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Thursday, 11 July 2013 07:00

On the Road to 3 Years Old

It occured to me today that Clara is now closer to her 3rd Birthday than she is to her 2nd. She is now OVER the Two-and-a-half mark, and if I stop to think about it, I am absolutely amazed at how much has changed in the past 7 months. Last month I reflected on her life up until now in this '30 Months Old!' post, and although her changes since then have been small, she is undoubtedly becoming more and more a 'little girl', and very little 'toddler' remains.

It's rare to get an honest smile out of Clara on camera, but this day she was so happy to have gotten this beautiful new playhouse from her Grandparents, she was all smiles. I love this picture, because I don't think I have another one like it where she's showing such an honest smile. 

We had her big 2 1/2 Birthday bash last month, and it was a pretty big deal.  We filled our house with about 30 people for each party - friends in the morning and family in the evening, and luckily for us, Clara napped in between!

Ok, here it is... 

I'm actually struggling to write this post, and have been pondering it for days, because after re-reading my post for her last month, it was so positive and warm that I wanted to write the same thing for her again. I also wanted to start writing her monthly posts as a letter to her, as I have been with Audrey. 

But lately, my feelings toward Clara have not been overly positive or warm. So I guess I'll go with being honest... 

 

Dear Clara,

You probably won't ever want to hear this, but you are so much like me.  You are stubborn, and independent, yet timid and the way you treat your sister makes it clear to me that you have a kind and loving streak in there also.  You even look like me, with a little bit of your 'other' Grandpa thrown in. The one who died. 

Lately, I have been fighting with you a lot, and I honestly feel at a loss.  I don't find that parenting a toddler comes naturally to me, and I'm not naturally patient. Some days I will actively plan some great activity for you, and you will turn up your nose at it, and instead want to 'go back to bed', or when I try to engage you in running around at the playground, all you want to do is stay in the swing. 

I love how much you love your 'Bo', but some days every little thing causes you to cry out for your 'Bo and gummy', and I wish there was something I could do to stop the tears like they do. I wish that when I offered to cuddle with you and read a book that you would take me up on the offer instead of running away from me to your room. You're not even three years old, and I thought some of these things wouldn't happen until you were a teenager!

We eat too much sugar in our house, and we're trying to change that - largely for you. I am having to learn what 'healthy habits' look like as an adult, and as diet-related illnesses like Type 2 Diabetes and Celiac disease become more prevalent, I want you to have healthy habits from the start so that when you move out on your own someday, cooking well balanced meals for yourself will be simply what is natural. 

I also want to somehow demonstrate an active lifestyle for you, but right now I don't have any clue what that would look like. I have never been a very active person, and I want to be - both for myself and for you. I want to find ways to get us both moving - and ways to get you away from the baby swing at least some of the time when we go to the playground.  Is it acceptable to get a toddler to play fetch?

Just kidding...

Sort of.

I know that God has given you to me to take care of. That means that despite how inadequate I feel as a parent, God knows what great things can come from you and that I am either capable of helping you, or at least incapable of stopping you from accomplishing those great things.  I also know that there are no guarantees, and that either you or I could be called home by God today and that the last moment we have together is the one we just shared. That may sound morbid, but I need to remember these things to keep me focused. I can't afford to be a lazy parent for a week. I can't afford an hour where my love for you isn't obvious. 

You are mine right now, but I can't take that for granted for a second. 

I am prone to laziness, and I hope that you will forgive me for all of my parenting (and personal) failings someday.  I hope that most of them you won't even remember and that our good moments outweigh the bad. 

I hope that you know - not because I have to tell you, but I hope you've also heard it said - that I think you are brilliant, and beautiful, and strong. Some days I wish you would just follow what your friends are doing, but I know that your insistance on doing 'your own thing' means that you will likely never be a follower, and that you will probably always stand behind what you believe.  Remind me to tell you about the time all of my friends stopped talking to me when I was in Grade 7 because I told them all they were going to hell...  

I hope you know that although your stubborness drives me crazy - I don't actually think it's a bad thing.  It is my stubborness that has allowed me to look back at my life and realize that ultimately, I have gotten whatever I have wanted in life - and you will be that way too. 

As much as I want you to need me sometimes when you're hurting, I'm really glad you don't - because I know that you will never let me hold you back. 

Read 1286 times Last modified on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 15:49

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