Oh, the outfits, Logan.
I don’t know what’s up with you and these -
Why do you change clothes so often?
Why do you like certain pieces so much more than others?
I truly don’t understand, My Little One.
I watch and I listen and I help you search.
I look into your eyes as I show you how to snap buttons.
I laugh with you as we struggle to get blouses over your megahead.
I am with you.
But I don’t truly, truly understand.
I’ve decided to let you be.
I know, I know, it’s not a big deal.
But yeah for me, it kind of is.
It shouldn’t be, I know.
So what if you want to wear what you want to wear?
You’re a person, right?
You have ideas and opinions, right?
You should have a say.
So what if you end up wearing the same dress three days in a row?
Who cares that you’re wearing thin, black, pedal pushers in December, in Boston, on the city bus?
Who cares that since it’s cold you have to wear jeans over the pedal pushers, which means as soon as we get anywhere you’re ripping the jeans off so that everyone can see your pedal pushers?
Not you, huh?
Not me, either, Logan.
You see, every night when we get home and you say,
“Mom ‘ave yew seen my b’ack leggin’s?”
I answer and we start searching and we find them and you begin to get dressed.
You find your flowery dress-slash-nightgown-that’s-really-just-a-dress and you put it on all by yourself.
You grab your cherry-red sweater with the three buttons at the top.
“I can dew bud-dons,” you declare.
You do bud-dons all by yourself.
You retrieve your old blue Mary Jane’s, the ones with the deep skid marks on the tops and the velcro latches.
You snap them on all by yourself.
You turn to me and smile, holding either side of your red sweater with your hands.
Your strong left leg is bent.
Your shiny black plaits are spread out like a star and one is standing straight up, like Alfalfa’s cowlick.
You cock your head to the side and ask,
“Shews don’t go on a bed?”
You look at me and wait.
I look at you, too.
I don’t understand, Logan.
I know you know that shoes don’t go on the bed.
And you have so many pretty pajama sets.
And lots of T-shirts and shorts and sweatpants.
But this is what you always want to wear to bed, or something like it.
And to many people this is probably not any significant occurrence.
I find it fascinating.
And I don’t understand.
So, since I don’t understand, I say:
“Yes. Sometimes shoes can go on the bed.”
You smile and hop up.
You sit next to me and admire yourself proudly.
You dressed yourself.
You look around to see if Ryleigh is looking at you.
She isn’t, so I nudge her or I cough.
She looks up and tells you she can’t believe you’re wearing that again.
Oh well, I tried.
You are happy with the acknowledgment, because that’s the language of sisters.
“Y- y- y- ye- ye- yew didn’t know I could get dresh by mysowf, did yew Mom?”
“Yes I did, Lo. I see you do it all the time.”
“Oh, yeah. I do.”
You are quiet now and your face gets very serious.
You smooth out your sweater and readjust your pants so they sit higher above your knee (this is very important).
The next morning you wake up and you find your Daytime Pedal Pushers.
I find a clean, long-sleeved, winter top for you and you begin to cry in earnest.
“Mooo-ooommy, a fow-luh guwl don’t way-ow yellow shuwts!”
“Logan, flower girls can wear yellow shirts if they want. Anyone can wear whatever they want.”
You aren’t buying what I’m selling, because I don’t know what I’m talking about, because I don’t know why you think you’re a flower girl.
Just like I had no idea why you thought you were a firefighter,
And a princess,
And a construction worker,
And a doctor,
And “a puh-lice” ,
And “a news”.
You’re all those things, aren’t you, Logan?
Which is cool, except these outfits.
They don’t even have anything to do with the occupation you’ve chosen.
And here is where I don’t understand.
You convince yourself that a news wears a specific type of hat; a dress of a specific length, color, and material; a dirty old lunchbag that houses a sleeping babydoll named Lily.
You protest ceaselessly if I suggest that these things may not be appropriate for where we’re going; or if I want you to wear socks.
You don’t get mad -
You are hurt.
You honestly believe that when you woke up that morning,
You had become a news.
You are certain that you are going to report something before this day is over.
You are just so. freaking. happy that as it happens, you do have the outfit that a news wears.
The EXACT outfit.
Down to the one brown glove with the index finger tip ripped off.
It has all aligned and you can even put everything on all by yourself Logan,
Because you are a big girl.
You are ready.
And here comes Mommy.
And here I am.
I look at you -
This is such a big part of your life,
And it’s so much of who you are as a person,
And I don’t always understand.
I can’t remember when I was three very well,
Just flashes or pictures here and there.
I don’t know what it’s like to live in a world where we can want to be something so badly,
Just want to,
And we can be so innocent,
And have hearts so pure,
And so unsullied,
And minds so open to ideas and imagination,
That we can believe we are it right now.
I can’t relate to that.
I don’t know what it’s like to have a dream so big and to make it come true on my own terms – to do that over and over again, and to always be happy with the results.
I’ve decided to just let you be.
Obviously, you’re doing something right.
You’re explosive and hard-headed and stubborn and spry -
And you’re a terrific example of perseverance, of optimism, of hope, of the value of simplicity, and of just believing.
I’m sorry, girl.
I didn’t know that flower girls don’t wear yellow tops.
What do they wear?
Oh, that purple one – with the flower?
I thought that was your shirt for sleeping?
Oooh…since it’s really a shirt you can wear it at night or at day?
I’m really happy for you that you’re getting your chance to be a flower girl, Logan.
I don’t always speak Toddler,
You don’t always speak Adult,
But we both speak Fulfillment and Love and Play and Wonder.
I want you to be fulfilled because I love you.
And I watch you play, in wonder.
I am going to chase my dreams too, Logan.
Thanks for reminding me.
When I wake up tomorrow morning,
I am going to be Mother to two healthy, happy daughters.
One is 9 years old, and she’s an aspiring seamstress and fashion writer.
The other is 3 years old, and she is Annie, from the musical -
And she’s a doctor who treats every ailment you can name with stickers (flower stickers, duh) -
And she’s a police officer who arrests mothers who take bites that are too big -
And she’s Logan In A Rescue, close friend of Superman Spider.
That’s my dream.
Oh, and I want to write about my daughters.
No, I don’t always, completely understand, Logan.
But maybe that’s because I’m too old.
Maybe this is part of the genius that’s present in all of us until we are gradually forced to outgrow it.
I won’t force you, Flower Girl.
I dig it.
So I’ll let you be.