I love you, my little dumpling

Posted: July 11th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Paigey Waigey Wiggle Pop | No Comments »

Dear Paige:

Here we are in Harrisburg, PA at Daryl and Christian’s house
on the third leg of your first East Coast Tour. It’s getting late and I really should be sleeping since it’s
my turn to wake up early with you and Kate tomorrow. But instead I need to write you a love letter.

Some people thought it was ambitious of us to travel with a
five-month-old and three-year-old for over two weeks and to four different
places. (So, if the train travels at 80MPH and makes three stops, how many miles did it go?) Of
course it’d be easier to just stay home, but we’re parenting with the educated
guess that giving you and Kate new experiences will be enriching even if
Dad has to stagger though endless airport terminals strapped with carseats,
bags, and overtired babies, and we have to pack and unpack a really-too-small-for-us rental car every few days.

You know. Nothing
ventured, nothing gained. Besides, we were really excited to show you off, Little Miss

Going to Rhode Island each summer is more than a good
vacation for me. It’s like a pilgrimage that refreshes my spirit. Aside from it being home, and beautiful
and beachy, and the setting for the beloved historic Forta of July parade, many
of the people who I love most in the world happen to live here.

So, take a trip that I look forward to all year, and add
you, my new little Love Dumpling, who most everyone has yet to meet, along with
your big sis and Dad. I get the Del’s Lemonade, the garlic-icious spinach pies,
time with my father, Aunt Mary and Mimi, and my Big Sis, Marie–all this and I
get to present to them this beautiful sweet sweet sweet baby–you!–and tell
them, “So, here’s my baby. Don’t you just love her?”

Sure, I was proud of the leather jacket I got when I
was a kid that had a real-fur collar (yeah yeah, throw some ketchup on me), but
I’ve never experienced pride in something–or the desire to show something
off–in the way I have with you and your sister. As a parent I now understand
my father’s “Did I tell you about my daughters…?” M.O. that always slightly embarrassed me.

Don’t worry, I hope to some day refrain from the “My kid is on the honor roll” bumper sticker. I’ll just have to let everyone know about that verbally.

So this trip. On this trip you have traveled like a champ, Paigey,
sleeping through long car and plane rides, teetering on awkward, cramped and God
knows immodest places to get your diaper changed. You’ve camped out in various
porta-cribs in home offices and guest bedrooms, and sweated through hot nights
with staggering humidity, insufficient fans, and ear-splitting firecracker
blasts without waking up once. You watched two-plus hours of an Independence
Day parade, sitting contently through loud marching bands, over-crowded
streets, and being handed from cooing friend to cheek-pinching relative. You
even rocked two different red-white-and-blue outfits, because at one’s first
July 4th parade how can you wear just one?

Through it all you’ve flashed your huge mouth-agape smile over and over. Never once have we had to say,
“She just woke up” “She’s jet-lagged” or “She must be hungry.” Your default
setting is Sweet/Easy/Happy. It’s incredibly fun to introduce you to
people because as sweet lovable babies go, you’re pretty damn bulletproof. Thank you for that.

I wish our cable signal was as reliable as you.

Does it go too far to also point out the ripple effect your
smile has? That whatever happy dumpling-ness makes you all shiny and
bouncy gets passed on to other people who I love so very much? Let’s just
say seeing a smile-and-laugh-fest between you and my 94-year-old Godmother is
reason enough for two 6-hour plane rides.

Thank you, sweet Paige, for being the little beacon of joy
that you are. I’m truly honored to be your Mama. To be the one that doesn’t
only get you for a visit, but gets to come home with you, be the last to kiss you before you sleep
at night, and drag my sorry ass up in the morning to fetch you gurgling from your
crib. You manage to turn bleary-eyed 6:30AM into a nice
time to be awake with someone.     

Thank you for all the blissed out Mama moments I have with
you, doing everyday things like changing your diaper or feeding you, when I have a few just-you-and-me
quiet minutes to squeeze your ham hock thighs, blow raspberries on your belly,
or kiss kiss kiss your delicious neck.

Sweet Paige, you dazzle me. How lucky we are to have you. And how blessed we are
that you are you.



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