I was recently reminded of a poem that, other than the bit about curly hair, fits you to a T.
“There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Last Sunday we celebrated Mother’s Day by going for a walk around a pond. You wanted to walk of course, as well you should. The problem was that you weren’t content to walk with us; you wanted to run ahead and repeatedly ignored our warnings to stop and wait.
It’s hard for me to know the right thing to do for you sometimes. I fall comfortably in the middle when it comes to free range versus helicopter parenting, but there are times when I swing in one direction or the other, like on Sunday. There were bends in the trail and we didn’t want you out of our sight since we were walking close to the water’s edge. There were also a lot of unleashed dogs and although they seemed well-behaved, you haven’t learned the right way to approach them yet.
The biggest thing though was your blatant disregard for what Mommy and Daddy were saying to you. You’re incredibly strong-willed, a trait I admire believe it or not, but we’re still in the process of teaching you the importance of obedience to the ones who always have your best interests at heart, and you’re still in the process of learning that things go better for you when you choose to listen.
You ended up spending most of our walk sitting on Daddy’s shoulders, which caused you no small amount of consternation. There were tears, cries, and screams, but Daddy and I are learning (sometimes more slowly than we should) that in order to steer you in the right direction in life, our consistency is incredibly important.
By the time we got home that night, you’d gotten over the injustices of the afternoon and transformed back into the little girl who warms my heart in a million different ways. You did that fake laugh that you know cracks me up. You helped without being asked. You told me that you love me “sooooo much”.
And I soaked it all in, the good and the horrid, because I know that with a little guidance, every aspect of that blooming personality of yours will grow into something beautiful.
There will be days in the coming months and years when you think Mommy and Daddy are terrible, mean parents. But there will also come a day when you’re grown that you’ll realize two things:
- We did it all for you.
- We hated it every bit as much as you did.
I love you, my beautiful girl.
Happy third birthday!