So, Samantha has been in what I would like to call an “interesting” time of life for a while now. By “interesting,” I mean overwhelmingly difficult on her parents over here. I think it would be accurate to say that Samantha is a very passionate little girl (understatement?). She has always been determined to achieve her goals, whatever they may be, and being interrupted from these goals, to say, eat food, go to sleep, wear clothes, or achieve a goal that is not of her own choosing, has created certain challenges, so to speak. I’ve long wondered at the ability of people to dislike in their children the same qualities that they would desire them to have as adults. To many people, qualities like serious determination equal stubbornness, follow-through (of their own course) equals defiance (against your course), critical thinking (asking “why?”) equals talking back. These tendencies are not in and of themselves evil, but of course our little people must be taught how to be respectful when asking questions, how to adapt when we simply must change courses during the day, and how to articulate their emotions in appropriate ways. But what a difficult task!! When Samantha was younger it was much easier to feel in control, but when two and half rolled around and then three, it felt more like riding the wave, doing the best I could, and apologizing often. Now at nearly three and a half, we have reached a brand new world that is all of a sudden practically free of tantrums and anger and full of keen observations and sweet sweet love. With a much better level of articulation, we are hearing just exactly what Samantha’s take on life is, and rather than living in a tumultuous toddler world, we are getting a glimpse into the mind of our young girl who is growing up fast. When fighting those parenting battles, it can become so difficult to see the beauty and wonder in raising a child, so I thought I would share some of the things that make me so grateful to be a parent.
Life Lessons from Samantha:
While riding in the car with Mommy, Daddy, and Cormac, Samantha looks up and says:
“We’re Family!” We agreed with her, and she thought a moment longer, then said, “We go lots of places together…We play…We eat food…We laugh. We’re family!!”
Sitting on the couch, my legs were propped up on the coffee table. Samantha starts climbing over my outstretched legs (putting all of her weight on my knees) in order to get onto the couch. I said, “Stop, Samantha! That hurts!” to which she replied, “I just getting on the couch!” After getting up there successfully, she said proudly, “See! (using her whole hand to point to my legs) I didn’t break your legs!” And then she gave my leg a reassuring pat, as if to solidify just how intact those leg bones were.
As a testimony to her new, grown-up take on life, Sam has been apologizing often and mostly for things that she did long ago or that were only accidents.
While reading a bedtime story, Sam noticed that the book had been drawn in. This was a book from my childhood, and I’m sure that either I or my brothers drew on a couple of the pages. Samantha saw this, and while I was reading, she said “Mommy, I so very sorry.” I said, “what are you sorry for?” She said, “I drew pictures in the book. I so very sorry, Mommy.”
Along with that, she has also apologized for a glass of mine that she accidentally broke months ago. For making a mess in her room. For hitting me (months ago). The list goes on, and she always says that she is so very sorry, and we can do nothing but assure her she is forgiven and love her to pieces.