Happy Birthday Darling Boy

This post is a month late, the Boy’s birthday is February 19th. I’m a terrible blogger / mother, but so far as I can ignore this blog for extended periods of time, I still can’t let a birthday go by unnoticed, the yearly letter unwritten, because my children are probably going to be the only two people in the world really interested in what I have to say, I’m mostly doing this for them and for myself so there are moments in time that can’t be ignored for this whole blog endeavor to make any kind of sense.

Anyway… here goes:

Happy Birthday Darling Boy, you are six years old. Six years old is so, so big! When I held you in my arms as a newborn I couldn’t even begin to fathom six years of being your mother. You are so grown up, that at times I hardly recognize you, you are so big and tall that I often wonder how on earth you managed to fit into my belly. You start elementary school this year and it feels like which school to send you is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. You are starting to want to be independent, you want to ride your bike around the block alone, and you want me to leave you at home when I go pick up your sister from her friend’s house, literally a 3 minute walk away. I constantly struggle with letting you spread your wings and my obsessive fear of some terrible tragedy befalling you, of the shady, lurking predator, of the car coming too fast, of the silly yet serious accident. How do I protect you while allowing you to learn independence from me? This is the modern mother’s biggest conundrum!

You are learning to write words, and one of your favorite pastimes is just copying words from whatever text you find, a while back you came to me, all proud of yourself, waving a piece of paper where you had copied all the words on the vacuum cleaner, of all things. You love watching leapfrog videos on words and letters and reading. My goal this year before you start school is to start teaching you to read in English. I wish I remembered how I learned to read in English, because it’s completely different from Italian, and I think it’s better for you to learn English first. I’m not sure yet how I’m going to do it, but I try my best!

You can now have a full conversation with me in English, which makes me so happy! You’re still shy around others, but it helps that many of your friends speak English to their parents too, so it’s not quite so weird.

You started playing soccer this year, you love it, it’s one of the few things you never ever complain about, especially since we bought you your first pair of indoor/synthetic grass cleats. You are so precise with all the footwork, you work really hard at it, and you run up and down the field like a maniac when you play a game. You’re still a little unsure about taking the ball and running with it, but you’ll get there!

We just finished the skiing season, as usual the first five weeks you’re super excited and can’t wait to get your skis on, and then the last few weeks it’s a battle of the wills to get you out of the house! But you’re a natural. This year, first lesson of the season, you put your skis on and you took of for the ski lift like a pro, on your own, no questions asked. You did not get your skiing abilities from me!

You are still the whiny willy of the family, when you’re tired or something makes you mad or upsets you, hoo boy! Let’s just say I sit back and let you rant, there have been times when you have gotten on a roll that you’ve ranted even half an hour none stop, pacing up and down the house, waving your arms, occasionally wailing and crying but mostly complaining about how unfair life is, how terrible being you is, and how horrid your parents and/or sister are. Let’s just say you have a flair for the dramatic. Thankfully these performances only happen every couple of months, and mostly you are a pretty easygoing guy. I guess you just occasionally need a good vent, and who can blame you.

You are still an awesome big brother, though you are starting to complain more when your sister gets on your nerves. I’m pretty sure things will be better once you’re in elementary school and not interacting so much on a daily basis. When she’s not around though you walk aimlessly around the house, bored out of your mind, cause you miss her.

I wish you would ask for cuddles more often, I try not to smother you, but sometimes you just look like you need them. I love that you always draw me with freakishly long arms, and when someone asks you to explain, you always answer that it’s because I give big hugs.

You are my favorite guy, you amaze me every day, you bring a smile to my face, a spring to my step, you make my heart sing, I love you miles and miles,


Happy Birthday my sweet Boy

You are five today. Five is pretty big.

You lost your first tooth on Sunday, and you finally, finally, managed to say goodbye to your nighttime binky. I know how hard it was, you cried a little and you kept kissing it goodbye, parting is always difficult, but it’s part of growing up. You were really worried that you would have to give up your luvvie Leo too, but no one is ever going to take that away from you. Hey, I still have my rabbit from when I was little, and I’m old! You were very impressed that the Tooth Fairy wrote you a letter, when she decided to take away your binkies with your tooth, to the binky mountain up in heaven (I’m not sure where this story comes from, maybe your Nonna).

After our last trip to Houston you’ve finally really started speaking to me in English, though your vocabulary is still somewhat limited, but your sentences have really come together and you’re starting to sound like a little Texan (with a hint of an Italian accent)!

In the last year, you’ve also gotten a bit rowdier, a bit less compliant, a little more headstrong, and though I’ll never admit it to you, this makes me if not happier at least a bit more relaxed. A little rebellion is ok, I want you to develop your own personality, just stop whacking your sister and you’ll spend much less time in time out!

