As the new school year approached, I wondered more than once, how Smiley would handle the change. I know it was just her and I home together last year, but this year was different.
She was older, and all summer she had found companionship in her siblings. And while she loves her big sister, she and her brother really began to play well together. They would play cars, trucks, boats, and any other kind of motor vehicle they could find. Don't get me wrong, they would begin to wear on each other and find ways to push each others buttons after awhile. However, they would always come back to each other.
Obviously, school started.
Smiley did well with the "big kids" going to school. But lately, she has been crabby, demanding, whiney, and just plain feisty. Yesterday, well, yesterday was one of those days. I had to facilitate a meeting for our church's parents group. Smiley cried when I took her to the daycare ~ with kids and adults she knows. She laid face down in the aisle of the shoe store (DSW to be exact) and wouldn't budge. I'm still not sure why. She stared me straight in the eyes and screamed at the top of her lungs when I told her she couldn't have a popsicle until after dinner. She stuck her hand down the back side of her pants at Action's football practice and when I asked her to taker her hand out, she stuck it in farther and took off running across the field. Bath time, which she loves, turned into screaming and crying when it came time to wash her hair.
She's coming down with a cold, and No, typically our days don't include all of this fun rolled into one day. But yes, definitely pieces of fun daily. So last night, when she tried to crawl into bed with us at midnight, I gently walked her back into her room (like I do every night), tucked her back into bed and got her a drink of water. Then when she woke up coughing at 4am, I went in her room, leaned up against her bed and just held her.
As I held her, it took me back to those middle of the night feedings only a short (ALMOST!) 3 years ago. When it was just her and I, snuggling and rocking. I felt bad for feeling so frustrated with her only a few hours before. Time is fleeting. She is growing, and changing and wanting so desperately to become independent.
I held her until the cough subsided and she melted fast asleep into my arms. And then, I held her some more. Because, I don't know when I will get moments like that again. Finally after awhile, I gently laid her back in her bed, covered her up and went back to my own bed feeling a bit sad at my frustrations. So today, I'm going to try to embrace her stubbornness, her feisty nature, her independence and her beautiful heart because all of these qualities are what make her...... her. And she is truly one of the loves of my life.