Friday, August 15, 2014

Fourty Five Months!

Dear Baby Bowen,

Well, hello, three and three quarters! We find ourselves here, with you speaking really clearly and pretty eloquently, with each day that passes leaving you acting like more of a caring, feeling, thinking grownup. This summer with you has been the best yet and sharing adventures together as a family truly makes this whole journey even more amazing.

While I thought that the deviation from routine during the summer months (or month, after all is said and done, summer is incredibly short) wouldn't fare well with your very orderly manner of being, but rather the opposite is true. We've done so much this summer, my love! Trying new parks, joining the library book club, swimming in the ocean, berry-picking, eating outside, playing in the pool, running in the sprinkler, eating popsicles and freezies, staying up too late. Summer has been rich and sweet and full. We've grown used to this slower and lazier pace where we actually get to wake up, play, slow down, and enjoy. These days you start your day with breakfast, and then a long while is spent out front where you play with your brother and ride on your tricycle, occasionally giving him a ride too! While I know that the business and newness of fall quickly approaches, I'm really trying to stop, look around, and enjoy this time as a family.

In August we had three weeks off together as a family, starting with your daddy's birthday. This year you were great at picking out gifts with me, and a much better secret-keeper than last year! You were thrilled to make him a beautiful birthday card, and not only did you help make his birthday cake, but you were entirely responsible for decorating it! Of course, he absolutely loved it and you were truly as proud as could be. We spent some time riding bikes and attending the Pride Parade with our old friend Mike, and then we were off for a week to Bowen Island! Getting you to understand the concept of the cabin and what our vacation would entail beforehand was difficult - you kept inquiring about marshmallows and fires; you were imagining a "camping" situation more than a cabin one. When we finally arrived, you took a look around the cabin at Hood Point and were quite pleased with the surroundings - both the bunk beds and the plethora of toys met your approval. The first evening, after realizing that you there would be no usual after-dinner movie you had a brief moment where you wanted to go home. After you'd come to terms with that small part of it, however, it was smooth sailing from there! Our days fell into a lovely rhythm of hikes, lunches, naps, and big ocean swims. You got very comfortable swimming from the beach, as well as jumping off the dock! You've become such an amazing swimmer this summer, my love! At one point you found a rolly-polly bug that you named Sarah, and set up a whole obstacle course and home for her, and spent a few hours playing with her until she made her escape. In the end you did get to enjoy some camping standbies - we had hot dogs one day and you regularly asked for a marshmallow after dinner, but you truly took to cabin living as if you were meant for it. You were the biggest treat for mosquitoes, but didn't seem to mind much if enough calamine lotion as applied. You slept at 7pm every nights after zero complaints and actually stayed in your bunk for the entire night until morning. It was a truly fantastic week for us, and actually the longest we've been away from home since you were born!

It's amazing to me what a big girl you are, my love. Today we went on a hike to Quarry Rock and you actually walked the whole way! More and more you ask to walk, and you're covering longer distances each day. You ask complicated questions that take me a little while to answer, like "Where will Sandwiches go when he's really old?" and "What's the difference between joking and lying?" Sometimes you say hilarious things like, "I just farted on your car!" or "the pigs are ready to eat!" when you actually mean "figs." The very best thing this month is your love of your brother. A few times I've seen you tell your dad very sternly to "BE NICE to my little brother!" and you love nothing more than holding his hand when he walks around the house. You were just as excited as the rest of us when he took his very first steps not too long ago and seeing the love develop between you two is incredible. Sometimes when you get angry you say that you don't want to be his big sister anymore, and that Sandwiches can be his big sister instead. I tell you that this is fine, but also remind you that one day you'll be happy to have this little brother at your side.

Baby girl, this summer has been the best. I'm standing at the edge of it, nervous about all of the new things to come but also feeling a bit melancholy about all that is behind us. At this time next year you'll be about to head into full-time school. I can't believe it and I don't even want to think about it yet. At the edge of this school year, you're about to go into three times a week preschool, as well as a new outdoor preschool which you're really excited about. New environment, new people, new adventures. Onwards and upwards, my baby monkey!

Happy 45 months, Bowen Naomi!

I love you forever,

-Your mama