Dear Spunky Punky Boo,
50 months just sounds SO. OLD. How can you be well into your fourth year of life when it seems like yesterday you were scrunching up your little nose, making funny faces and causing us to laugh? You are in so many ways a big girl: making big girl decisions, attempting to write words, and using figures of speech and hand movements like you're 15 years old. I'm just waiting for to roll your eyes at me and give me the "whatever" sign any day now.
One day when going through the closets I had a moment of nostalgia in coming across the outfit you wore home from the hospital. I had this idea for a separate blog post where I would take pictures of you and Sam side-by-side with your outfits, find the actual pictures from coming home, etc., but...I could only get you to pose, and only for a second. So there you have it. Still, it's quite hard to believe you once were too small for that outfit. Fifty months ago, you scrunched up your spindly newborn legs, filling up the body and leaving two empty lengths of super-soft pink fabric below. And now, look at you in all your long-legged, long-haired big-girl-ness.
You are such a natural caregiver. You love to help out, cleaning alongside me, getting food for Sam, helping at bath time, putting your clothes away. And if we are lucky enough to happen upon a baby, you become a sweet-talking, cooing, gentle little mama. You are obsessed with other people's babies, loving to help in any way you can. I love to watch you interact with our friends' kids, how you love them like siblings and protect them like a mother hen. This picture of you and KK is one of my new family favorites:
You are so creative, always breaking into impromptu dance parties, making up songs, and imagining all sorts of amazing stories and scenarios. You insist on squeezing into your old tutus that are much too small, stubborn and determined and intent.
All of the sudden, you are using your letters in entirely new ways. You are sounding words out, putting letter combinations together and identifying sounds like never before. It is so exciting! I can imagine you'll be reading before the year is out, which is especially exciting, because when you are bored by life (which seems to happen with some frequency these days), books will just open up a whole new world for you! It will be magical.
But it's been rough, these past few months. You are stretching and working and manipulating the boundaries, trying my patience, testing my words and structure in ways like never before. I never am sure I'm doing the right thing, and it's so difficult. I want to be the best parent I can, but so often I feel I've exhausted every disciplinary tool in my arsenal. It's in these moments that all I can do is to sigh, quiet my words, and pray for wisdom. We've been praying together frequently, asking God for help getting through the days.
One particularly rough night as I put you to bed, I was tired, frustrated and at the end of my patience. I recognized that my spirit was not at rest and I asked if we could pray together, for a better day to start the next morning. You astounded me with your heartfelt prayer that night: "Dear God, I know that I can't make any good decisions without your help. You are so good and you are able to help me do the right thing. I want to obey you, I want to make good decisions. Won't you help me? Please God? Amen." In that moment, my spirit was refreshed, my hope restored, my love tank filled up as my eyes welled with tears. Even in the hardest of days, you are learning. You are learning to submit to your Heavenly Father. You are trying your hardest to do what's right, only to find that we are all at the mercy of our Lord to truly change. What lessons you are teaching me, sweet one.
I love you,