It’s My Turn Now

August 15, 2014 by  
Filed under On Life and Living


My Turn Now

Charlotte is the product of a traumatic delivery.  She has spent her entire life seeing her mother deal with the physical and mental challenges of major recovery.  This is her first ever post.


It’s My Turn Now

I am an expert at holding up four fingers…

Adults are so predictable.  After they come over and exchange pleasantries with my mom and dad, they always turn their attention to me and ask the same question.  I have become an expert at responding.  In fact, I’ve answered the question so many times that my response is on autopilot.  There is no thought involved as it is totally natural.

Charlotte's 4th BirthdayDropping my gaze to the ground makes me look shy.  A sly smile and a few quick blinks highlight my adorable nature.  My new acquaintance waits patiently for my response.  I have their complete attention.  After a few silent seconds, I sense a desire help me answer the question.  Then and ONLY then do I slowly extend my arm and point four fingers in the air.

It feels like just yesterday that I responded with three fingers.  I had done that for what seems like a lifetime.  Then one day my birthday FINALLY came.  We ate cake and opened presents and everyone sang and looked at ME to blow out the candles.  I have become a big girl.  I show people this every time I proudly hold my hand up and point all four of my fingers to the sky.


A Normal Life

Everyone’s life is different.  Reading all of these entries in this website might lead you to believe that my family’s life is a lot different than yours.  Once I learn to read, I might tend to think that way too.  For now, I feel safe in my home and comfortable with my family.  Life is as normal.  Life is right.

I love so many things about my life.  There are backrubs and swingsets and crayons and play-doh.  Every day is a mix  of jumping and running and tagging and screaming.  Everyone smiles at me whenever I want them to.  I just know this world is the most perfect place in our universe.

When I’m excited I shake, jump, and dance.  Nothing makes me happier than when I get to tell other people that they’re wrong and I’m right… well that and singing every last word of the “Frozen” soundtrack.

The world feels so simple and so real and so right.  Some people would describe me as persnickety, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with picking things off my food for half an hour or throwing a fit when someone tries to buckle MY seatbelt.  I can always find reasons not to do what people are asking me to do.  Unless they are sensible enough to use a rhyme.  Every four year old I know understands that “sleepy-peepy” is a whole lot better than “bedtime”.


Love and Loyalty

I have two sisters, so I’ve become used to the arguing, yelling, fighting, and making up.  This routine repeats about every hour when we’re busy.  When we’re left alone?  With free time?  Well you’ve heard what they say about idle hands…

All of my days are spent with people.  Even when I’m playing alone there are other people in the room.  My favorite alone time is playing dolls in the corner of my sister’s bedroom while she plays on her ipod.

Every day at bedtime my dad offers to take me up “now or in two minutes”.  While I’m happy to always be able to pick two minutes, I secretly smile to myself and wonder why he isn’t smart enough to understand that “two minutes” is always better.

Bedtime is a tough.  I don’t feel comfortable leaving my day behind until my life is in perfect order.  This includes the brushing teeth, picking jammies, removing anything I don’t want in my room, and promising to leave the door cracked.  It takes a while to position my army of stuffed animals so that they can all fall asleep.  Once everything is perfect, I lay down a little, cry a little, and maybe get out of bed to get some reassurance that everything is ok outside my room.


Surviving the Night

Sleeping CharlotteWhen I wake up in the middle of the night, I have learned to navigate the house by touch.  It’s easy to walk in the dark when you stretch out your arms and follow the walls.  My first instinct is to run to my sisters’ room.  Other times I end up in mommy’s room.  Sometimes I jump into the bed, and others I set up my own bed right next door.  The picture to the left shows one of my tougher nights.  When I’m extra tired I just skip it and curl up on the floor.

The best way to get up on a bed is the forward dive and crawl.  Everyone except mom is a heavy sleeper.  Like a ninja, I scurry over them and into a warm spot.  They stir for a second as I climb over their unconscious bodies, but after a few seconds it’s back to deep sleep mode for everybody.

There’s something magical about sneaking into a familiar bed.  Everyone tells me to stay in my own bed, but joining someone else in bed feels so cozy it can’t possibly be wrong.  In the morning I can’t remember how I got there.  All I know is that it feels good to be warm and protected.


My Future is Bright

I’m proud to raise four fingers to tell you my age.  I answer that question with a wink and a smile.  People tell me all the time what a big girl I am.  According to my growth chart, they’re right.  In addition to being healthy, I’m way above the average 4-year old growth line.

Not every kid has the family structure and support that I have.  Sure, we fight just like any other family.  But I feel comfortable.  I feel safe.  There is always someone I can run to when I’m scared or mad or alone.

My mom is the best for cuddling.  She’s never in a hurry and isn’t ever too busy rub my back when I lay across her lap.  I sometimes wish she’d be able to respond faster when I want something and be able to do some of the things my dad and sisters can for me.

Someday I’ll find out why she is the way she is.  I’ll learn about my family’s past and what things were like before I was born.  Right now this four year old will stick to worrying about the present.  You’re only young once and I’m planning on making the most of it!