My dear girl,
I have something to tell you today that, by the time you read this, you may or may not want to hear.
You are so much like me.
You can try to deny it. You can try to change it. I’m sure one day, you will. But, right now anyway, it is ultimately true.
It’s much harder than you might think to recognize such a thing. You might think that having your own traits, quirks, and mannerisms reflected back to you would be an obvious, can’t-miss kind of experience. But it’s not that way at all. It takes me weeks, sometimes months, to recognize the things you do as distinctly me.
But when I finally do see it, well it changes me.
You like to wake up all on your own. You prefer to slowly make your way out of slumber and into wakefulness, taking your own, sweet time and in the quiet of your own little space. Though you want me to watch nearly everything that you do, for this, you don’t want an audience. When we grant you this time, to stretch and rub your eyes into focus all by yourself, you emerge happy and ready to burst into the day. But when we intrude and sit by you, you resist and whine. You curl up and retreat.
For so long I wondered about this. I lamented the fact that you wouldn’t greet me cheerfully whenever I had to wake you; that I was better off to let you wake on your own and come to me.
But, as your daddy will attest, I’ve spent many a morning fighting him, the alarm, anything that forced me into the morning before I was good and ready.
You like to be in control. You like to have people do things a certain and specific way; the one, of course, that makes the most sense to you as you reason it out in your mind. And yes, while that is a sign that you are nearly three years old, it is also a sign that you are truly my little girl.
You love to be creative but you don’t like to get your hands messy. You prefer the quiet to the loud noises. You warm up easily to some people and shy away around others. You love to be around people… sometimes. But you also crave your time alone or in a small group of those who love you most. You blossom in one-on-one interactions. Yes, we are introverts, you and me. For years, I tried so hard to be an extrovert, because I thought that is what I should be. But I’m learning, for us both, to accept and celebrate our needs to recharge in the quiet of our own spaces.
You love to dance and believe that the world is better when there is music playing nearby. You have an undeniable, and sometimes insatiable, sweet tooth.
Your anger, frustration, sadness, fear, exhaustion all come out in tears.
You nurture and take care of those you love.
I’m always honest with you and so I have to tell you, many of these things have frustrated me to no end. The slow waking, the desire to be in control, the pulling back in so many social situations. I want better for you. I want you to wake up with a smile and take the day by storm.
But I’m learning. Each time I recognize myself in you, it changes me. It changes the way I react to you and the way I see myself.
As you grow up, I hope to be able to help you make the most of these things we share. But, I suspect, you’ll help me with them more.
Keep growing, my beautiful girl.