Bedtime can be a struggle in our house. There are endless trips back and forth and at times it can be exasperating. Last night, after multiple stall tactics from our daughter, I sighed heavily and muttered something (I’ll leave that to your imagination) under my breath. My mom, who was visiting, looked at me and said, "I know you’re frustrated, but before you know it, she'll be grown up. Just like that." I've heard this many times, and I know it's true. But, in that moment I felt how true it is. I saw it in my mom’s eyes, as she looked at me, her baby girl.
I took a step back.
She was right.
One day, when my daughter is out until the wee hours of the night, I will long for one last hug, one more question, or one final request for perfectly tempered water.
As parents, it is easy to lose sight of the wonderfulness of our children. I know I am guilty of this. I can get lost in the negativity, the frustrations, and the endless challenges-which is fine, and completely normal. But, with my mom’s wise words, I was reminded to cherish all of it, even though I don't always want to.
As I watch my daughter grow, I treasure so many of the idiosyncrasies that make her the person she is. I hope she will never lose these pieces of herself that make her my darling girl-my darling daughter.
1. Her carefree nature. Her imagination runs free. Her mind is filled with the innocence of childhood. She lives each day to the fullest and finds joy in the tiniest moments. She does not yet know the weight of responsibility. I hope she always gives herself the time to do what she loves. I hope her worries are few, and her joy is plentiful.
2. Her willingness to absorb knowledge. So many questions, so little time. I love how she asks questions and truly wants to know the answer. She listens intently and soaks up every word. She is curious and thoughtful. I hope she never loses her desire for acquiring information and she continues to ask thought provoking and challenging questions throughout her life.
3. Her kindness. She puts others first. She cares for her friends and her family, and sees the very best in everyone. My biggest hope is that she never loses her kind heart. The world is craving more love, acceptance, tolerance and kindness, and she is a small start toward filling this void.
4. Her endless energy. I love how she doesn't walk anywhere. Why walk when she can run, jump or skip? She is a ball of energy. I wish I could bottle it, and use some when I need to keep up with her. I hope she continues to skip and jump through all of what life brings. But, I also hope she is able to slow down so the time doesn't pass nearly as fast as it does.
5. Her laugh. The best sound in the world. Her laugh can make a room smile. I love listening to her happiness. I hope she finds laughter wherever she goes, and that joy follows her wherever she may be. I also hope her laugh and spirit helps her through life's many challenges.
6. Her heart. From the moment she was born, I knew her heart. I knew it; and I felt it. She wears her heart on her sleeve and openly expresses her love and emotions. I hope she continues to love and live every moment with her entire being and her whole heart.
7. Her love. I am blessed to be her mom - her one and only. The love of our children guides us through the darkness, it elevates the brightness, and it sustains us as parents. How amazing it is to love and be undeniably loved in return. I hope she always knows how much she is loved and the joy she brings to our lives.
When I am feeling frustrated, I will do my best to focus on these wonderful qualities my daughter possesses. I will do my best to savor each moment, as challenging as they may be. I will live in the moment and treasure the person she is and is becoming.
I will continue to hope. I will hope my daughter never changes who she is. I will hope that all of her wildest dreams come true. I will also hope that time slows down, ever so slightly, so she isn't grown up "just like that."