My husband recently ran across a whole bunch of emails I had sent throughout the early years of the kids’ lives, with various stories about them. Most of them have stood the test of time for cuteness, so I thought I’d share some of them here. For reference purposes, Mary is my older daughter, age 14. Leah is my younger daughter, age 11 1/2. I will attempt to give their approximate ages on each section of stories to put them in perspective.
(Apologies for how long this is. It covers several years, and I really did try to pick and choose the funniest and cutest ones! I actually left a bunch out!)
Mary, 4; Leah, 1 1/2:
1. Mary “called” the doctor on her phone. The conversation went something like this:
“Hi! Yeah… uh, huh. Leah’s okay, and Daddy’s at work….. ha, ha, ha!! … Yeah… Nooo, not today, we’ve got swimming lessons…. Uh, huh. Ha, ha, ha!! ….. Ooooooh, okay… yeah… (nod, nod). Okay. Bye.”
Then she informed me, “That was Dr. Zeitman. I told him Daddy’s at work and Leah’s okay.”
2. There were a few clouds outside that looked like they might grow up some day to be thunderheads. So, I said to Mary, “Let’s pray for rain.” We stopped what we were doing and said a brief prayer for rain. A few minutes later, David drove up and we went out to meet him. Mary said, “It’s going to rain, Daddy!” David said, “No, I don’t think so… I think it’s going to go around us.” “No, Daddy,” Mary replied firmly and confidently, “it’s going to rain. We said ‘please’ to God, so it’s going to rain.” David and I just looked at each other and shrugged. About 5 minutes later, big, fat raindrops started falling, and then it started coming down in torrents. For about 20 minutes we had our own personal little hurricane right over our house. “See Daddy?”
3. We had had a long weekend of traveling, staying in a hotel, and eating out waaay too much. A few days later, I asked Mary what she wanted for lunch. Her reply: “Um… I don’t know. Let me look at the menu.”
Mary, 4 1/2; Leah, 2
1. I was driving along the George Bush Turnpike at 8:30 in the morning with the kids in the backseat, driving Mary to preschool in Richardson. Radio going, watching traffic, propping my eyes open with toothpicks. Out of the clear blue, Mary asks, “Mama, why do we drink blood at church?” Trying not to wreck the car, but wide awake now, I turned off the radio, sent up an emergency prayer, and then, right there on George Bush Turnpike, we had a long discussion about symbolism, Jesus’ death, baptism, sin, and forgiveness.
2. The three of us were playing on the floor, rolling a ball back and forth. Mary was holding Bunny (her #1 lovey) up to her chest, “breastfeeding” it. Then she decided she was “going on a trip”, and asked me to take care of Bunny while she was gone. Well, what are grandparents for? So I said I would. Then she started giving me instructions: “Okay, um. He goes to bed at 3:00. He gets four scoops of sugar in his bottle [where did THAT come from?]. And… oh, yeah, don’t forget to breastfeed him.” I just looked at her and said, “Uh, okay.”
3. Leah was trying to walk around the backside of the kitchen table. I heard her in there saying, “Scooze me! Scooze me! Scooze me, chair!” (David asked me later, “Was she waiting for the chair to move??”)
4. Here’s a commentary on my culinary habits: Our dog Shelly was a terrible yapper. She would bark when someone was at the door, when someone drove by on the street, and when someone had the audacity to walk around in their own front yard next door or across the street. When she did her “someone is here” bark, regardless of the time of day, Leah yelled, “Pizza’s here!”
Mary, 5 1/2; Leah, 3
1. The other day Leah got up from bed and dragged her stuffed Clifford and her stuffed pink bear across the house, stating, “I’ve got my guys with me.”
2. While waiting at the doctor’s office, Leah was going to cross the waiting room to throw something away: “I’m going over there. I’ll be right back. You guys don’t fight.”
3. Lately, whenever David tells Leah, “I love you,” she looks at him sadly and slightly reproachfully, and says, “I love Mama.” (As if she can only love one of us at a time…)
4. Mary walked into Leah’s room carrying a nickel. Mary: “Leah, heads or tails?” Leah: “I don’t HAVE a tail.”
5. We were all standing in the kitchen one day, when suddenly Leah shrieked, started crying, and ran out of the room. She ran back in a few seconds later and jumped into my arms crying. As near as I could figure, something had happened with Shelly (the dog). I think Shelly may have rubbed up against Leah somehow. Anyway, I said, “What’s wrong, baby?” Tearfully, she said, “Shelly SMOOVED me!”
6. Leah seems to be picking up phrases, turning them over in her head, and looking for opportunities to use them. A few examples:
Tearfully, after a bad dream: “I’ve made a mess of EVERYthing!”
Ominously, for no apparent reason: “There’s fishy going on here!”
To Mary, after fetching her shoes for her: “There ya go, little buddy!”
7. I asked Leah if I could have a hug, and she said, “NO!” So I pooched out my lip, looked all sad, and said, “I sure wish I had a little girl to hug me…” “Well,” she said, “Mary’s at school.”
Mary, 6; Leah, 3 1/2
1. Conversation with Leah:
Leah: Mom, I got a new room!
Me: You did?
