Saturday, May 25, 2013

Now We Are Six

Now We Are Six - A.A. Milne

When I was one I had just begun
When I was two I was nearly new
When I was three I was hardly me
When I was four I was not much more

When I was five I was just alive
But now I am six, I'm as clever as clever;

So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.
Violet Pearl.
She was born at my mother's house on a beautiful May evening, moments after the midwives arrived. We were awestruck when we first saw our first daughter. She cried and cried, then nursed like a champ. We named her after my childhood doll (who was named for my favourite colour), and for my Grandmother. I always wanted a little girl named Violet Pearl.

She's six today.

She is so darn smart. She is brave and bold, and won't back down if she thinks she's right (which is pretty much all the time). She doesn't like "pretty" things, she just likes "cool" things. That means she wants stuff to DO for her birthday, not just stuff to play with. She's too grown up for Polly Pockets and My Little Ponies, but will cry if her little sister gets them and she doesn't. She wants to be like her big brother, and loves to wear his hand-me-downs. But she won't say no to a twirly pink dress if it's offered. She loves to boss her little sister around, and is not above manipulating her to get her way. The threat for months has been, "If you don't _____, I won't give you a treat at my birthday party", to which Margot huffs, "Okaaay."

She tells me, "I'm interested in everything", and she is. She asks a million questions a day, and loves to be read to from non-fiction books. She listens to every single word, and remembers what we read the next day. She is skilled at reading people's faces, and reading between the lines. She is a shark when it comes to games, and is possessive about putting the last piece in the puzzle. She cries when she loses, and one of her favourite complaints is, "It's not fair!" I think maybe she'll grow up to be a social rights activist, a lawyer, or a midwife someday. She has nerves of steel. Last summer when I found a gigantic spider on the laundry pile, she put a jar over it because I couldn't even look at it. She didn't flinch.

The other night she woke up in the middle of the night and cried out that the chicken had peed in her bed. When daddy told her that it hadn't, she said, "Okay", and went back to sleep. 

She is my tiny girl. She was the same size at birth as her siblings, but is slightly built, like a fairy or a will'o'the'wisp. Her jeans all need taking in at the waist, and her sleeves are too short if the shirt fits her body. Her hands are long and fine, and she wields paintbrushes and sewing needles capably and gracefully. Her feet are beautiful; I wish mine were like hers.

She is a girl of passions. Huge smiles, loud laughs, louder protests, giant tears. Great rages, deep love, profound wonder. Her face is different in every photo, and her eyes are so deep and expressive, I could sink into them and read everything in her heart. She is her mama's girl, for sure; I get those sweeps of emotion, those mercurial changes, because I'm like that too.

She is six, and she still sucks her thumb, voraciously, when cuddling or watching a movie or listening to a story. Her blankie is grey and smelly and starting to come apart at the corner where she rubs and nuzzles it. We told her that she'd have to stop sucking when her adult teeth came in, but so far I'm a bit stumped as to how to force the issue.

Her front teeth are loose, hanging by threads, and she won't let me near them. She likes to push one forward and one back, and laugh at her reflection in the mirror.

She hates potatoes. She loves fish. She loves Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and plain broth with noodles. She was once notoriously picky, but is becoming more adventurous.

She is not squeamish. She's curious about birth and life and death, and coolly examines the remains that the cats leave on our porch. She holds worms and toads and slimy things with wonder instead of revulsion.

Violet Pearl. Sometimes when we see her asleep, we're astounded at how tiny she really is, because her spirit is so big.

Six years of loving this wild, wonderful girl have flown by. As I always do, I wish I could keep her as she is for a little while longer; still, I can't wait to know the woman she grows into.


  1. Beautiful!

    Happy birthday Violet Pearl, hope you have the most wonderful day.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your girl. Happy birthday to you both!

  3. Beautiful-
    happy birthday to a special girl and her mamma.
    This tribute made me think of my daughter Vera.
    You write with so much love, it moves me every time.
    Parenting is such a wondrous roller coaster.
    Enjoy the celebrations.

  4. Happy birthday, Violet Pearl!

  5. Happy 6th birthday to Violet and happy 6th anniversary of her birthing day to you! Isn't six fab?! May her next trip around the sun be her best yet! XO

  6. Happy Birthday to a smart, independent beautiful child.You have described her perfectly,I love you Violet Pearl

  7. Happiest Birthday!!! She flew into the world anxious to see it all and she is loving every interesting bit of it. I agree: You have described her in such perfect detail. I want to spend a day with her sometime. I have been a lousy Aunt and have birthday cards for V and J to go into the mail. I will send one to M as well so she doesn't feel left out. I can't imagine her being named anything else but Violet Pearl.

  8. This post was beautiful! It sounds like you have raised an amazing girl! She will do great things!

  9. Oh my word, you have described Violet Pearl so exquisitely here. Anyone who doesn't know her would feel like they do after reading your beautiful blog. In reading this, she reminds me of my eldest, who is growing into an incredible woman. You have made me want to look up my old journals to see what words I wrote about little-eldest.

    Happy, happy birthday, beautiful Violet!


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