A few weeks ago, we converted Rosemarie’s crib to a toddler bed. It was pretty much the last of her baby items to go. It started with the infant car seat, which we left behind a long time ago. Some months later, we said goodbye to the bottle, diapers were discarded this past February and now the crib has been unscrewed and rearranged into a miniature bed. In reality, it’s just a piece of furniture, a combination of wood and metal. But in my mind it’s a watch, or better yet, an hourglass: concrete, tangible proof that time is passing.
On one of the first nights Rosie slept in her bed, she actually let me choose the story we would read, a rare occurrence. I pulled Someday by Alison McGhee and Peter H. Reynolds from her closet; I had received the book as a gift from my cousin.
The pages picture a mother and daughter; the former speaks to her child listing all the “somedays” she hopes her daughter will have as she grows. Some are hopes for a childhood marked by magic, one in which the daughter will run so fast her lungs will burn and “swing so high, higher than [she] ever dared to swing.”
As the pages turn, the daughter grows older in her mother’s imagination as the mother’s dreams mature as well: “Someday you will look at this house and wonder how something that feels so big can look so small.”
“Someday I will watch you brushing your child’s hair.”
These authors’ words are so simply touching and reading them while seeing Rosemarie lay in her new toddler bed really struck me. My big girl in her big girl bed. She is only two and a half but I couldn’t resist the deep ache in my chest as I realized while she is only two, she is growing. Every day. Someday she won’t be a toddler. Or a child. Someday, she’ll be all grown up.
And I wondered: what are the somedays I want for her? I agree with every moment on McGhee and Reynolds’s list; I will not even try to say them better than they.
And, of course, we all want the big things. We all want our children to find love that warms their heart, perhaps work that makes them smile, children that complete them.
So what about some little things? What are the little somedays I hope Rosemarie will have like swinging so high her stomach drops or running so fast her chest burns? What are the moments I hope to be sprinkled throughout her life?
Well, Rosemarie, my big little girl, here are some wishes I have for you. The first five items on a list I know will continue to grow.
- Someday you will laugh so hard your stomach aches – Not the kind of laughter that comes from a slapstick movie nor the antics of a stand-up comic. The kind that comes from real life. From your best friend tripping and falling on the dance floor, from the joke that never ends one night. The kind of joke that makes a single word funny like pepper or elbow.
The kind of laughter that won’t end, even when you beg your stomach to relax for the laughter just hurts too much. The kind that will make you laugh every time you remember it, days, weeks or years later.
- Someday you will win something (especially as an underdog) – No, winning isn’t everything but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel amazing. I can say that I have been lucky enough to win as the favorite and as the underdog. And nothing compares to winning when no one thought you could. It is a feeling unique to itself. To have worked so hard for something, to have wanted to give up only to keep going and to make it all worth it in the end.
Enjoy the sport or the game or whatever it is you may do no matter the outcome, but someday I hope the outcome is what you fought for. Someday, I hope you know how it feels to win.
- Someday you will give and receive an amazing gift – I don’t care if it’s worth $1 or $100. I just want you to know how it feels to get a gift you truly love. To pull off the wrapping paper, unsure of what’s inside. To lift the flimsy cardboard box top, unfold the crunchy tissue paper, and find your heart’s desire underneath. To genuinely squeal with glee.
And just as gratifying, perhaps more, I hope you watch someone react this way to the gift you have given. I hope you feel the joy that only comes from knowing you made someone else’s day.
It’s not about the gift. It’s not about the material. It’s just about the feeling.
- Someday you will hear your favorite song in a bar or club and dance to it: Yes, the thought already makes me nervous. You in a club, the loud music, the guys your age. The other details I don’t even want to mention.
Regardless, this setting is made for the perfect moment. The moment you hear the beat of your favorite song, a song that hasn’t really begun yet but you know it’s coming. Maybe you’ll bounce on your toes in excitement, maybe you’ll close your eyes and focus on the sound. When the songs explodes, I hope you do too. I hope you sing along and dance. Maybe you’ll be the only one who loves that song. And that’s fine. Enjoy it anyway.
But I do hope your friends love the song too. I hope you form a circle, yelling the words across to each other. I hope you throw back your heads and close your eyes. I hope you dance from the inside out.
- Someday you will have the perfect night’s sleep – One day, after you worked hard for many hours and you swap your binding jeans and painful shoes for worn in sweatpants and soft socks, may you climb into your bed that feels like a cloud. May you lie down onto pillows that have taken the perfect shape to cradle your head. With a plush comforter pulled up to your chin, may you doze off easily. And may you wake up hours later from a sleep so deep, you’re a little confused. When you realize where you are, may you snuggle your knees to your chest and sigh in pure contentment.
None of these moments will change your life but moments like these can make your life worth living. Enjoy them, my love. Enjoy every last one.
Readers, what are other moments can you add to the list? What are some perfect little things you want your children to experience?
McGhee, Alison and Peter H. Reyholds. Someday. New York: Atheneum, 2007. Print.