I simply find Lauren’s dreams so interesting…and bizarre. I like to jot down the words she uses exactly because not only am I’m amused by her imagination and often tickled by her depiction as she recaps the night’s adventure. Here is last night’s dream in LP’s own words:
It was a dream that was like a movie. There was a mommy like the one in the newspaper…the one from the comics on the top row with blonde hair – For Better or Worse maybe? She had car babies. One named Lauren, one that looked like a lion, one that was yellow and green, and one that I don’t remember its name or what it looked like. The one named Lauren made hundreds of bunnies. I think she learned to sew at school. I didn’t see the school part I’m just guessing. The lion one just fell asleep because they had a certain time that they had to be asleep by. Then little fire truck was coming…I think it was a fire truck because it had a ladder and was red. I’m not sure what the fire truck was doing but the lion car thought he was going to make him go to sleep so he did before he got there. He fell asleep and his body and tail just fluttered away…went away magically so fire truck couldn’t see him.
Me just writing this down doesn’t do it justice. I’m not to get one of her dreams on video. Her inflection and mannerisms are priceless. Instead of pulling out a pen and paper, I’m going to have to reach for the camera next time.
While playing one of our board games this afternoon, Lauren declared after she won, “Mom, I need to get more exercise. Chutes and Ladders helps me S-T-R-E-T-C-H so I can be stronger.”
Here are some of the things Lauren has said over the past few days that have made me laugh.
“When Daddy does the movies magically.” She’s referring to the Net Flix DVD
As she wiggled her toes, “Why does it feel like something is attacking me? It feels like there is something there but it’s not.” LP’s description after her foot fell asleep.
“I’d like to go to Fresno. Fresno and Paris”
“Can I ring the ding dong?” Of course that’s the door bell.
“I love jumping off of the jumping board.” I’m sure when she learns to drive, it will become the driving board.
Instead of saying wait or hold on, Lauren says, “Pause, please.”
“I want to go through my baby toys and donate some that I don’t play with to a baby. A baby that doesn’t have any toys…or a mommy that’s going to have a baby.”
Everyday is a joy!
If I had to guess a mission statement for Lauren, there is no doubt this would be it. Just like any other kid about to turn four, her world revolves around playing. And she loves to play games. Any game. All games. She will happily spend hours playing UNO, Dominos, Checkers, Go Fish, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Chutes & Ladders, The Memory Game, and even Chinese Checkers. She enjoys the challenge, loves to win, and is frighteningly good. I am amazed by her maturity and astonished by her ability to strategize. I so enjoy interacting with her in this new way but also find myself saddened to know she’s growing up just way too fast! But then game time is over and she’ll ask to play “tickle monster”. We spend the rest of the afternoon running, jumping, rolling on the floor and giggling. I am in awe of her innocence and sweetness. I am left breathless from her inner beauty and exhausted from chasing after my once again baby girl. Lauren is growing so fast and learning new things every day. I know that never-resting mind of hers is constantly looking to me and Ryan for knowledge and direction. We are doing our best to provide her with all the love and guidance a little girl could ever want or need. In return, she is giving us a perspective on life that is refreshing, endearing, and contagious. Life is swift. People change and grow too fast. All I can do is hold on for as long as possible, treasure the experience and prepare myself to let go one day. In the mean time, I plan on playing hard and enjoying the ride!
Our photo shoot this month is a perfect reflection of Lauren’s spirit. She spent most of the morning chasing after a very aggressive and brave butterfly (look closely because it’s in most of those pictures). Her immeasurable joy of leaping through the air radiated throughout the park. Several people stopped to comment on her beauty. It was the most stunning moment. It was impossible to witness and not feel energized. One older man said to me, “I haven’t thought about chasing butterflies since I was her age.” I have the privilege of experiencing that feeling everyday through her! After Lauren wore out the butterfly, we took off to explore. Moments in time…an ordinary day that was an extraordinary occasion. I am so proud of her. Check her out, click here.
I’m really not sure where Lauren’s fascination with hunting came from. We are not a hunting family. However, over the past couple of days, LP has made several references to going hunting. Being the animal lover she is, I was completely surprised by her outlook. At times I’ve even been fearful to correlate the food she is eating with an animal. I didn’t want to create a vegetarian. However, it seems like I won’t have that problem. While driving down the highway the other day, in an especially wooded part, Lauren proclaimed:
Daddy and I need to go hunting in the woods for animals. Daddy is going to take his gun and we are going to hunt chicken…because I love to eat chicken!
Since she’s also started calling steak and hamburger cow as she’s eating it. Guess I don’t have to worry about her after all.
This past week we had to say good-bye to a beloved family member. Kala unexpectedly got sick and had to be put to sleep. Lauren has had to deal with her fishes going to heaven, but I wasn’t sure how she would react when finding out that Kala was now gone. It was wonderful to see the two of them together. She so adored loving on Kala and I think that maybe Kala loved the attention that Lauren gave her, too. I was concerned. I was sad. But most of all I just wanted to say the right thing to LP. I prayed that I would find the words to comfort and reassure her. I wanted her to understand that letting go was okay but all I could really think about was how much that hurts at times. I thought it was best to keep in short.
Me: Lauren, Kala got really sick and she had to go to heaven.
LP: (pausing for a bit and then looking up toward the sky) Now?
Me: Yes, she is in heaven watching us play right now.
LP: (smiling the sweetest smile that made my heart melt) I bet she’s woofing that the dinosaurs right now!
Lauren was so excited by the thought that Kala was in heaven with the dinosaurs. Letting go isn’t easy. There will be more times in our lives that we will have to do just that. As a mother, I’d like to protect LP from that pain but, of course, that’s just impossible. However, in that moment, with Lauren’s simple understanding of what had happened, she reminded me that Kala is okay. When we have to say goodbye, we are left with a void, an emptiness that will never be filled. But while our heart aches, we should be comforted knowing that our loved ones are in heaven “woofing at the dinosaurs!”
In memory of Kala, I wanted to share some pictures of her over the past few years with Lauren. Click here.