Oh, my sweet and precious girl. As I type, you are in fact nearing three months past turning four, and the mom-guilt I feel for not keeping up with you a little better in this space is a little bit brutal.
Truth is, I should be writing about you every single day, because you are different every single day. Your vocabulary grows and refines daily–just as I was growing accustomed and charmed to you calling them “asternoids”, you figured out that they’re really called “asteroids”. And thanks to Ready Jet Go, your current favorite show, you can also tell us that asteroids are responsible for the craters on the moon. You can also tell us that Neptune has 14 moons, and Mars has two. You know both of their names. You understand why Pluto is no longer a planet, but express your disappointment about it frequently. And frankly, I’m with you on that. I was pulling for Pluto, too. You know all of the planets in order, and know that Uranus is tilted and the red spot on Jupiter is a storm. Though I’ve let you watch way too much TV lately, I’m constantly stunned at just how much you take in. You are so very smart, ladybug.
Your letters are solid, and you’ve gotten all the consonant sounds down- vowels are a little tricky, but we’re working on it. Writing letters hasn’t been of much interest to you, but you write your own name like a pro and are starting to practice other letters/words too. You are something of a perfectionist (something neither of your parents would know anything about) so frustration comes easily. We are working hard on deep breaths, patience, and being willing to try again. It’s a learning curve for us too, baby girl–we are doing our best to model this better for you.
Your personality is EXPLODING. Truly, you are becoming your own person in every single way. Your developing sense of humor is nothing short of delightful. Whenever I make smoothies in the blender, and you cover your ears because you hate the sound, I do a little “blender dance” in the kitchen. You HATE it. It’s like I’ve already leveled up on embarrassing you. Last night while we were getting you ready for bed and playing, you yelled out, “I don’t like your blender dance!” and we all laughed and laughed. You’re starting to understand sarcasm, which is truly momentous for me and I couldn’t be prouder. Often when Dad or I make a joke, you’ll pick up on it, laugh, and say with a sigh, “Oh, mom.” You make some hilarious faces and are starting to appreciate the joy of inside jokes. I love that we are developing our own little language, and have silly things that belong only to our family. Your whole life, I’ve wanted nothing more than for you to feel like our family is your tribe, your people–the ones who see you and GET you. It feels like we are beginning to cultivate our family identity, and it’s such a sweet season because you are so much an active participant now. You make your presence and opinions known. You really, REALLY like to talk (another mystery trait with which I have no familiarity) and you ask, no exaggeration, thousands of questions a day. I do my best to answer them all, and let you know how much I love your curiosity. Because I WANT you to come to me with your questions. I want to be the kind of mama who doesn’t shy away from the hard stuff, the scary stuff, or the confusing stuff. And if that means I’m currently the mama who identifies every scene in Moana as we listen to the score in the car, so be it.
You get emotional sometimes. It’s such a contrast to your usual sweet, level-headed, easygoing nature that we have often struggled to respond well. Yesterday, you had an epic meltdown because you couldn’t get your shirt off. There were tears, literal kicking and screaming, the works. And your dad and I looked at each other for a minute like, “What is even happening right now?” and then finally stepped in to try and help you out. Your feelings are big these days, and your big girl body, heart, and mind struggle to contain them. I know my job is to help you hold them. I hope you know I always will, even if I don’t always get it right.
Speaking of big feelings and hard things, our family has been working so hard to add a borther or sister for you. Someday, when I tell you about my four miscarriages and the IVF process we went through this past summer, it will all make sense to you. You love pretending to care for babies, and when you encounter a real one, you are so gentle and loving it cracks my heart open. At press time, I can’t say for certain that you will ever be a big sister, though we are doing our damndest to make that a reality. What I can say for certain is that you would be a really, really good one. Someday I will make a direct apology to you for the distraction that this journey has been. How much of my time, energy, and soul it has taken away from you. It’s a terrible feeling to neglect the child you do have on the quest to have another. I hope you know that the joy that is YOU is what has kept us invested and moving forward. You showed us how wonderful it is to be a mommy and a daddy. And for the record, sweet girl, you still do- a little more every day. And just so you know- a sibling for you would be icing on the cake. You are more than enough to complete our family. Never, ever forget that.
Sweet Sadie, I hope you are loving being four. I pray daily that you find friendship and community. I pray that the world is kind to you, and that when it isn’t, you will still be at peace with yourself. May you learn much sooner than I did that not everyone has to like you. Most of all, I pray for so many more years of watching you grow into the person you’re meant to be. No matter who that is, I’ll always be your biggest fan.
Love you forever,