...you rose early, as you always do at the beach. You had a pretty rotten cold and as daddy was walking out the door to get your birthday donut, you yelled in your scratchiest eighty-year-old voice, "Don't forget my coooofffffeeeee." (It's hot chocolate but we don't tell you that).
...we spent the morning at the Salisbury Zoo. It was small, uncrowded, and manageable. Perfect.
...After Charlie's fifth birthday extravaganza, I swore I would never have a birthday at our house. Again. So, for Clara's party we hosted a small group at our town's Arts Council for a Hello Kitty Dance Party. The children (and a lot of the moms) did zumbini for 45 minutes, the kids ate pizza and cupcakes, and an hour and forty-five minutes later, it was over. Perfect.
Today you are three. Which is just crazy because I can still remember laying in bed the day you were born pretty distinctly, the pain of your heel in my side, realizing it was one of the last few moments I would feel you from the inside.
You have just become potty-trained and have no shame. Yesterday at the pool, you screamed to me, “Mommy, I peed in the pool,” and then swished your hand around in the water. Keep it classy, Clara.
You love to eat. You will eat almost anything. And if you are the tiniest bit skeptical, I just add some sour cream or barbeque sauce and you are good to go. You dipped your flounder in A1 the other day. You have a massive sweet tooth. It’s genetic.
You are constantly moving. Dancing, running, jumping, wiggling. You are tall and look like you are going to inherit mommy’s long legs and clumsiness with the bruises that often line your shins. You are starting to sing along to songs in the car (your repertoire ranges from, “Fancy” to the “Doc McStuffins” theme song. Your genres vary).
You talk. A lot. I didn’t know what it was like to have a toddler who communicated with words. You are confident when no one is watching, but hide quickly behind mommy’s knees when noticed.
You have the biggest, brightest blue eyes that often garner comments from complete strangers. On many occasions, we have been out and I hear someone whisper to someone, “Did you see that little girl with the blue eyes and curls?” The ultimate compliment is one a stranger doesn’t know you can hear.
You love the beach and the pool, your dog. Your most favorite thing to play, in the whole wide world, is office. You will jam file folders and “found” (stolen) paperwork into every bag you own (or have stolen). Tonight, I heard you ask no one in particular, “Did you have a good day at work?” You will come over and ask me to sign pieces of your paperwork. I just hope you aren’t already signing yourself up for credit cards.
You love your brother. Your relationship has truly exploded over the last six months and I hope it is always this way. He loves you, Clara Kayyouarezee. We all do.
(Honestly, I'd just like to print out the logo and wallpaper a room in my house with it).
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I wrote in a journal (oh, painful to read now) for ten years growing up. I wrote my mom a note every night before bed. I majored in journalism at Lehigh University and received my master's in writing from The Johns Hopkins University. And I've been memory keeping almost as long. I'm thrilled to join the two together in this class.
"I felt two things immediately when I got the news last night: first that the light had dimmed and, on its heels, a sense that this was inevitable; that Robin had lived for a long time with a darkness at the periphery of his vision.
What must it have been like to be present when he improvised the genie in "Aladdin" or Lovelace in "Happy Feet?" His Texan, his gay stylist, his Soviet comedian, Mrs. Doubtfire…He was a one-man menagerie.
Perhaps, just as we were swept away, so was he.
I remember the small, uncontrollable chuckle that often accompanied his flights of fancy; as if he were as amazed as we were by what was happening to him.
Who can pretend to understand a gift like Robin Williams'? Meteoric, volcanic, fast and furious…Perhaps there is a price for such brilliance.
I'm so sad he's gone and so grateful he left us so much." James Taylor