Thursday, January 6, 2011
Tuesday December 21, 2010
After breakfast, I went pouring through a pile of mail on our table. It was fantastic to receive every one's Christmas cards, see how our family's and friend's children had grown during the past year. As I sorted the mail, I found a card addressed to Nina. It was from her Ryder. I took the card over to Nina and announced who it was from. I wish I could have captured the beauty that spread across Nina's face at that moment and sealed in a jar forever. She radiated!
Ryder has been Nina's friend since last year in preschool. In fact, according to Nina, Ryder is more than her friend. He is her secret boyfriend :) Since last spring Nina has had a mad crush on Ryder. On a Thursday afternoon last April, Nina and I walked across the street from her preschool to Teddy's school. As we did, Nina proclaimed, "Ryder has a great nose and nice hair. I like how he dresses! And he's the only boy that is nice to the girls. He plays with us." I just chuckled when she said this and immediately called Todd to tell him that he had competition for Nina's heart. Todd didn't find humor in my comments :) Ryder is a darling boy and he would frequently (ie., weekly) put sweet little cards he'd drawn into Nina's cubby at school. She would always bring these notes home, carrying them into the house like a cherished belonging. It just made me laugh. One morning I ran into Ryder's mom and we both had a laugh about the innocent sweetness of our children.
When Nina went to kindergarten for the afternoon back in September, Ryder immediately came up to greet her. He stood in line with her, held her hand, and explained to her what the flag salute was when she got scared. He also quietly whispered to me that he missed the old Nina, the one that talked all the time and laughed all the time! Sweet boy! We all miss that Nina :(
Throughout this entire ordeal, Ryder has continued to send Nina hand drawn cards and notes in the mail. Nina has always been touched by them! I have suggested play dates but she refuses. I think she is just too self-conscious!
The Christmas card Ryder sent was nothing short of darling!! Nina's face lit up as I read her his message and she poured over his drawings for at least 15 minutes, beaming from ear to ear. Then she told me she wanted to draw something for Ryder. She ended up coloring a picture from her WALL-E coloring book for him. She decided she wanted to take it to him when she was done.
Nina must have spent the better part of an hour coloring the picture for Ryder. It was gorgeous! She even wrote his name and hers on it. When it came time to take it to Ryder she decided she wasn't ready. When she is ready, I will take her and I am positive Ryder will appreciate it!
After dinner, Nina and I tackled the "Teddy Gift Project" once again. We took a ton of photos and she was so happy to think about why Teddy would need each present. Some of her responses were hilarious. For example, she picked this beautiful silver platter at Macy's so Teddy could put crabby patties on it (from Sponge Bob cartoon!). She is such a strong little girl, with an indomitable spirit. I never want Teddy to forget that! My prayer is that he will have a long life with his tenacious sister at his side but if we are denied that, then I want to capture her spirit for him as much as possible. These gifts will remind him of the "fire for life" that lived in her and defined every rascally inch of her being!