My little girl is growing up so fast and we are being catapulted out of the relative safety of the world in which naptimes, and choking hazards are the biggest concerns.
She's a fiery one my Ava, with moods and shades that rival an ocean tide. She's as complex as they come, and from the moment she arrived she's had this mother sitting back taking deep breaths and praying desperately, "what next?"
Every day with this little girl can look different and my parenting has to change and adapt so quickly that it's hard to seal into the memory any one particular phase of life that was consistent long enough to stand on it and really build a sense of this is who we are. It's always, this is who we are today... and tomorrow the sun could be the moon...
I am often shocked by my depth of admiration for this little girl with a head on her shoulders I simply never had. She's sharp, and quick-witted, imaginative, creative, sensitive and keen for details. She's got big plans and plans on top of those about how the world must and will work together to make that first set of plans work out.
She's social in a way that has friendliness beat. She waltzes into rooms full of children and adults alike and is instantly at home; making friends. I am in awe at the way she moves with ease among her peers, doing the delicate dance between being leader and follower, circling her attention to everyone, playing always to her own strengths.
She's passionate and compassionate and her depth of feeling is matched only by her demonstrative display of emotions. She's a drama queen with the best of them and you can eat your heart out lady Macbeth. She has a flair for the dramatic and can already turn the tiniest anecdote into a riveting tale.
She's a diplomat and lawyer, a nurturer, an artist, a cowgirl, a bossy pants, a fantastic little housekeeper, a storyteller, actress, cuddler, and has a knack for clothes in the wildest combination.
and at the end of every exhausting day I am simply a mother.
I wonder how that can possibly be enough.
As Mother's Day approaches, I think it's only natural to hone in on myself with a certain amount of job evaluation. I mentally go through all those areas I wish I could improve... in myself. I celebrate the smallest victories, and reflect on the journey so far.
I look at myself through the eyes of this beautiful girl and I see myself perhaps a little more clearly.
We are in that stage of life now, where not everything I do has the midas touch. She's beginning to understand that I'm not perfect.
I dissappoint her.
I fail her
and she knows it.
But enough of the magic remains, that she still thinks I can fix what hurts, feed her hunger and fill her world with color. Her faith in me still covers a multitude of my sins and makes me gird myself every morning with those still desperate prayers to launch into wherever we end up today.
Just today in her playtime, when she didn't know I was observing (in that way that mothers do, not so much with their eyes and ears but from within, really watching, really listening); she played with a family of birds I was sewing.
One sister and four brothers. The four brothers picked on the sister, teased her about her wings and told her she couldn't fly.
"I told the sister bird not to worry mama", she said to me as I sat, sewing the sixth bird together.
"oh, why is that?"
"I told her you were a mama and that you were making them all a mama bird right now, and as soon as she comes, she will make everything all right, no matter what the brothers say".
How was I deemed worthy for such a monumental task as this? To make right all the world of a little girl who makes the sun the moon, who shakes my foundations and leaves me grasping for her to stay in this world that we inhabit too shortly; the one where I can indeed do all she thinks me capable, where I can hold these bright moments like ribbons at the end of a string, before they fly away all together.
Heaven help me.
And happy Mothers Day to you all.
|Ava Grace and I in 2008|