Please don’t let this stop.
I feel like I’ve spent the last three school years fighting for my child to be heard, listened to, and recognized for the person she is; for the learning style she has; and for the creative soul that lives inside this fiercely independent, extra-tall body.
I add this last bit, because if you’re a parent whose child falls outside the “normal” scale on the growth chart, you know what it’s like to wrestle with expectations – whether they’re too much or too little for the child who is your heart. Have a child on the petite side? I’m sure you live with amazement and wonder at what they can do. And all you want to say is, “yes, well, actually, she’s five, not three.” If you’re like my husband and I – raising an Amazon princess – it’s quite the opposite. It can be very frustrating to constantly say, “but, no, really, she’s just three. Not five.” Or seven. Or nine. So back off. Immediately. That last part is said in my head.
But like I said, those days are behind us for now. No comparing, no judgment, no round peg, square hole. Just lots of time for love and snuggles and joy.
Oh yes. She’s started texting me on her daddy’s phone. It’s a hoot and a half; these wildly punctuated notes that come trilling over the ether to me. Sometimes they make me catch my breath in mid-stride. Like this one yesterday:
Dear mama,i wish we could stay together forever!!!!!!!!!! seriously, i miss you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This child of my heart teaches me so much. She loves greatly and without restraint. She forgives me any number of stumbles and crashes that I make. Daily. She reminds me (as she follows in my footsteps wanting to emulate everything) of the kind of reflection I need to provide for her as she grows up. Though I might wrestle with things I think I might not want to give up; things my human nature wants to hang on to; I cannot deny that striving to be a better mother makes me a better person. And If my eyes turn heavenward with Christ as the image I try to reflect, what better ideal can I provide for her?
This closeness we share now; the part where she loves me so fiercely and misses me after being apart for only a few hours? I’m cherishing it, and aiming to cultivate that relationship so that when she hits her teenage stride with its inevitable bumps and lumps – we’ll have this solid foundation to rely on; these moments and memories to grow from; the already established expectation that we don’t have to grow apart in those years – but simply continue to grow stronger together as a family.