Put to the test

Letter to Nikisha (Five years seven months):

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Dear Niknik,

What a month this has been, huh? It started out fine and we were content.

Then our tolerance for each other was put to the test. In many ways we failed, but we made it through without injury. All four of us were sick at one time or another, overlapping each other at some points. You can only imagine just how awful that was for us. Tension ran high and patience ran low. We got on each other’s nerves and couldn’t help but get mad.

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Being sick for so long also made us tired and sad. Coughing and sniffing, and blowing our noses. Unable to smell anything good or taste our food. All we could do is lay around and watch cartoons. Doesn’t sound so bad, huh? Except when Mommy was the one that was sick and couldn’t do anything. You wanted to play games and I wouldn’t. You wanted to talk and I couldn’t. You wanted to sing and dance, and I just didn’t have the energy to even entertain the thought. It hurt me inside seeing you so sad because I couldn’t do anything with you. I failed that part of the test, didn’t I? The one where I’m supposed to be SuperMom even when I’m sick?

Do not worry, though, because even though we didn’t pass every test, we’re learning.

I knew that the next week was going to be all three of us girls… all the time. Your school district was having a mid-winter break and you had no school all week. You didn’t even have jazz class this week. Added to that, Daddy had a full schedule with his regular job, his part-time job, plus his side job. We hardly saw him these past three weeks, and when we did, he was on the computer working some more. We were both sad that he didn’t have time to hang out with us, but it’s understandable. He’s doing what needs to be done to give us a good life. Mommy knew what to do to make things better.

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When I felt well and my mind was clearer, I came up with an idea. We were going to have the mother-daughter crafty time we so deserved. You didn’t even know what the idea was, but you jumped onboard without hesitation. You trusted that I would have something fun for us to do. That I did, and I planned to spread it out through the week. On the plus side, there were enough things that you could do on your own that I could get some of my own things done. That is, when I’m not playing with your sister.

The first day I had you sit at the table and make a list. You had to write the names of all the people that you love. Since you were learning to read and spell in school, I figured this would be a good test of how much you’ve learned. With very minimal assistance from me, you spelt out each name by sounding them out. I was so proud of how well you did, it didn’t matter that you spelt every one of them wrong except for the one I helped you with.

Then, over the next few days we drew and cut out shapes, wrote messages and glued things together. Let the ones we started dry and continued the next day. Finishing the first set, then starting on the second. The morning after we finished the first set, you were so excited to put it in the mailbox. We did a little every day and are still working on them.

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The best part? It had been warm outside despite the fact that it’s still winter. We needed the fresh air and sun, so I got us dressed and headed to the playground for some fun. We went three days in a row, and you got to be as loud and crazy as you wanted. No one got mad and you loved every minute of it.

An emotional roller coaster was the ride we got on for February. What a month it’s been, huh?

Love,
Your Mama