"Bo, what are you doing?" I ask her as she pulls every book off the bookshelf and tries to read them all at once.
"Shhhhhh," she says, holding her hand in front of her face.
And then, hysterics. She is laughing like it's the funniest thing that has ever happened. Many books. One lap. Ha hahahahaha!
"Bo. You shouldn't do that," I say.
And then, somehow, I am laughing too. I am laughing and Archer and Fable are laughing and Revi is laughing and we're all standing around the bookshelf laughing.
It's contagious, that's why.
Her Bo-ness is contagious.***
"You're kidding, right? All she does is sleep?"
It was a strange experience, hearing from a nurse about a child I had yet to truly know. For those first few days my only experience with Bo had been holding her while she slept. Feeding her while she slept. Loving her while she slept.
She was the easiest baby that existed as far as I knew. Surely the nurse was wrong. Surely ALL the nurses were wrong.
"This one's a firecracker."
"She's a handful!"
They were right, of course. And the first six months were by far my hardest as a parent. And even after, when the colic subsided and Bo relaxed, slept on her own, grew out of her screaming fits... Bo was... a force.
It was Bo's bag of water that broke the night of the full moon. And every bag that surrounds her she has broken since. She is a wonder, a marvel, her energy palpable and challenging and vibrating on a frequency all her own.
You know that scene in Elf where Will Ferrell is drunk and doing Lord of the Dance in the mailroom? That's Bo. Everywhere she goes. And it's amazing. And challenging. Bo is the mascot of everywhere we eat and shop. Her curly blonde ringlets and blue eyes differentiating her not only from her twin sister but from all of us.
"She doesn't look anything like the rest."
"That's because she isn't."
She is Boheme. Boa. Bobo. Bo.
She is the sun in human form, dancing without a song. She is strong like Ox, kicking soccer balls clear across the lawn, head bruised from somersaulting in her crib, foot bloodied, she don't care. And yet, bull in china shop she is not. She is focused and inquisitive and so glad to be here on this earth. And it's contagious. That joy. That love. It's magnetic.
At all times.
"NO. I CA DO IT!"
And she can.
(Most of the time, anyway.)
Bo is my rebel. The one I have to watch with eyes in the back of my head and chase after through the halls of museums and comfort after thirty minutes of tantrum. And when she's done she always finds me, collapses dramatically into my arms. Oh woe!
She is the smile that we all pass around the circle. She is the class clown sitting front row center ready to learn. And challenge. And speak without raising her hand.
***I count to three before she lifts off. But before I get to three she's already gone. She's tearing through the house and through the yard and into oncoming traffic. She's saying hello to every face she sees. High-fiving babies in their strollers, sitting down beside old men on benches, painting the tree with a tube of red paint in her hand.
***She's a wild child, yes, but I'm not in trouble with this one. I'm in awe. I'm in hysterics. I'm in love...