire time, but you get lots of chances to lose me. And then find me again! Hey! Fun! You can wander off and I'll still be here.

That's a big deal.

The first day was quite a surprise for me, pleasantly. You are what we call "slow to warm up," meaning you prefer to hang back and observe before you even put a toe in. Fair enough, since you get that from me, so I really can't talk, but the first day of school you ran around having a great time until after twenty minutes you were like, hey, that gate, open it so we can go now, I'm done.

Oops.

But you made it through and didn't cling to me or hang back like I had expected you to. You kept your shoes and all your clothes on. It was quite a moment for me, to watch you interact with this new environment and new ideas and take them in stride.

I suspect you are one of the younger ones in the class, and now that I say that, it's true: You are mere days away from the cut-off date and so yes, it's just a fact that you are one of the youngest in the class.

It was obvious to me on that first day. You looked so small compared to the other toddlers that were all less than six months older than you, but six months is like sixty years for toddlers. Some had more words, some movement, others ideas or confidence, most had some milestone you had not yet reached. Again, tiny nuances to most people, but to me it was glaring.

I guess I share this because, for the most part, we think of you as being so advanced and bright and with it. The other night at dinner at my mom's house you turned around in your chair and while pointing to each tapestry on the wall you counted them 1-2-3. I beamed with pride. But if there had been four? I don't know. You obviously don't really know how to count, but yet you do. Sort of. Really. Not.

Like you'll point to yellow and name it and blue and name it and pink and name it and then call purple blue and orange yellow and green yellow and yellow green and start all over naming them all wrong. So, like, you get it. And you don't.

So I suppose it was a gentle reminder. One foot in front of the other. You can't walk until you crawl. You can't string together sentences until you've started saying the second syllable of a word.

But no matter how long it takes you to do any of these things, always know that we think you're incredible. We are your biggest fans.



Happy Nineteenth Monday.

Love,
Mama (and everybody else you call family)