You’re a perfectionist, which is both good and bad. It means you try really hard to do things right, but it also means that you get frustrated when the result isn’t perfect. You’ve been learning to write your letters (this was your decision, by the way, I was waiting for you to start doing it in school next year), so I write things down for you at the top of the page, whatever you want me to, and you copy it over and over underneath, but if a letter doesn’t come out exactly the way it’s supposed to, you get so mad! And then you stop, in frustration, because you “can’t do it”. But you can, you will, it takes a little time, a little patience, and a little practice. We’re working on it, though, because learning things should be more fun and less stressful for you.

You tied your shoelaces today, in a double knot, not a bow, but I was amazed because I only showed you once, a few days ago. How did you remember? You certainly didn’t get your memory from me! You got this from your Dad, he sees something once and can recreate it later, from memory, somehow.

You’re such a sweet boy. For your birthday you asked to be allowed to sleep with me, in the big bed. You’ve actually been asking for months, but we decided it can be a special occasion treat, since Daddy hardly ever travels. So Daddy will sleep in your room with your sister, and you get to sleep in the big bed, maybe we’ll even watch a movie… just don’t tell anyone!

So Happy Birthday, my sweet, sweet, Boy, I love you miles and miles, your smile lights up my life, you make my heart sing. Mama

Happy Birthday Darling Girl

You turned three today, you’re such a big girl. Just this past month you went from your crib to a big girl bed, and then last week you decided you didn’t want the safety rail anymore, you dress yourself, you brush your teeth, you help wash the dishes… you’re so independent! Everything is “io faccio” or sometimes “I do it”. You get frustrated and pouty when you can’t get something done, but you keep at it until you do it. You’re so headstrong, and tenacious, which makes life exhausting for me, but will be so great for your future. You’ve finally, finally, started letting me put your hair up, though you yell at me when it pulls (every morning when I comb it) but it’s ok, because you look so cute in pigtails.

You’ve got more energy than your brother, father, and I combined, I don’t know where you get it.You ’re independent, but you’re so cuddly too. A study in contradictions, everything in excess. When I put your pjs on, you get on my lap on the glider chair and we just rock and rock quietly breathing. I try to hold on to these moments with both hands for when you’re splayed out on the floor, screaming, throwing a tantrum of epic proportions.

I love the mornings when you wake up early and come in my bed, you cuddle up against me until every nook and cranny of your little body is melded into mine and then you fall asleep. Heaven. Nights are for your brother, mornings are for you.

You’re three years old, today, I can barely believe it. I love each new step, each new conquest, I love all the things you can do, but time, it seems to be going so fast to someone like me, I almost want to keep you like this forever. I said almost. You’re so eager, eager to do things, eager to see things, and you get excited over the silliest things, and you make them seem wonderful to the rest of us. I pray you never lose your spirit, your joy, your love of life (which, I honestly believe you got from my dad, your Nonno Fabrizio).

Your emotions are so strong, when you love your brother, you love him so much, so much, when you’re angry at me, you’re so angry, so angry, when you’re having fun, you have such fun, such fun! You’re such a sweet girl, with just the right amount of sass to keep us on our toes. And the sweetest moments of my day are watching you and your brother playing together, because you play so well, I hope you never lose that, I hope you’re always friends.

You’re three years old today, it feels like a lot, but they’re not that many at all.

Happy Birthday, darling girl, I love you miles and miles, your smile lights up my life, you make my heart sing.

Dear Dad

I’ve been writing these letters in my head for a long, long time now, and just decided to write them down here as part of the “creating memories and family identity for my kids” project, that’s wasn’t really a project per say until I realized that I didn’t want my life to mirror pinterest, a long list of good intentions that never get done.

Dear Dad,

you’ve been gone six years now and, despite what everyone says, I miss you more each day that passes, not less. It feels weird to be writing you in English, because if I were talking to you it would have been in Italian, but Italian just doesn’t come when I write and I imagine you’re getting my thoughts, wherever you are, and those transcend language. Today in the car the Boy asked if I could put on Nonno F’s song, he wanted to hear “Ma che bella giornata di sole” by Antonello Venditti, I must have told him at some point that was one of your favorite songs, I just don’t know how he remembers these things. They listened to it over and over and they sang along to some of the words. It made me miss you so much. I remembered all the car trips when I hated the classical music you made us listen to, but I also remembered all the Puccini from when I was little, about their age in fact, and I loved it because they were like long, elaborate stories with singing. I still can’t listen to La Turandot without getting melancholy, and I thought to myself, I have to play some opera in the car sometimes, maybe on long trips, because at this age they won’t hate it on principle because it’s old. I want my children to listen to Puccini and think of you.

I wish you were here to see your grandkids cause they’re pretty awesome.

I still love you lots,

Your daughter.