02 October 2014

To My Daughter, I Will Beg

"One-Hundred and Seven Pounds. 

I worked hard for that weight. I was light. I was frail. I counted my corn kernels. My skin was colorless, punctuated with clogged pores, and my eyes were yellowing. My external organs corroding as if to prove that my insides were struggling. 
But you could see my collar bones,
and that is what mattered.
I had finally crossed the threshold into the "underweight" category, according to the BMI calculator that haunted me. I was greedy for less (and less, and less). I celebrated my weakness, I translated it into strength. I bled insecurity. The word "ugly" had a debilitating kind of dominance over me. If you told me I was "fat," I would have come apart.
Because that is what mattered. 
I was emotionally, mentally, and cellularly starving.
It took me years to learn what I know now, but it was not until her that I really got it.
Seven Pounds and Twelve Ounces of Redemption. A tiny girl full of a giant dose of clarity. It took my body swelling with child. My bones bearing the weight of another human being. The expanding, the shrinking, the scarring, the tearing - all of it - to accept my body in its glory.
My body, that I hated so deeply before, built my daughter's body.
That is nothing short of a miracle, to me.
From the moment we met, the responsibility to teach her how to love herself sat squarely, tirelessly, on my shoulders..."

I am over at Coffee + Crumbs again today, sharing something I feel deeply about. I wrote a piece on my relationship with my body, my battle with loving myself, and the importance of  teaching my daughter the greatest realization I have ever had,

"you do not have to be beautiful"

20 September 2014


My baby is one. 

She has six teeth, and is a tiny thing at 17.5 pounds, and 29.5 inches long. She is walking (running, really), climbing, jumping; and of course, always dancing. She knows five words in sign language, her favorite being "please" (because she knows it gets her what she wants), and she says ~12 words. Though, they are all variations of the same four sounds. 

She loves making the sound of elephants, cows, lions/tigers/bears, and puppies. She adores thumping her chest like a gorilla, she pretends to be a monkey anytime something excites her, and she is obsessed with Mickey Mouse. The trip to the Fuji Safari Park last month was kind of a dream come true for her, I think. Her favorite songs include "I Love You, a Bushel and a Peck," "You Are My Sunshine," "If You're Happy and You Know It," "The Alphabet," and all of The Beach Boys songs. She makes quite the One Woman Harmonica band. She shouts "OPA" when blowing kisses, and she gives those out to nearly everyone we pass. She has even perfected a "fish kiss" pucker.

She is almost always sleeping (her number one teething symptom!). She still loves to eat, and nurse, and eat some more. And she can conveniently find the letters "E," "A," and "T," when asked in her wooden alphabet set. She is also quite fascinated with the concept of any and all buckles. She will spend forever studying until she can fasten a buckle correctly. (I think we've got an escape artist on our hands.) 

Potty Training is still sneaking up on us faster than we can keep up. She has #2 down pat, and she is so close to nailing #1. The biggest struggle we're having with this is finding tiny training pants that fit a (very small) one year old! Nearly impossible, I tell you. We are so dang proud of the strides she is making, though, and her ability to stay dry and clean almost all day. It is unreal the connections she makes, and the desire she has to learn. 

One thing she just started doing, that I'll never get over is imitating us while we pray. She will fold her arms, and do a little squeak for "amen" every time we are finished. Granted, she shouts loudly during the whole prayer, most of the time.

She does just about anything to get the attention of strangers, but the moment she has caught it, she gets unbelievably nervous. That doesn't stop her from flirting with the Locals, though. And they ADORE her. She has appeared in many selfies and photographs taken by strangers, and is sometimes even given small gifts at restaurants from the owners and cooks. It is really so sweet to see her interact with these wonderful people.

She is a nature baby, and a water baby and spent all summer in the sunshine and swimming in The Pacific Ocean and The East China Sea for the first time. We were able to introduce her to all of the places her father and I spent our first days together, too. That was so special for us all. 

She also got to spend the past six weeks with my mother here, and they are undoubtedly best friends. Nothing means more than seeing her spend time and build relationships with those we love. 

She is even louder, wilder, more demanding, and more exhausting than she was in the months prior. But she is also the funniest, most patient and brilliant girl that I have ever known. She is the epitome of joy. She is the definition of light. The smallest person with the biggest character.

From that hospital room in the middle of California, to our home here near the mountains of Tokyo city. Here we are. 
One year into the best love we have ever known. I can only imagine what the future holds for this girl. 
I get butterflies just thinking about it.