Letters to My Children – August 2020

Dear Ariya,

We started the beginning of August at Nani and Nanu’s house in Richmond.  It’s been nice hanging out at my old house, with you and Asha playing with my old toys.  Especially my old barbies.  Nani saved up all these old fabrics and ribbons and just basically everything that I would have thrown away, for you to create dresses and outfits for your barbies.  Nani found a few old sewing machines that she and Nanu thought they could resurrect for you, but no go.  That’s ok, you still had a blast trying to create outfits for your dolls and stuffed animals.

We had so much Indian food, khakra and mango for breakfast, pav bhaji, rice and chole for dinner.  lunch would always be a sandwich or takeout.  But we had desert every day.  I know I gained 5 lbs.  But it was worth it.

Daddy came a few days later.  It was great having him here, even for a few days.  We hung out, enjoyed spending time with each other, taking walks in the neighborhood.  We went down to Monument Ave, a street that your daddy and I used to spend a lot of time together when we were at VCU and MCV.  It’s this street that has all of these monuments of confederate soldiers and generals.  It’s a piece of history that people love to glorify.  Well, we had quite a time trying to explain what’s happening to people that look like us, what police brutality is for, why there is graffiti all over the confederate statues.  It’s pretty deep and hard to realize that the world sees us differently.  How do we prepare you for the rude awakening that we are sure you will have when you face your first moment of racism?    When will that moment be?  We want you to be prepared.  We want you to believe so hard in yourself that no one will be able to tear you down.

Halfway through the month, we came back to Winchester and moved into a temporary rental, a 2 bedroom townhouse.  It’s been interesting.  You still have to share a room with Asha.  The dogs are with us and they are aware of every single thing.  They are very excited (and not in a good way) that there are neighbors and other dogs and cats around. You had a meet and greet at your school using a drive through.  We received your chromebook, your books and some supplies.  We met your teacher through google meet up and that was pretty cool.  Can’t believe summer is ending.

Dear Asha,

Aren’t you a lucky girl, you have been sharing a room with Ariya for the whole month.  You always wanted a sleepover, you’ve asked for it all the time, and now you get it.  But man.  You just won’t let each other sleep.  All you want to do is play play play.  And fight fight fight.  Fight over my old barbie dolls, fight over all of my old stuffed animals.  It’s a struggle.  You have these big feelings, big emotions, and it’s so hard to translate them into words.  You want what you want, and you have a hard time sharing.  But you still have so much fun with together.  You ran through sprinklers, and played with the garden hose.  You made mud pies and helped Nanu wash the cars.

Then we came back to Winchester.  We tried to get as much pool time in as possible.  It’s kind of tough when the contractors are working on the house every day.  But we made it work, and we had fun.

The realization that summer is coming to an end is hitting pretty hard.  I think the realization that your school is closed for the fall/winter is hitting pretty hard too.  Especially when Ariya got her chromebook, you said “what about me?”  I told you that you have to learn to read first.  So now you’re motivated.  You saw Ariya meet her teacher on google meet up.  And then you said “what about me?”  I was able to get your pre-school teacher to tutor you.  At least you get a break from me trying to teach you, and you have a real teacher teaching you some pretty cool things.  I think we’re going to be ok.  You are a smart, motivated girl that always needs to be challenged.  I bought a lot of homeschooling stuff for this year, I think we are going to have a great time.

Dear Anika,

Anika, you are a trooper.  You have been sleeping in a pack n play for the past month and you are amazing.  I remember traveling with Ariya and Asha when they were babies, and they HATED sleeping in the pack n play.  I don’t know what happened, was it the sleep consultant, was it just your personality?  I don’t know, but man, as long as you have your crib or pack n play, and we try to stick to your nap schedule, you are good.  Daddy and I have to share a room with you, and as long as we are quiet, you pretty much stay asleep.  It’s pretty amazing.  Or maybe we just know better this time around.

This was your first time at Nani and nanu’s house.  You had so much fun crawling all over the place.  And Nani and Nanu loved holding you and playing with you.  You started to crawl up the stairs, it’s only a matter of time before you start crawling up the stairs.

You have a 5th tooth growing in.  And honestly, I don’t think there was ever an issue.  I haven’t noticed you being more fussy or sleeping less or anything.  You’ve just been having a ball, playing in the grass, following your sisters, playing with all of your sisters old baby toys at Nani and nanu’s house, and basically just living your best life ever. 13 months old.  Wow, you are 13 months old and you just keep growing and growing.

 

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