As we barrel towards the arrival of our new family addition (arriving 4/17 via induction, in case you haven’t heard) I find myself marveling at our first born. All of a sudden she seems so grown up and I know this feeling will intensify when the baby arrives. But, this kid, I just love her so much.
For spring break her daycare/preschool was shut down for a week and a half. We swapped days with another family so no one had to take more then 2 days off. But having 2 days to spend with this amazing child was just what I needed. In keeping with my motto “if kids aren’t IN the house, they can’t mess it up” we had lots of excursions. We went to Preston’s Hope Playground, made brownies for snack, hiked at Shaker Nature Center, traveled out to Playground World for the morning and spent a glorious afternoon at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. Her partner in crime was a friend’s son who attends the same school is about 6 months older then her – they’ve known each other since birth.
What was so fascinating about these couple of days was just watching how M interacts with other kids. We don’t do many playdates (with the whole full-time-working, crazy weekend thing) around here, so watching and listening as I waddled my pregnant self after them was eye opening. Seeing her adjust and change on a dime, negotiate who got to do what first, when she decided to play by herself rather then play with him, the painful twinge in seeing my own shyness manifest itself in her around unknown children… it was all just really cool to see it unfold in front of me.
Back at home she’s been so attentive and cuddly. She’s prone to crawl in my lap and proclaim me the “best mama in the world” at any moment. She’ll stop what she’s doing just to tell me she loves me. She’ll run over to me mid-dance to give me a kiss and will then kiss my belly. I get gifts of dandelions and pretty leaves every evening and each morning she lifts up my shirt and tells the baby ‘good morning’. This is not to say that she is some magical perfect child – oh, no way! She still has her tantrums, doesn’t listen and tends to ignore you if she doesn’t like what you are saying. But the good is far outweighing the bad right now.
With spring here we spend a lot of times outside and she’s so interested in everything around us: “What kind of tree is that?” “What’s the name of that flower?” “What kind of bird is singing?” She comes home from school and retells elaborate, detailed stories about her day. She can spell her name and write the letters (more or less). At her swim lessons she plunges fearlessly into the water and is getting quite good at propelling herself underwater. Her memory is amazing and she will randomly compare something she sees/hears to something that happened over a year ago. Every night, after an epic and sometimes comedic period of stalling her bedtime, she will lay in her bed and talk or sing to herself for up to an hour. While I can get a tad annoying when she’s still up at 9:00, I also can’t help but giggle a little at everything I hear.
There is truth to the saying “every age is the best age” and I have certainly felt that myself. She’s getting so grown up so fast. But right now there are several moments each day that my heart just feels like it will burst with love and pride for this girl and I want to remember every second.