Today you are four.
I want to write so much to you. I want to tell you all the ways you've grown this year right before my eyes, but it happened so fast I didn't notice you had changed from a baby into a little girl until it had happened. I want to put every important moment down here for you to read later, but I can't. It's overwhelming. Just like I can't go back and relive all those moments again. They've gone and we can't get them back but that's alright. This next year of your life should be about moving forward and embracing changes. I think we both can handle it now.
Besides, there are parts of the last year that neither one of us want to relive.
This year has been a toughie, I'm not going to pretend that it hasn't, and you've taken the brunt of it I'm afraid. Our family of three became four, we left the only home you knew and moved to another one and you started school all in the span of a few months. That's a lot for someone your age to take and the transition wasn't exactly seamless. But we're starting to settle into this new life and not a moment too soon.
You and I have been at odds with each other for the past year. We haven't seen eye to eye on pretty much anything since before you turned three and I think I know why. It can be summed up in two lines of a song, a song I used to play when you were a baby while I walked you around the kitchen trying to calm you down, trying to calm myself down, tears in my eyes and hugging you so tightly, willing peace into your body -
"And you're so much like me. I'm sorry."
I know the song is from a father to his son, but I think it captures how we are, you and me, today and for the rest of our days together. How do I know, since you're only just four? I just do. I'm your mom, I know things. You'd know that if you stopped to listen to me once and awhile, but you don't. You've got your own mind, but you've got my stubbornness and my temper. Sorry about that.
We are two peas at war with each other in the same small pod, both wanting our own space and yet pulling each other back again to snuggle together in the safety of our zippered pouch. That push and pull is what frustrates me. I'm never pulling when you're pushing. You're never pushing when I pull. I'm pretty sure it frustrates you too. From the amount of tantrums and time outs we have in this house, I'm almost certain frustration is your number one emotion these days.
For the next year you need to know one thing - I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm going to pretend that I do until I figure things out and I'm going to mess up a lot but I'll get better at this parenting gig eventually. That won't make any sense to you until you've had your own kids but I feel it's important to state it for the record. I'm doing the best I can and I apologize for all the rest.
(Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it just to reach you...)
Because you, my sweet girl, are wonderful and you deserve only the best but instead you got me.
For you I will be better. For you I will try to learn patience and understanding. I will try to push aside my insecurities so I can help become a strong and secure person. I'll try to learn to let go. I'll even try to let you decorate the cupcakes with as many sprinkles as you want but I'm not promising anything.
I'll try. I am trying. For you.
Happy Birthday to you, my big girl.
I love you,
Thursday, April 16, 2009