Seven is the number of luck and magic and folklore.
Every birthday, I write to you in an attempt to capture how much you’ve grown and the ways in which your existence is a recurrent metamorphosis. This year feels a little different – this year our little bubble has been permeated by the world and the hammer that’s been dropped. Our country has experienced incalculable losses, incredible divisions in politics, and the systemic racism that has been the underbelly of our nation, has finally reached a boiling point. If there was ever a moment in history that we needed some luck and magic, it is right now.
Your ability to see the world has become more focused. The commercials on television, the signs in peoples’ yards – all of it is noted. When you ask questions such as what does Black Lives Matter mean, I answer. There is no point in hiding truth, however I privately struggle between wanting to keep you wholly innocent and wanting to help you understand. Therein lies my inherent privilege – our privilege: the choice (for better or for worse) to keep certain truths from breaking the surface. And because literally all of parenting is making a billion choices a day, some of those require a leap of faith. A trust in my fundamental beliefs; as such, I choose to answer your pointed questions in language you can understand. In doing so, I am aware that my responses are always underscored by my own bias – I would be foolish to believe otherwise. So while I want you to think for yourself, I know that what I say carries an enormous amount of weight in these early formative years. This is not something to be taken lightly, so my words are selected as carefully as possible and delivered in a manner that hopefully allows you space to question and consider. There is no topic off limits, nor do I wish there ever to be – I want you always to be able to seek me out, and if I don’t know the answer I will humbly admit it so, and perhaps together we’ll dive into the unknown. I’m doing my best, kid, but yeah let’s acknowledge that your Mama is most certainly a liberal who believes that women, not laws, should manage their own bodies, science is legitimate, love is love, and the right to be viewed and treated as an equal, no matter where you are from or the color of your skin – are human rights. If those inherent biases make you a "bad" person, I will still sleep well. Sometimes, my love, good trouble, is good.
Aside from the gravity of the world’s turmoil, you are experiencing some on a personal and developmental level. Dad and I have noted that the sass factor is off the charts. Holy smokes, kid – you are pushing the limits, and often. Just when I think I’ve gotten a good foothold on my patience, an eye-roll, or undesirable tone of voice response, sends me reeling. You ALWAYS have to have the last word. You are challenging us in ways that have tested our follow-through, and I’m going to be honest – we’ve definitely faltered. We are humans and often exhausted, and follow-through requires attention to detail and discipline.
But more and more, you are also recognizing the impact of your actions. Just the other day after some unfavorable response, through tears, you asked if you were a "bad" kid – this to which I quickly corrected explaining that sometimes you make bad choices, but are most definitely not a bad person. You were forthcoming in expressing that you don’t always know why you do or say things in a way that’s upsetting, and we talked that through. Lucy – you are so aware. So incredibly aware and introspective for your age. Mistakes happen, it’s inevitable. And yes, there will be consequences, but no matter what, we love you always. We are your safe space, where mistakes are met with forgiveness and nurture.
Your sense of rhythm is quite impressive and you can often be found twirling and dancing downstairs to your own Spotify playlist. Lucky for you, our neighbor, two houses down, was a dancer. She has offered private lessons in tap and ballet. Should the dancing lessons not work out, then let it be one step closer to finding what makes you most happy. You continue to love watching Portlandia with Dad, and Schitt’s Creek with me. Barbie has entered your world, and you are all about the dolls and accessories. You learned to ride your bike during the quarantine, and enjoy taking walks with me when the weather allows for it. Your love for Olive has grown exponentially, and I love how you love her. Virtual learning has had its perks, like staying home with Dad, but you are bored and have even remarked that you wish you were back in the school building – I think mostly to see your beloved teacher, Mrs. Ritson, and your friends. School still really isn't your jam, though, and that's okay. You are getting better and better at reading, and still cite this skill as something you hope to master soon.
me the privilege of being your Mama. You emote with fervor, you question with command, and you love so affectionately and openly. You are a prime number divisible only by yourself, and you govern what autonomy you have with a healthy dose of moxie and a confidence I never knew so young.
Happy birthday, my sweet Lucille.