Dear Little One:
I must make a confession that sounds like a cliche: sometimes, I get so caught up in getting through the day to day stuff that I lose the big picture. Since your brother arrived, there have been many moments during our interactions when I am worried because I am trying to get you to eat dinner/brush teeth/take a bath/go to bed/etc. and you are not listening. I am almost constantly brainstorming how to help you through things that seem to be giving you stres, most recently being afraid of the dark and being left alone. I put too much anxiety into the future about how to stay connected to you and help you navigate the craziness that is ahead as your ally and advocate. My heart starts beating really fast when I think about realizations and conversations that we are going to have about race, religion, and multi-cultural identity. No one is perfect and I know that, but I still spend way too much energy trying to improve you.
Getting out of our house and our regular routine helped to shake things up and give me a new perspective. We went to MD for Thanksgiving and got to stay for two weeks. The rhythm of your grandparents' house is so different than our own. There was constant activity and noise; a lot of people were around very often. I needed a time out for at least an hour every day; you seemed to thrive on the interactions. After you got dressed for Thanksgiving, you twirled in your dress and declared, "I am fabulous!" which became the mantra for the whole trip.
I loved watching you socialize with people and get to know new folks. One of your party tricks is to do people's hair; you were deep in concentration as you put on rubber bands. I realized that you actually know how to do ponytails and small buns. You loved being at your grandmother's side, listening in on phone calls, meeting people, and working a room. On our last night in town, she had her big office party which ran late. Your dad and I were trying to get you to sleep. You yelled at us, "I do not want to sleep; I want to party!!"
This was also the longest stretch of days we had all spent together. I was so nervous about the meltdowns and my energy level. While you did have tantrums and I was exhausted, I noticed that there was increased sweetness in your interactions with your brother. Almost every day, you held me and told him stories. He started to respond to you with smiles and giggles. I was so glad for the reminder of one of the best parts of having more than one child.
Even though I felt nervous and it was tough to be out of our comfort zone, I am so happy that I got the chance to see you again from a new perspective. You are indeed fabulous and I hope that the confidence light in you continues to shine bright!