I meant to write this on the first of June. Typical (of me) that it comes on the first day of July instead.
Iris turned four years old on June first. FOUR. How does that happen? Where does the time go? Is it shoved-our time- into a giant's pockets? Bulging seams just about ready to burst- but never ever popping- always always having room for more? His large hands scoop up our time so quickly we never know that it has gone past, until it has? Or is it like a movie script being written, where time can jump and zoom and fly from the scriptwriter's typewriter? Or our own personal movies on a life-sized movie screen, our time being edited and deleted, modified and amplified and we watch this movie as it moves by? Some moments being paused, some feel like they are on a loop and others- most others- are on fast forward? Flick flick flick goes the projector, projecting images at breakneck speed. I am (and have always been) fascinated and horrified by time. Having children may make you appreciate time, savor time- but it definitely doesn't help slow things down. Quite the contrary- since the arrival of Iris, time has flown.
When I was pregnant with Iris, we had no idea what we were going to name her. No idea. Every name I brought up, Jamie promptly shot down. (Although, I will admit- the names I liked really would not have worked. I liked Ruby and Violet- names that would have made Iris sound more like a Crayola than a kid.) I shot Jamie's names down, because I could. Everyone had their suggestions- and I mean everyone- family, friends, clients, baristas, strangers, a homeless man- all well intentioned, but no name seemed quite right. In typical Blue fashion, Iris was due on May 26th, but by the 31st was still not ready to make her debut...but I totally was. So, I took my (midwife approved!) castor oil cocktail and waited for Jamie to get home from work (and for the cocktail to do its work.) When Jamie got home, he asked me if I saw the new flower that had bloomed in the garden- ("There is not a new flower in the garden....") There was a new flower in the garden. One June Iris had opened itself up. One single Iris. Our Iris. One sweet, beautiful flower.
Iris arrived just as daylight broke over the Chicago skyline. Beautiful sherberty hues of pinks and oranges streaming through our window is the clearest memory I have of my delivery. Perfect to welcome a baby girl. She was perfect. (As, I am sure all mothers think their babies are.) My sweet baby girl.
I have mentioned before that it took me a long time to bond with Ezra- I was totally scared about what we had done. (There baby is in our back seat! And it is coming home with us!) Avery, on the other hand came out holding my heart tethered to a string . (You *will* love me NOW.) Iris though, Iris just felt so right- like the final piece to a puzzle had clicked into place.
As wonderful as the completed puzzle seemed- Iris embodied my perfect nightmare. I am a boy's girl. A tomboy to the core. From go, she was a girly-girl. No, she was (is) the girliest of girls. (As I type this, she is currently wearing a princess crown, 4 Hello Kitty/Frozen bracelets, 1 Frozen pendant necklace, 1 very large ring and just took off her second princess dress of the day. ) My boy-centric world was going to get thrown off-orbit. If it is gaudy, shiny, sparkly, pink, purple, sequined, princess-y, be-dazzled and/or all of the above mixed together into one iridescent vomitous mass- Iris loves it. It has been this way, I swear- since day one. Nothing is ever frilly or fancy enough. Ever. Iris owns more purses than I do. Iris is a master at strutting around in high-heels. (Don't even ask.) Princess dresses? There are many. Princess dollies- her faithful companions. Pink socks, pink sheets, pink shorts- check, check and double check. If I loathe it, I know she will love it. But, just between you and me, I don't mind- not really. We are a funny ying and yang- she and I.
Iris is the snuggliest of my children. She wants cuddles every morning, and every night. (And throughout most of the day.) It is absolutely impossible not to want to hold her. To smother her in kisses. And yes, to nibble at her. Iris is fiercely independent. If brothers can do it, so can she. Iris can be a force of stubbornness and attitude. Iris is a competitor. Iris is generous. Iris is the most genuine receiver of gifts ("Oh, it is beautiful and absolutely what I have always wanted!") and the most sincere giver of compliments. ("I love your lovely outfit!"!) She lives in the land of faeries- (where we do see eye to eye.) I am often hunting for faerie circles for us to *almost* step into, wild animals to train to help in our faerie work or to weave a crown or two for other obliging park faeries.
Iris talks with an accent that vaguely sounds of the East Coast. Boston? Iris, like Avery (and we have no idea why) call foxes Waffles. (Although Iris has adopted "Waffies" because, of course, it sounds cuter.) Iris loves My Little Pony. (My favorite of hers is "Toilet Sparkles" because up until very recently she couldn't say Twilight - so we all call her Toilet Sparkles too and now she corrects us.) Iris wants to be a dancer. She loves to twirl. (And I suppose it goes without saying, tutus.) Iris loves kitty cats- and although I am not too proud, we have been caught by strangers taking to each other in "meows" at Target.
Iris loves to swim. She loves to cook, fold laundry, (I know!) weed with me and my mother in the gardens, look at beautiful flowers at the market and make her own arrangements, draw, pretend, play catch, play pirate (princesses!) or dragon (princesses!) with her brothers... oh- the list could go on and on. I could go on and on. And on. I marvel at who she is. I wonder who she will become. I marvel and wonder at where four years have gone.
At night, as I feel her breathing slow down in my arms and her sweet, sturdy body go lax - I breathe her in. All of her. I consciously think of this one single moment that we are in, she and me- and will it, although it never does- to slow down, maybe even sometimes for it to stop- because everything is so golden, so perfect, so pink-princess-sparlky, so so good. And I think, maybe the gods knew something I didn't. That I needed - I craved this little girl. And she carved a place out in my heart that belongs solely and exclusively to her, and all of her girlishness. I wouldn't have it any other way.