Sage: 34 months

I’m a day late again. Darn it.

This has been a big month of transitions for you.

On October 3rd, we transitioned you from your crib to a toddler bed. A lot of kids get into toddler beds sooner, and some later, but we determined that you were ready. We only had a couple nights where you tried to get out of your room; one night, we put you back to bed something like twelve times before you finally fell asleep just a little before midnight. We were all cranky the next day.

On October 5th, we went up to Chicago to the Lincoln Park Zoo. You re-met “Uncle” John and we all met Kate (who was like family immediately [the good kind]). For a brief moment, we thought we were going to have to do some difficult explaining to do… one of their gorillas nearly caught a squirrel. I don’t think he would have hugged it.

On October 8th, we took you to meet the newest member of the family — your new cousin, Raven. You had known for a long time that she was coming, but you didn’t quite get the concept — you were sure that Raven was there and was still in Aunt Ashlie’s belly. Raven is your first younger cousin (including step-cousins, you have eight who are older than you, including one you’ve never met), and you seemed ready to take on the mantle of BIG cousin for once.

On October 9th, we started a potty-training “blitz.” Basically, for five days we worked hard with you on potty-training. You had your first accident-free day on October 13th, and you got to pick out a new doll at the store the next day. Before that, though, we had a moment in which you said maybe the funniest thing you’ve said so far, even though you certainly didn’t think it was funny at the time. We went out to dinner, and we tried taking you to the bathroom a couple of times, but not much happened. At the end of the meal, you announced that you had to go… but we discovered you were already wet all the way through your pants. We didn’t have a change of clothes for you (poor planning on our part) and we didn’t want to put wet clothes back onto you once we had taken them off, so we reluctantly decided to take you home wet and change you there. You had an absolute meltdown in the car, sobbing and howling, “I WANTED TO PEE AT O’CHARLEY’S!!!”

On October 19th, you got to hold baby Raven on your lap on the couch. You didn’t believe us when we told you that you were even smaller than her when you were a baby.

On October 20th, you basically outsmarted me at suppertime. After an epic dinnertime battle in which it took us 45 minutes to convince you to try ONE macaroni noodle (you kept insisting you didn’t like it, to which we kept pointing out you hadn’t even TRIED it yet), we had a little conversation…

Mom: Okay, Sage, since you finally tried it, you can have a treat.
You: What is it?
Mom: It’s some of Grandma’s cherry dessert that you had yesterday.
You: Yay!
Me: I don’t think Sage likes cherry.
You: (indignant) Yes I do!
Me: Oh, you do?
You: Yes.
Me: Well, how did you figure out that you liked cherry? Because you tr…
You: Because Gwamma maded it.
Me: …
You: (raises eyebrows and nods)
Me: Well, I was intending for an object lesson there, but what you say does have a lot of validity…

For the past several weeks, you’ve been taking swimming lessons on Saturdays. Last week and today, you jumped into the pool toward Mommy, with no “bubble” belt or anything. Frankly, because of my massive fear of pools, it makes my heart pound when I see you submerge, but you come up looking so happy that it makes me smile every time.

I’ve been thinking about what sort of advice to give you this month, and I know what I want to say but not how to say it.

Welcome transitions.

Sometimes they’re hard. None of us were really happy with the first couple days of potty training. Sometimes that sort of thing happens metaphorically. But when it’s done, things are better.

And I really believe that. I don’t necessarily say that “things happen for a reason,” because in my theological and philosophical thoughts, sometimes the “reason” has nothing to do with “intent,” which is the idea behind the phrase. People will quibble over whether God “makes” or “lets” things happen to people, but I honestly believe that most of the time we’re dealing with just the general chaos of real life, and the best thing we can do is figure out a way to the other side of the difficulties. My point is, no matter what the changes are that you’re going through — no matter if they look like they’ll be good changes or bad changes — the fact is that if you try, you will find a way to make things better than they were, even if nobody else understands that.

Your mother has a decoration with a quote on it that is anonymous, although many people incorrectly attribute it to the Dalai Lama, because it’s the sort of thing we can imagine him saying. “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

That’s what I mean, I think. If you go through a change and you don’t feel like things are better, you’re probably not done yet.

And if that weren’t enough, I’m going to tell you again: be who you are. That’s what will help you the most. Staying true to yourself is so important that it will make any challenge just a little tiny bit easier to bear in the long run.

I love you SO MUCH, Sage. Your mother and I both do. You’re the most amazing little girl we’ve ever known, and every week brings us new joy with you.

P.S. — you’ve started writing your own songs. The melodies are elusive and inconsistent, but they’re so much fun to hear. Your current string of household hits include:

  • “When the stars twinkle, they’re sposed to do dat. Den dey fall to da floor an’ we pick dem up and put dem back up.”
  • “When da monsta takes my bear, dat makes me sad.”
  • “Da witch took my book an’ she put it in her pie.”
  • “Sometimes my daddy pways da piano an’ it’s woud.”
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