In November I was hopeful, I was listening to Christmas music, I was watching Christmas movies but by December and with the news of Omicron…my hopeful spirit took a turn. Which meant Wallis’ impending 6th birthday just felt like a brick in my stomach.
Not only was my heart aching that time keeps passing, but I hurt for so much of what we’ve lost because of this pandemic. I know we are not alone, but I can’t tell you how much it feels like that, when you see so many people going about their lives as though a pandemic isn’t happening. When I hear other parents showing my similar concerns, my heart jumps like Horton hearing a Who, because it feels like an echo on most days.
And the push back from my own family members (clears throat…my dad and my brother) on how I should be feeling based on their own feelings about everything makes me want to scream. My single brother who has never even babysat a child, I don’t think he even knows what a diaper looks like, if you were to hand him a folded white napkin and a folded white diaper he would need to think on it BUT has some how become a pandemic parenting expert.
But the best possible thing did occur in December, Wallis turned 6. And that really is the best possible thing, even though I want so badly to slow it all down, I know that getting another year with her, getting to experience all the changes, thoughts and magical dreams that she has is the best thing I could ever need. So I celebrate even with my heart breaking ever so slightly against that darn birthday song carrying us forward.
Wallis is so excited to be 6. She keeps saying that she can drive now, and plans to drive our car to the donut shop, and on the way back stop at her favorite place to get “grilled cheeses” which until a few months ago, she thought was “girl cheeses” and order 100. Clearly she’s got comfort food on the mind, ha! We all do…we all do.
Wallis still dreams of being able to “jump into her shows and do the things the characters she loves can do” she asked me the other night, “mama, do you ever wish something that can’t happen, could?” And I said, “all the time” and she said, “well that is what I wish for with my shows. I keep hoping that I can jump through the tv and be with them, but I can’t, I know it is just imaginary but I wish it wasn’t.” And honestly I can relate. How many times have I watched something and wished I could be there in that life….the answer is a billion times.
We talked about how she could draw herself apart of the shows she loves, and she really liked that idea because never stops drawing. She is still constantly drawing. When I say that we have walls covered, bins, and stacks of drawings everywhere I mean it. She draws stories, she draws inventions, maps, calendars, submarines, rockets, airplanes, animals of every shape and size, families, the insides of houses, the insides of bodies, and just everything in between…her creations are endless and wonderful and I absolutely adore the way she draws. I have a terrible time throwing any of them away, so I rarely do and we have so many of them that one day she is going to tell me that I am insane for keeping them all, but by then they will be even more important because of all the years gone and well, I am just going to have to be buried by drawings instead of dirt, because I will never be able to let them go!
Wallis and Loris are continuing their best buds approach to sibling life. I saw this TikTok where a woman said you should never trust siblings that get along, and I laughed because my brother and I never got along and I use to think that way too…but now that I am seeing it from the other side, two siblings that genuinely really love being together it is remarkable. I can not explain unless you have kids that seriously are (mostly) super loving towards each other how healing it is for the sibling that never experienced that.
That doesn’t mean there are not hard times, because there are. Now that Loris is doing so much more and talking so much more Wallis is in heaven, because they’re truly able to play together now. But there are moments even days where Loris behaves like a normal 2 year old and just wants to do her own thing, and those moments are very hard for Wallis. She will tell me how she wishes Loris was big like her, and how Loris won’t do anything she says…and then Wallis will turn to Loris and sweetly say, “are you ready to play with me now?” And Loris will reply without even taking a breath, “no.”
Wallis also has a hard time hearing Loris cry, she will get so mad at Loris expressing her feelings that she will scream (oddly practicing her own ability to express her feelings) and I will have to gently remind Wallis that Loris should be allowed to get as upset as she wants and if it hurts Wallis’ ears, then she should move to another room…which Wallis then refuses to do. But when Wallis is very upset Loris will become very quiet and say over and over again, “wa wa upset, wa wa upset” and then she will hug Wallis. I kid you not that hug will calm Wallis instantly, like we let the air out of a balloon. It is beautiful to witness but also, mercy there’s a lot of sharing of emotions in this house, ha! So yeah, it’s not always rosey, but it’s pretty dang close. I am really proud of them both.
Wallis is still enjoying homeschool kindergarten but she was really glad to get a break too as was her teacher mama (that’s what Wallis calls me) but I am starting to worry she might not want to go back, she has really enjoyed not having school every morning, ha! Her favorite subject is science, though she’s very good at math too, but science has experiments and talks about the human body, so it is the clear winner to her.
Wallis still spends most of her days playing and scootering (or riding bikes) with Loris. They both love going to the playground, and have mapped out all the best playgrounds near us. They both love books, so there’s a lot of reading, and Loris has no interest in shows, so while Wallis watches some shows, Loris will either watch videos of “baby wa wa (wallis)” or play.
Wallis and Loris love to perform, so I bought Wallis a microphone for Christmas and that has been the biggest hit for them both. Loris loves to sing and Wallis loves to dance, so we have been graced with some lovely performances. Loris is really into all things cars at the moment, so Grandma got Loris a little interactive dashboard and steering wheel, they both have gone nuts over it, Wallis more so than Loris even.
Wallis is very concerned about the environment and has asked that we get solar panels, she lets us know if our showers were too long, and even makes sure the water is not running when anyone brushes their teeth. And if she sees a neighbor NOT recycling she launches into a speech about how the oceans are filled with plastic bags. I appreciate it though, I was always trying to get my own parents to do better.
She is also all about the girls. She loves reading any book that are about a girl (woman) doing something or discovering something etc. We have lots of books about women and all their accomplishments and Wallis will exclaim often, “girls can do anything!” She has even complained that there is even a dada, and has asked me on a few occasions if there could just be two mamas….sorry Andrew….but at the same time, oh my word that sounds amazing (sorry Andrew…). She has started saying, “no boys allowed but James” he is one of her friends and I was just grateful he made the cut, because though I love her women rock attitude, I am a bit nervous that it could cause excluding tendencies.
I am endlessly impressed with all that Wallis can do, but something that I really cherish about her, is the way she compliments others. Wallis gives the best compliments and they’re so deeply sincere. I did not grow up in a complimentary home, even now I made the mistake of asking my mom if I was looking old and 20 minutes later I am still not positive if it was a “no” but Wallis sings praises to others. At least to me they sound like songs. Even something as simple as getting into bed with me she will say, “oh yes there’s the person I love more than the whole university” at some point Wallis started confusing universe with university and I haven’t corrected it, ha. Or “mama when I think of you it makes me cry, I love you so much, you are my favorite person.” I mean I am just standing there brushing her hair, and that’s what she says to me…I have lived my whole life without ever hearing a fraction of a statement like that.
And it isn’t just me, she compliments her dad, her sister, our dog, friends, Grandma…etc…she says really loving and uplifting things to everyone she meets, always rooting for those in her life. It feels so good to be around someone that is so kind with their words. I am so proud of her for it, and I hope she never stops giving freely in that way. It empowers me to be more free with my words and to be more kind with the way I use them. What a gift that is.
I have no idea what this year will bring, but I am aching to show Wallis the world. I have kept her and Loris in a protective bubble since the pandemic started, and I want so much to start showing them some life outside of it. Wallis is fully vaccinated, and I hope once Loris is too, we can finally do some things that we use to do. They don’t have to be grand adventures…even a simple trip to a beach sounds glorious. Happy 6th Birthday Wallis, I can’t believe it my sweetest Christmas love…you have given me, dada, and loris more than you’ll ever know.