Friday, March 25, 2011

Portrait of An Almost Three-Year-Old

Lauren, my Lauren, this is who you are right now. 

In a few days you'll be three-years-old, and I find myself baffled.  Not only at the passage of time (which baffles me so often that I'm almost becoming used to it) but at the shape your personality is taking.  You -- for some reason -- have felt like a complete unknown to me since birth.  I'd stare at you and your tiny, rosebud mouth, and wonder who ARE you?  Now, I'm finding out.  Starting to find out, that is.

(Oh, please don't misunderstand: even in my ignorance, I've adored your unknown ways.  You are just such a different child than your big sister was, that I've had to adjust my knowledge.  Which is a sweet blessing.  I never want to take for granted that I know everything about my children.)

You are tender, but strong.  You are intimidated by people other than your direct family members, but show a stunning independence of spirit.  You don't wait for help to climb down from the porch ledge: you maneuver yourself against the wall and the garden hose, and you make a path.  You are capable and smart.

You are dreamy.  Very often, I find you with your hair twirled absently around your fingers (sometimes so much so that entangled knots are left behind) while you gaze into the distance, pondering some wonder.  You question the world, and adamantly so.  You must know the answers.

But you are wildly silly, too.  Being capable and smart hasn't succeeded in stopping you from employing the time-honored tactics of facial contortions or bodily noises in order to get a laugh.  And between your adoring big sister, encouraging father, and long-suffering mother, there is no shortage of fans to laugh with you at your jokes. 

Although surrounded by family, you do seek seclusion at times.  You're happy to be alone in a back bedroom, pretending a world of imagination while the rest of us are interacting with company.  If there's nobody who'll follow your plan for mess-making, you don't mind: you'll go dig in the dirt by yourself, and it'll be the most fun you have all day.

The thing I find perhaps most fascinating about you (right now, anyway) is your ability to pretend.  You are only three (almost), and you've been highly invested in using your imagination for many months now.  Anything can become a friend, an antagonist, a magical venue, or a serious plot, and you hardly stop to take a breath when recounting your amazing adventures. 

But also fascinating is the truth that you are more like me than I've ever thought possible. It's strange, isn't it, that you can be such a duplicate of my temperaments and tendencies, and yet I still feel like I don't understand you.  Maybe it's easier to recognize truths about opposites -- easier to diagnose worries and fears when they're not carbon copies of my own. 

Whatever the case, sweet Lauren, I love you endlessly.  You are wonderful and confounding and joyful and shy and hilarious.  You are emotional and theatrical and beautiful.  You are mature and immature and my baby and my big girl.

I know there's every likelihood that you'll continue to dazzle and mystify us all in the coming years.  I also know that I look forward to each moment: I must see who you are becoming. 

Because Lauren, my Lauren, this is who you are right now, and you couldn't be more wonderful.


  1. As always, this was so beautifully written.
    I stand a little stronger as a new Mom each time I read your posts! Thanks!

  2. Love this!
    What an amazing milestone letter to look back on!

  3. what a sweet tribute to your daughter. She'll love reading this someday.

  4. This is beautiful. What a treasure for her someday, and what a truly amazing thing it is to KNOW our children. Sounds like she and E would get on beautifully


  5. Totally beautiful tribute to a wonderful girl.

  6. Beautiful! And I love the pics, especially the one at the library!!

  7. So beautiful. I find my self relating this to my own almost 3 year old. She has the most amazing imagination even her food gets named and has little conversations on her plate at dinner.

  8. Love it. And she is absolutely delicious!! I always feel slightly baffled by my oldest... there is always the sense that she is seeing things in a completely different way than I am.


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