Friday, September 18, 2009

Mama Wear Yellow Dress, I Wear Yellow Dress

I was worried about telling Natalie that I was getting married.

It actually produced quite a lot of anxiety for me.

That is because, before agreeing to marry Tony, I had promised to marry Natalie. She had the wedding all planned out. She would wear Mama's White Dress, a traditional gown that I wore to marry Daddy that now resides in a box in her closet. And I would wear my blue Cinderella dress, which was a great hit with the pre-schoolers at the Halloween carnival last year.

Whenever she talked about it, she'd remind me: "I wear Mama's white dress; Mama wear Mama's blue Cinderella dress."

I took off my ring when I first saw her, waiting for the right moment to break the news. When I'd found the moment, buckling her into the car after school, I showed her the ring. She grasped my hand, drawing it close to her smudged glasses.

Then she looked at my other hand and asked why Tony had only given me one ring. I told her what the ring meant, that Tony asked me to marry him and I said I would. She studied the ring, and then looked up.

"I wear Mama's White Dress and Mama wear Mama's blue Cinderella dress."

"Yes, baby. That's right."

Nothing would change that, I told her. And then I told her what marrying Tony meant. That we'd pick out a new house and paint her room lavender and that we'd have a party to celebrate. Which meant that we'd dress up.

Natalie thought about that as I drove us home from school. And then she told me her new plans.

"I know, Mama! Mama wear yellow dress, I wear yellow dress!"

She has one in particular in mind.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


It's the universally flattering nail polish shade preferred by three generations of Fitzsimons women.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Natalie's World

Mornings around here can be a little hectic.

We get up early enough: 5:40 in order for Natalie to be at school and me at my desk by 8.

Nevertheless, we are often running behind. We lie in bed cuddling. We swaddle Baby Miss Ann and talk about our dreams. We plan our outfits. We make coffee and chocolate milk and smoothies and sausage and oatmeal.

And then about 25 minutes before we're supposed to leave, I get into the shower. And while I'm doing my makeup, Natalie brings her tea set into the bathroom. While I'm drying my hair, she stands at the door, her little lips moving, but I can't hear a thing. This is all very stressful for Mama.

Enter the camera. Lately, Natalie will disappear for five minutes, returning to ask: "Mama, I take peek-peek my babies?" She has arranged her babies just so and now she wants to photograph them.

So I give her the camera, grateful for a moment's peace. And later, I look at what she's shot, and as I click from one frame to the next I see Baby Miss Ann - lots of Baby Miss Ann - and her other babies, and me, and Elmo, and the apartment.

I see what Natalie sees. I see her sweet little life.