Somewhere along the line there has been a shift. It was if one day I had a sweet, little baby and the next I had a kid. A walking (running mostly), talking, child full of her own thoughts and opinions. Sometimes I get a little sad about it and get nostalgic for the baby days. I miss the times when she would let me rock her to sleep and when I was her entire world. Now she’s got places to go, things to explore, and while the sun still rises and sets with me, she doesn’t want to spend every waking moment together anymore. Sigh. I knew she would outgrow that eventually, but I was kind of hoping it would maybe be at the end of her senior year of high school before I sent her off into the great big world of college. But apparently it has come a little sooner.
But, as bittersweet as these changes are, they are also a lot of fun. Fern is quickly becoming her own little person. Yes she still needs me for a great many things, but she is so independent and she wants to talk about everything. She has begun stringing sentences together and sometimes it blows my mind the things that she knows, remembers, or just picks up. She knows quite a few shapes and loves pointing them out (“Circle! Squay-ah! Tie-anga! Oc-agon!”). She adores animals and likes to tell me all about bears, “fah-ingos”, “cock-a-dias”, and lemurs. She loves taking care of babies. She wraps up her dolls in blankets and rocks them while singing “Rock-a-Bye Baby”. And she especially loves bossing us around. It’s still pretty cute, though I’m sure the novelty will wear off. She likes us to follow her around everywhere throughout our house and will say, “I coming!” which actually means you’re coming with me.
I’m trying so hard to find a balance between teaching her things and letting her figure them out on her own. I want to give her the room to grow, but still hold her tight. I’m learning that parenting is a bit of a paradox. A limbo of give and take, hold and release. But I am loving the little person that my girl is becoming. A little person who has her strengths and weaknesses and who is unlike any other little girl in the world. I am excited to see the unique human she will continue to become.