Saturday, October 30, 2010

dress up

i have slept away 80 percent of the last two days. i woke up this morning with the achy backbone of a body prone, heard the cobwebs rattling between muscles and bone. it's amazing how quickly the body learns to lay dormant. it seems my body's first instinct is to stop and curl into itself, arms wrapped around and around until cocooned. today, i woke up soft and sore and edges dried out, like fresh baked bread left ignored on the counter. the aftermath of a 48 hour illness. i feel stale.

yesterday, i am on the couch when he comes back from picking finn up at school. i am wearing ill-fitting pajamas that are beyond comfortable and i am glazed over with sick. he fixes finn a snack and sits down next to me on the couch. 'you're real pretty.' not a trace of sarcasm. finn looks up. 'yeah, mommy, you're real pretty.' and she means it. because he means it.
in his next breath, he says 'she's starting to look more and more like you.' and then to finn 'you look like mommy.'
which she learns, at the age of two, is a compliment. because she says 'thank you.'

recently, as we're going to bed, i remark that finn is, by far, the funniest person i know. she already has a wicked sense of humor and she's not even three.
'she has your sense of humor,' he tells me.

one of my goals in life was to never have to watch my daughter learn about love the hard way. i want her to know that love is a verb and that all the flowers and chocolate in the world do not mean shit when you're sick on the couch and need a couple days off from life to curl into your cocoon. that grand gestures are generally done for the crowd and the applause. that it's the quiet moments, when your guard is down, that matter. that knowing your partner thinks that the best parts of your children come from you is worth the surrendering of the fantasy. that fairy tales are great stories, but they are nothing compared to the real thing.

we spy on her when she plays alone in her room. perhaps it is because we both enjoy spending time alone, crave it. so when we find her playing in her room, talking to herself or giving a tour of her 'cool stuff' to whatever imaginary friend happens to be tagging along, we sit as quiet as possible watching her, marveling. i wish i could transform myself into a tiny ladybug, atop her dollhouse. recording the mumblings that are just low enough that i can't make them out. writing down her songs so that they can be played back for her when she is an old woman and needs to remember how to feel like herself again. there may come a time when she wishes she could choose other parents (because don't we all, at some point, rage against that which we can't control?) but i don't ever want to give her a reason worth holding onto.
i want her to always feel safe enough to dress herself up however she wants, to know that her core is rooted in myself and in bryan and that we will always see the magic. we will always spy on her from the corner, unable to look away. that we will always be just beyond the reach of her imagination. that she is never alone.


  1. Your writing is like a big warm mug of cinnamon tea on a snowy winter morning. Warms me to the bone and comforts me like my favorite blanket did when I was a child.

  2. I envy the beauty in which Finn gets to grow up in; the experiences and love that echo from every surface. Reading yours words assures me of what love and family are all about. My heart warms to know you. (Hugs)Indigo

  3. I LOVE that picture- she is so adorable (I hear that's a lot like you!).
    Feel better! You are so great at capturing these moments.

  4. I love that. Simply. Can I be your daughter too?

  5. as you hold the ground for her to experience love - love from you two and eventually more fully love from herself - she will grow and with a bit of help from others...she will love it forward. and that is why we love, after all.

    i hope you are feeling much better.

  6. "that knowing your partner thinks that the best parts of your children come from you is worth the surrendering of the fantasy. "


  7. I hope you feel better, Krista. Real soon. And yes, you are really pretty.

  8. i write this as i am dumbfounded, your writing hurts me, your beautiful writing hurts me deeply. your ladybug projection and the mumbling and all, oh, it has found residence in me as though it were written a long time ago and someone told me once, read this for this is important.

    and i can't say often enough how your photos are art. your living, really.


  9. Your writing is such a treasure. I sit on the floor of my hallway with my cat and a cup of coffee and your blog, and I cry. And I love that.

  10. You are giving Finn the love of her family as I tried to do for you albeit alone - but so much more. She will be comfortable knowing that no matter what you and Bryan will love her unconditionally and support her decisions (unless it's a REALLY bad one, of course). I can't wait for all the next chapters in your family's life because even tho I'm your Mom, I would miss a lot of these things if not for this wonderful blog of yours and your introspective and creative way of describing events, other people, your surroundings and most of all, your innermost feelings. Thank you Krista for including all of us into your world. xxoo Mom

  11. she'll continue to be a magical human being. it's impossible for her not to, with the beautiful foundation that the two of you are building for her.

  12. 'writing down her songs so that they can be played back for her when she is an old woman and needs to remember how to feel like herself again.'

    gave me goosebumps.

    you and that little family of yours have a real treasure, my friend. beautiful beautiful stories.

  13. This is so damned beautiful it hurts. I think what I've tried to say in just about every comment, and I've said it every other way, is that I'm glad that parents like you and Bryan exist and I'm glad that people like you exist because it's what I always wanted when I was growing up and convinced myself maybe didn't exist, or maybe I didn't deserve parenting like that.

    But parents like you do exist. YOU do exist. And that's enough for me.

  14. yes never alone. that is also emblazoned in my heart, rising towards my children and husband every moment of every day.

  15. I can NOT believe I haven't commented here yet. I love this post. Love it. I've read it at least four times.


use your kind words.