My little turtle,
You are three. I can't even believe it! You are so amazing. You blow me away everyday! I have so much to say, and yet, it's all on dichotomies of what has been going on in our lives.
I watch you and I see how well adjusted you are and I cant help but be proud. I am doing my job well, despite the fact that I have no guide, no GOOD guide, I only have the DO NOT REPEAT guide, based on how I was raised. And yet, I look back at your year from 2 to 3, and I feel sorrow that i screwed up so badly. I was NOT myself at all, so messed up, so selfish. I lost who I was for a while there and parented TO you, and not WITH you. It breaks my heart really, becuase as I dreamt of you, imagined you pre birth, I wanted everythign to be perfect for you. People snort when they hear me say this, but I believe, if for no one other than myself, I should be as close to perfect FOR you.
It is hard though, because other than your Ate' I have no one who really GETS it. No one close, geographically, anyway. I have a great online support system, but some days Ina needs a person to come here, or I go there, and just hang out and talk about it with another parent who gets it. Another parent who cherishes their child as much as we cherish you.
And we so cherish you. You are so perfect and smart and intuitive. I hope that our talks have helped. All this stress we, (your Ate' and I) have been under made us temporarily stupid and as a result we did very stupid,(I know I say I don't like that word, but it really is applicable here.) very un- us things. Like barking orders at you when we were grumpy, or yelling at each other when really we should have been falling into each other arms.
I could spend all night worrying about the bad choices and decsions we've made this last year.. but I try to look at the big picture. You are happy and well adjusted and so ready to take on the world. You love the world around you, you love the people in it, and that makes me really happy and proud, because it's the combination of you and of the secure healthy life we have provided for you.
I tend to over worry about you and your mental/emotional wellbeing...and that is becuase as a child no one was looking out for mine, so even though I was showing signs that I needed things, I never got them and as a result, I spent much of my life feeling like I was always wrong, always bad, always unimportant. And I NEVER want that for you. You are so amazing, and perfect, I want you to ALWAYS know without a doubt how much we love you, how you are the center of our lives, how fulfilling you are, and how perfectly perfect you are, as YOU.
I'm grateful you are such a good communicator, because you can call me on my crap when I need to be called on it, so keep it up!!! It snaps me out of my own head and places me firmly back in your reality. I want you to always communicate with me/us. always tell us when we are not being nice or we have hurt your feelings. And continue to tell me when I'm being overbearing, I need that reality check too!
I know I've said this a hundred times, but I'm going to say it again. You are the most sacred, most important, most beautiful gift in my/our life/lives, and I will wake up every morning trying to be the best Ina I can be. However, I will probably drop the ball now and again, (as I have a few times thus far) But know in your heart, in your head, and with every ounce of your being that I/we love you more than the stars in the sky.
We celebrate Keyapalooza because you ARE that sacred, you ARE that important, you ARE that special. Every one should have a "your-name-here- palooza." Becuase everyone born on this earth is that sacred. I am so grateful to you for coming to us, for being our teachers, for loving us in all our flawed and silly ways. You are OUR greatest teacher, and together, we, as a family will continue down this road of life.
Now, on this eve, you sleep peacefully as I write this. Tomorrow, you start preschool. That was a huge decision for me, until I realized it was not mine to make, it was yours. So, we'll take this step, we'll see how things go, I will follow your lead. I know you'll be smashing. It's the others I worry about. We have preserved your perfectness so well in our little home, I dont' want anyone coming from the outside world and nicking at that. I try to remind myself that you will be okay, you are an amazing life force. Just try not to EVER let anyone else determine your self worth for you. Determine WHO you are, determine what is right for YOU. You are Turtle, Lakota wincincala extrodianaire, warrior cik'ala, buddah baby, all knowing, all seeing wakaneja.
I also want you to know, that if you are ever NOT okay, you tell me/us. WE do NOT EVER expect you to be perfect or strong or tolerant when you can't be. If you have any problems EVER, you come tell me. I will do what I can to help you. I am your Ina, I am your warrior mamma, and I will ALWAYS be in your corner. NO ONE was made to suffer alone, carry a burden by themselves or fight a fight without help. That's what Tunkasila gave us Ina's, Ate's and Tiwahe's for.
I love you.
There is so much more to say, but I need to take a break. I love you Turtle, I can't even say that enough.
You are my heart.
xoxoxoxoxoxo, tewahila, INA
PS: as we do every night, I just want to repeat some lines from our favorite book:, because it's soo true.
"So whenever you doubt just how special you are, and you wonder how loves you, how much and how far,
listen for geese, honking high in the sky. (They're singing a song, to remember you by.)
Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo. (It's because they've been dancing all night for you!)
Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind. (Listen closely, it's whispering your name again!)
........Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn,
on the wonderful, marvelous, night you were born.
From: "On the Night You Were Born" by Nancy Tillman
(I love you Turtle.)