|| iPhone 4
I remember sitting in that tiny apartment in a creaky wooden chair that your dad and I painted red and black one afternoon. I remember spreading newspaper all over our kitchen floor and doodling little stick people in love and apples with paint on our chairs. We were kids in a clubhouse, babies. The chair was janky and I was rocking in it back and forth, scanning wikipedia. There was snow outside and I was listening to The Beatles on youtube before there were ads. I was maybe 2 or 3 weeks pregnant. I found out so early. I simply felt plural. Your presence was so strong, even then. I had no idea if you were a boy or a girl, except that I did. Scarlet. The minute we said it out loud there was no argument. It’s just who you were. Wikipedia told me that it was the official color of flames and blood. I thought of passion.
I had one wish for you, it’s the same one I have today. I want you to live passionately. I want you to find something specific that you care about and run with it, to change people with it. To affect and be affected. That’s all I’ve ever wanted for you. In a way, I feel that you’ve gotten a running start. You already do it. You have this actually unbelievable charisma. I have no idea where you come from. Light and life beams out of you like some sort of natural force. You’re amazing. I know that I’m biased, but I do believe that to be true either way. You’re special. Your presence is strong, specific.
I know exactly the way you looked when they first put you on my chest. I don’t mean how you looked to me, I mean how you lookedat me, the energy you were putting out. There’s a light in those eyes, it was there then and it’s still there today… even after everything we’ve put you through. I don’t have a lot of constant things in my life. My life has always been a revolving door of people, not many constants. That’s why I do things like get emotionally attached to shoes and get sad when I break a nail that’s been around for awhile. I don’t like it when things go away, when eras end. But that energy is constant.
Maybe that’s why joint custody is such a hard thing for me. You are my baby. I grew you. I’ve nurtured you since that day you first looked up at us. It’s funny, you think that I would have looked down at you like “I got you.” And, I do. Until the day you die, I got you. But when I think back on that moment, that is not what I remember. I remember you looking up at me like, “Hi. I exist. I’m real and I’m here and I got you.” That’s not fair. It’s not fair to put that kind of pressure on a child. I am not your responsibility. I don’t think I consciously do it. But it’s your spirit, you look out for people. You always have. Your middle name is Aurora after the northern lights. It’s so appropriate. You are passionate intriguing light.
Scarlet Aurora, I am so proud of the human you decide to be everyday. Raising you has been the greatest privilege of my life. I’m proud of your courage and ambition, the way you cope and take care of the people around you. I love your absolutely contagious happiness. My brain never could have wrapped myself around the brilliant human you’d become back when you were just a name. You are so much more than that.
I think that’s why when I see little things that you bring home from school with those letters sprawled across them, S C A R L E T, my heart flutters a little. Scarlet Aurora. That’s who you were before you even were at all.