"mama, i see the moon!" she says tugging hard at my hand.
"oh yes, bella, i see the moon too." i answer.
"it so big," she continues.
"very big," i reply.
"big like bella?" she asks, already so sure.
i chuckle. "maybe."
"i reach it." determined arms outstretched and confident and high in air.
"of course," i say. "yes, bella, i believe you might. yes, you just might." and everything in me smiles.
i won't tell her she can't. because who really knows. and this is a girl who reaches things. in this year that we've had bella, i have watched her grab hold of things i wouldn't have guessed possible. not much stops this little gal. and little she is. so wee, you can't hardly believe it.
but stand next to her and you'll see. her size doesn't even register on the standard growth charts at the pediatrician's office. it doesn't matter though. not one bit. because like with the moon, things aren't always the size which they seem. bella's big personality, enormous smile and resourceful spirit more than make up for her petite frame.
when those things don't quite cut it, she drags around the beaten up, green kitchen stool. she can't pick it up quite yet, but she can push it most anywhere it needs to go. pantry. sink. counter. table. desk. i've even watched her move it into the bathroom. sometimes she asks for my help. but mostly she doesn't. "i can do it!" she announces emphatically to all. and, usually, she can. and does.
another one of bella's tricks is moving pillows. when she can't reach a light switch or the TV power button or something up on a chest of drawers, i've watched little miss take throw pillows and pile them high. i sat amazed, like a brand new mother, the first time she did this in front of me. she took the pillows one by one and then climbed up onto the stack until her mission was accomplished. a grin spread across her face. i didn't have to show her how to do that. i wouldn't have thought of it. she just figured it out. and when the green stool is not handy, she resorts to pillows. bella cannot move big, bulky furniture, but she can move pillows and so she does.
i am thinking this quality is going to come in kind of handy later in life. i love that bella isn't one bit aware of her tiny-ness. she thinks she can reach the pencils, the milk jug and the moon! i want to be a little more like that. i want a dose of this girl's determination. i want an injection of her ingenuity. i, somedays, downright need it. motherhood has a way of squashing you at times. there's a lot i want to do in my day...many goals and ideas and milestones i want to reach. except that life (or a kid or the cat or a catastrophe) get in the way and those goals blur a bit. sometimes i get to the end of a day and wonder what in the world i even did that day. i look around and see a myriad of half finished things trailing behind me at bedtime. i am inclined to slam my bedroom door shut and crawl under the covers pretending these incomplete items belong to another woman. i don't know how they got here. and i certainly don't know how they'll ever get done -- that's for sure. but then i look at my little girl. 34 inches and reaching things. step stool mover and throw pillow mover and mountain mover, this girl. she inspires me.
"reach for the moon. even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." ~ les brown
i fell in love with the author, louisa may alcott, many years ago. it was christmas time, i'm not sure which year, but i was young and i read...no, that is not quite right, i inhaled, her book, little women. it took me to a place far away and i have always been crazy about far away places. i scribbled on a piece of paper a quote from the flyleaf of that book and it has stayed with me. i have carried it with me all these years -- sometimes in journal, sometimes in bible, sometimes in my wallet. at some point in college, the paper started to tear and i had to rewrite it, but i still carry that quote.
"far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations.
i may not reach them, but i can look up and see their beauty,
believe in them, and try to follow where they lead." ~ louisa may alcott
in moonlight or in sunshine or in our stormy kitchens, it makes no difference, we can carry and we can reach and we can dream.