Leah: Yeah. God gave it to me.
Me: God gives us everything, doesn’t he?
Leah: Yeah! I LOVE God!
2. Leah had spread out a “picnic” on the floor by me. She started packing it up and said she had to leave. “Mm hmm,” I said absently. “Mom!” she said, “Say ‘awwwww’.” “Awwww,” I said. “Well, Mom,” she said, “I’m sorry, but I really have to go.”
3. I was drying Leah off after her bath, and she was cold. She said, “I want to get my clothes on NOW.” I said, “Let me dry you off first. If you put your clothes on now, they’ll be all wet.” She giggled and said, “Then I would be all smoovy!”
4. Mary had moved up to the 1st grade Bible class at church. The college student home for the summer who taught the class reported this story: She asked the kids what they’d learned in kindergarten. One kid proudly proclaimed, “I learned how to count to a hundred!” When they got to Mary, she answered (probably a little snottily), “I learned to count past a hundred.”
5. We were riding along in our van, and Leah said, “Mom, some cars are big [gesturing], and some cars are little [gesturing].” I said, “What kind is ours?” Long pause. “Red!”
6. Brief explanation: Bert Alexander is the associate minister where we used to go to church; he does a lot with the kids; Wayne White is the pulpit minister there. Bert and his wife drove a parallel route with us heading home from church.
One Sunday night, Leah noticed Bert in the next car as we were driving home. She said, “Mom? Does Mr. Bert work?” Rejecting all the obvious smart aleck replies, I just said, “Yes, he works at the church building. He’s one of the ministers, just like Mr. White.” Mary said, “Mom? Mr. White is a Christian.” I said, “Yes, that’s right.” Mary went on, “…because he tells people about God.” “Yes,” I said. Mary: “And I think that’s a really good thing.”
7. One day coming back from taking Mary to school, Leah observed all the trash bins along the street (it was trash pick-up day), and said, “I hate taking out the trash – it just ruins my fingernails.”
8. I picked Leah up from preschool, and she was telling me about her day:
Leah: I made a donation today.
Leah: I made a donation with pink spots on it.
Me: (light bulb) You mean a dalmation? A dog?
Leah: Yeah. A firehouse dog. A donation.
9. We were sitting on the grass, waiting for Mary to get out of school. It was a very windy day, and Leah said something about how God made the wind. I said, yes, that was so. Then she said, “How does God make the wind?” I said I didn’t know. She said, gesturing, “Maybe he just waves his hand really big!” (Sounded good to me.)
Mary, 7; Leah, 4 1/2
At supper one night, Mary was quizzing me about how much fruit I eat. I had to admit that I don’t eat nearly enough. “Then how come you make us eat it?” she asked. I shrugged and said, “I’m just a mean mommy.” Mary paused and blinked, then said softly, “I don’t think you are.” [Give that girl a cookie!]
Mary, 7 1/2; Leah, 5
1. At Wal-Mart one morning, someone was using a very loud floor polisher. I tried to stay in different aisles from him, but I couldn’t move fast enough to get away. It was really loud, and Leah was covering her ears. After it was turned off, she said, “Boy, that was so loud! I was covering my ears to death!”
2. On the way to school one morning, Leah was talking about how her room light got turned on, and she didn’t know how it happened. She said, “I was thinking, ‘How big weird is this!'”
3. Observations by Leah, on the subject of bugs: “Sometimes I like being inside better, because there’re no bugs and stuff. But sometimes bugs get in the house, because they’re so small. They can get in through the cracks. Especially ants. ‘Cause they’re really small. They’re the smallest bugs in the world. They’re even smaller than cars!”
4. Conversation with Leah:
Leah: I wonder what color they will paint the roof next time?”
Me: Well, we just got it replaced, so hopefully we won’t be replacing it again for a long, long time.
Leah: Yeah. You have to wait for it to get worn out. It’s kind of like toothbrushes.
Mary, 8; Leah, 5 1/2
1. We were in the van with David’s parents, and we were discussing the possibility of them taking the kids to the park after lunch. Mary piped up excitedly, “Are we going to the park?!” Not having made a final decision, I said firmly, “Maybe. Don’t get your hopes up until we decide for sure.” Mary said something unintelligible, and Leah, in her best sing-song tattling voice, said, “Mo-om! Mary’s getting her hopes up!”
2. Leah saw a bee working on a flower. Her comment: “He’s getting honey. People have to steal from bees to make good things out of honey. Because that’s the only way to get honey. [thoughtful pause] Or they could just get it from the store.”
3. Mary has made a chart with various things to check off for Leah. One of the columns is “Disbehaveyour”.
Last, but not least, here is a Leah story, age 5, just a few weeks after starting Kindergarten:
Leah came to David, and in an extremely business-like and instructional tone, said the following:
Daddy, I need your help with my lamp. It’s not working. Here’s what I’ve tried:
I unplugged it, and plugged it back in. Then I tried the switch again, and it didn’t work.
I plugged a nightlight into the plug [the outlet] to see if that worked, and it did.
I thought the light bulb might be loose, so I unscrewed it, then screwed it back in. Then I tried the switch again, and it still didn’t work.
I think it needs a new light bulb.