Your birthday has come and gone, but I’ve been trying to write this letter for over a month now. You sure keep me busy, Basia-Graye! Your dad says, in the sweetest way, that I tend to overestimate what I can get done in a given time. He’s right, but I’m a dreamer and having aspirations and goals keeps me excited about life. I’ll probably never change. It was on my summer bucket list–along with making peach butter and taking you swimming–to write you this letter. What I didn’t anticipate is how hard it would be. There’s so much that I want to say to you. Where do I even start? How can I even begin to capture all that you are and do?
This won’t do what’s in my heart justice, but I want you to have this one day when you’re older, so I have to start somewhere. Here goes: There’s a face you make when you don’t want to eat anymore or aren’t really into something we’re offering. You tilt your head down and to the left shaking it slightly, your eyes closed and lips scrunched together. It makes us laugh every time. Sometimes we even offer you food a second time just to see you make that face again. I admire how you listen patiently to stories all the way through now. Your eyes move around as you look at the illustrations, your mouth in a slight upturn as you take it in. You even anticipate your favourite parts making signs or laughing when, for example, Pom Pom yells “GO AWAY” or Clive and Asif splash the babies. You’ve started doing the sign for more when you’d like to go down the slide again or need me to replenish your strawberries (or tomatoes or watermelon–you really like red foods.) You’ve been an enthusiastic eater until recently. Though I think it’s just a phase because one of your favourite things to do is to be in the carrier when I’m cooking. You like the action, the smells, the colours, and especially when I let you taste the things we’re cooking. No matter how hard I try though, I can’t seem to get you to like sweet potato, avocado, or banana. I think it’s something about the texture you don’t like. But I figured out that if I give you frozen banana, you eat it up like ice cream. Quelle surprise! You’d walk everywhere if we let you. Even though you’ve been walking for almost 3 months, you’ve recently figured out that this mode of transportation can happen outside of the house and you much prefer that over any other way to travel. You got your 7th tooth yesterday and I wouldn’t have even known except that you smile so much these days your mouth is constantly open. You’ve been saying “mama” and “dada” for about half of your life, but you just recently started saying a few new words. Yes, socks, lunch, no, and this!! (with emphasis) are a few of your favourites. You’re an excellent mimic too, often catching us by surprise and repeating words we say. You make me realize that I have to start paying more attention to what I say around you. 🙂 You haven’t taken to stuffies yet, but it’s rare that we don’t see you with two small balls–one in each hand. Your love of music is contagious. You are often moved to dance or sometimes just listen intently, leaning in and squinting your eye like you’re trying to hear a conversation in really loud room. You like to rearrange things–like the real estate flyers at a restaurant or the maracas at song circle–bringing them to a different location one-by-one. Dada describes it as you working on a “project” which makes me laugh. The first time he said this I laughed so hard at the thought of you working. He was quick to tell me that your project is no less valid than ours and he’s right! If only we knew what you were up to. Maybe this is a developmental thing or maybe this is some insight into how you’ll be when you grow up. You think outside of the box; that we know for sure.
I want to tell you that being the one who gets to greet you when you wake up from a nap is one of my favourite things in life. You smile like your face will break, lay your head on my shoulder, then nurse like you’ll never see me again. If happiness was personified, you’d be the best picture of it. I also love nursing you before bed. That nighttime nurse is the most intimate. We lay belly to belly, your leg slung over my hip, eyes wide, hands grabbing gently at my skin. I run my fingers through your hair and try to take you in, telling you over and over again how much I love you. The truth is, you will never know how much I love you, how I would do absolutely anything for you and how my heart aches with joy/pride/sadness/ out of nowhere at times and for reasons I can’t even articulate. The love is so immense that I often feel like I don’t have enough room to hold it inside of me. I think you may understand its power if you decide to become a mama one day, too. It’s the most incredible feeling and I’m grateful for it and for you every day. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for trusting me. I will do everything I can to give you the best life.
You ate this a lot when we were in Berlin. So much so that I shot it at our flat there thinking I’d have the time to post it during our travels. You had other plans for me; you always do. I’m sharing this with our friends to remind myself to make it for you again and so that they too, can have an easy, tasty breakfast for themselves and/or their kids.
Friends, if you make this please post a picture and tag #80twentyfood. I’d love to someday share these pictures with her, too! <3
5-Minute Apple Bircher Muesli (print recipe here)
Serves: 2.5, but is easily doubled
Notes: Do you have 5 minutes to spare? Mix up, store in the fridge overnight, and wake up to this healthy, tasty apple-studded muesli.
1 large, sweet apple, grated (reserve as much of the juice as possible)
1 cup oats, gluten-free if preferred
1¼ cup milk of your choice (I use cow’s milk)
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cardamom
Pinch of salt
Pinch of vanilla powder (optional)
In a medium bowl, mix everything together.
Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the oats to absorb all of the flavour.
In the morning, stir to refresh and serve with your favourite toppings (nuts, seeds, fruit, dried fruit, etc.).