a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Monday, July 22, 2013

Esme with a Dose of Elmo

I could easily tell you she was born yesterday. Because that's exactly how it feels. But somehow, much more time has gone by than just 24 hours. I mean, really. How can one go from the first primal reach and gulp of breath outside the womb to hopping, dancing, problem solving, speaking, and singing complete songs in just 24 hours? Instead, it's been 24 months. But how does all that even happen in just 24 months? I'm mind blown. Our beautful, smart, funny, sparkly-eyed Esme is now two. And holy smokes, is she ever fun!

Our Elmo lover shares her birthday with my father, her PaPa, who was here from Ohio to celebrate with us. Many years seperate the two but their hearts are very close. Esme talks of him often. Their second birthday together was special and my wish for Esme is even the slightest memory of it.
Because every girl must be dressed the part, she wore a handmade Elmo dress that I designed and a friend perfectly made. But the Elmophernalia didn't stop there. I decorated our home to make sure she saw something red and furry at every turn on her big day. Our excitement was fueled by hers. And days like these are just one of the many kind that make me think to myself over and over again I-still-can't-believe-I'm-a-Mom-and-this-is-MY-kid!

Dearest Esme Anne,

I'm trying to think of what to write to you, and for you, but all I can do is shake my head in awe and smile as I recall July 20, 2011 and every day since then. You have been an extension of me from the moment you were delivered and laid upon my round belly. You were born a Momma's girl. And although your infancy days were trying for me because of it, I am so thankful you are.
You are a lover. I do believe my left shoulder draped with your beloved Blankie is your most favorite place in the whole world. You give amazing hugs. And soft kisses. Your lean-in to meet my lips with yours is almost sweeter than the kiss itself.

You have an abstract mind. I was standing in our bathroom recently getting ready to leave the house when you exclaimed something from the floor. I looked down to watched you trace with your finger the grout between each square tile, and then I understood what you were trying to tell me. "Cross, Mommy, Cross!" Indeed Esme, the vertical and horizontal lines between each tile do intersect to form little crosses. Many of them. And today you pointed out that the back and forth lines created in the carpet by the vacuum were actually w's.

I love your love for books and song. Listening to you entertain yourself by singing makes me stop what I am doing every single time. I must listen to savor your sweet toddler voice as it is now and I chuckle to myself as I hear your version of the original. Sometimes Oia joins in with you. I'm amazed at your obsessions and habits too. Elmo goes without saying, milk and GoGo Squeezes you would starve without, and no venture out of the house is possible unless you bring along a stuffed "friend". Thankfully, you do not discriminate and randomly rotate through your plush stash on a regular basis. Except for the 900 that you demand to sleep with.

Flowers make you happy. They do me too. Although tulips, stargazers, and zinnias are at the top of my list, your coined "bubble flowers" (dandelions) reside at the top of yours. I once showed you in early spring that you could blow them like bubbles, or like a candle, and you were hooked. Our yard should be full of them by now.

You have an innocence and understanding for things that I can't describe. For things that are much bigger than us. Shortly after the passing of your GG, you randomly told me on more than one occasion that GG was "up", as in Heaven. I confirmed your statement. You also told me one night before bed that you have five angels. I asked you to name one. That's a heavy and much too large of a topic for a one and a half year old but you told me GG was, and without hesitation. I cried.

Esme, you are just an all-around neat kid. And now you are two! Your spunk and yumminess are irresistible and paired perfectly with your sisters. Oia has had the best two years of her life because of you, and so have we. We adore you and feel such pride to say you belong to us. And we love you so, so much. Happy Birthday, sweet girl. Now carry on... more beautiful things are waiting for your discovery.


  1. LOVE it! Happy Birthday sweet girl! I especially loved the "five angels" part. You are one lucky mama, Mo. You've got two perfect, amazing little girls.

  2. Oh wow! What a great birthday. My Emma always adored Elmo. Makes me sad she has outgrown him now. But... she is nine. Guess that is how it should be. I love Esme's dress! Great party ideas! Beautiful 2-year-old girl! Both girls are! Beautiful family! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Happy birthday Esme!

  4. Such a sweet letter to your daughter. Loved reading it.