My baby turns 10 today. I always say that E taught me to be a mom and that V taught me humility. All the tricks parents learn about that worked so wonderfully on her big sister, V saw through. With E, I could explain my reasoning behind a rule and she would accept it. V would tell me that, while she understood, she didn’t care. Raising her is so challenging. But the thing is, she pushes me to be a better parent. More understanding, more empathetic, more patient, more consistent. When she has a meltdown and I’m able to calm her, when she tells me I get how she feels, I feel like the best mom ever.
And I get to see the sunny, laughing girl I enjoy so much. The girl who will make me a frozen hot chocolate or mug cake just because. The girl who will do the dishes or put away her things because I asked her to. The girl who cooks dinner (it takes her all afternoon). The girl who spontaneously hugs me and gives me the same little neck scratches that I give her. The girl who loves her big sister so much. The girl who want to see the Sun set everywhere in the world.
The one who has a separate stomach for dessert. The one who spends hours reading and writing or researching mythology and animals. The one who will stay in the ocean for most of our stay at the beach, only coming out to eat a bit before going back in. The one who will talk your ear off, face expressive, hands flying all over the place.
As we make our way through these strange tween years, I’m torn between wanting her to stay little like this just a while longer and being impatient to see the person she’ll be when she learns to manage the huge emotions she feels on the daily. I see such an awesome human being in her, someone strong and persistent, curious and smart, and mostly, someone with a huge, open heart.