What Caroline’s Been Saying . . .

“No, Mommy you can’t have it—it’s for big girls.”

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When we make it to Mass, we usually stand in the entry “Romper Room” near the Baptismal Font where there’s plenty of space. The girls can walk around and stare at other kids, and we don’t have to worry so much about noise control. We keep saying we’ll sit in the church soon. Weeks ago we gave it a try, but lasted only a bit as Lexi made her longing for motion abundantly clear. We were there long enough for Caroline to fixate on the Crucifix behind the altar. She was really interested in it, and I thought the image was making her uncomfortable, but after a little time she pointed to it and said, “Look, Mom, there’s Steve.”

“That does kind of look like Steve, honey,” I whispered.

“Get him down,” she said.

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Caroline while I was putting her in a cream-colored turtleneck: “It feels like vanilla.”

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We have a children’s book about Easter, a cute little sing-songy number. It allows for the bunnies, the candy, the wide brimmed hats and the parades, but it gets down to business, explaining what’s really important about that certain Sunday. This is the first Caroline heard about Jesus dying to save us and about God being in us all. Pretty heavy stuff though packaged lightly. I picked up the little book on a whim, thinking I could introduce the story and that Caroline would get a kick out of the round-faced little girls hunting for eggs and trying on dresses. Months after Easter, after the book had been missing from the prominent shelf places, Caroline walked into the kitchen and calmly handed me the book announcing, “Mommy, I found God.”

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“I’m not running; I’m just galloping!”

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“You always do that sometimes.”

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My doctor sent me to a physical therapist for a while because pains were shooting up my left let through to my back. The pt said that two C-sections busted open my “core” and she gave me tons of stretches to do in order to get my body back in balance. The stretches seem to be working, but at one point, back a few months, nothing was working. I couldn’t sit on the rocker in Caroline’s room. I couldn’t sit in general. So, I was kneeling down into Caroline’s face trying to muscle my way through a bedtime story. She said, “Mommy, does your leg hurt?”

I said, “Yes.”

She put a hand on my cheek and said, “I’ll save you.”

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We were reading “Twas the Night before Christmas” for only the second time, right as the holiday hoopla was beginning. Caroline pointed to Santa on the colorful page before her: “Who’s that Little Big Man again?”

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We play the “pee-nan-o” and we eat “bee-nan-as.” When we’re not dining at home, we sometimes go to a “rench-a-rench” and we head to the pool in our “bathing soups.”

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Caroline was walking around the kitchen, carrying the phone with one hand, leaning it against her ear with her head slightly slanted. She was talking to the friendly witch, or the friendly monster, or it might have been her friend, Owen. She let out a flirtatious little giggle and shrugged a bit: “That tickles me!”

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Caroline was looking down at her new jumper, an adorable blue/green plaid with pockets that tilt inwards: “The pockets are lying down.”

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We were sitting in the rocking chair before Caroline was going down for a nap. I was closing my eyes and she asked why. I said I was tired. She said, “I will follow you to sleep,” and she closed her eyes.

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Caroline was jumping on a stool, dancing in a wacky way—moving her arms, opening and closing her fingers, tilting her head back. I asked, “What are you doing?”

And she said, “I’m doing the sillies!”

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“Oh, a crowd of blueberries in my bucket of oatmeal!”

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“Mommy, look, I made a bunk bed!” Two pink princess shoes on top of each other.

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“Saturday is my favorite day, too.”

“Why?”

“Because it has a lot of words in it!”

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We were reading Angelina Ballerina, and I asked, “Do you know what ‘graceful’ means?”

She nodded, “Love.”

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“Look Mommy, do you see what I’m doing?”

“Tossing chalk all over the floor?”

“No, I’m making snow!”

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“Mommy?”

“Yes, Caroline?”

“Why do tongues move like that when we sing, ‘La la la’!”?

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I asked, “Caroline, why didn’t you nap? What happened?”

“I just kinda crumbled out of bed.”

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The evening sky was a glorious combination of blues and purples. It was an uncommonly warm night in January, and we were taking a walk right before dinner. She pointed up at the colors and yelled, “Let’s go there!” Then she said, “Oh, look at the boo-ti-ful sky! Maybe I can dance under it!”



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