Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Life, and the importance of living it.

Three years ago, I wrote a letter to Lenore Skenazy, a fellow blogger who writes a regular site called "Free-Range Kids".  Lenore reminds us that when we were kids, our parents booted us out the door at 10 am and we didn't come home until the street lights came on.  That we knew how to take the bus.  That we played in the mud.  And sometimes we got into fights with other kids.  We knew how to ask for directions when we got lost, and we knew how to ride our bikes to the library, and we knew how to get the pop machine at the corner store to disgorge a free soda now and again.  She worries that our children today are over-protected and over-parented and that there must be a balance there somewhere.

I wrote to tell her about Kiersten and to thank her for helping today's parents get over themselves.

I tried to raise Kiersten like I had been raised.  I wasn't as open as my mom was with me, to be certain, (mostly because I grew up with sidewalks, which are conspicuously absent here) but I sure didn't want that kid to grow up afraid of the world.  My mother-in-law was constantly fretting when I let her walk to the corner alone or let her ride her bike to a friend's house, or let her go horseback riding with the bigger kids. But I'm glad I did all those things.  She had a great time while she was on this Earth

Last week, Lenore wrote to me and asked me if she could publish my letter, even though it was three years later.  I re-read it, and decided that my opinions hadn't changed a bit, and maybe this was a good way to honor her today. So here it is, on the third anniversary of the day Kiersten left us, (which is also Lenore's birthday).

Free-Range Kids

Thank you, Lenore, for helping to honor my baby today. Because she's still my baby and always will be. I didn't expect it to feel as emotional to me as it does, but I'm glad that letter is out there.

And Thank You, sweet Bug, for another year of learning the lessons you were sent here to teach me.  I love you and I miss you, and I know you're watching and sending your love from Heaven.  You are still the greatest joy my life has ever known.

Wear a lorikeet for a hat today.  You'll thank me for it later.


jen said...

I really don't have words to convey what an amazing woman and mom I think you are. Its an honor to know you. Peace. And God bless your sweet Bug! xo Jen (sk8)

Alison said...

Love this and love you.

Matthew said...

I read your letter to Leonore at Free Range Kids yesterday, and then linked to your blog and read some of your posts about your daughter last night. As it would for any parent, the story of her happy but so unfairly short time here, and your time with her, was very bittersweet. I know she is with you, but I wish she was still really there next to you.

This morning on the subway on the way into work, my iPod shuffled to "Junebug Waltz" by Hurray For The Riff Raff. Couldn't help but think of your Bug splashing in the ocean and dancing under those Crabapple trees.

All the best to you and your family.

Beanie said...

Thanks to all of you. It was good to get that story out.

Matthew, I'm checking out that song.