the first year of toots life was rocky. her mommy's brain was sick and then she was healing. her mommy's faith was shook and then she was praying. her mommy's father was sick and then and she was grieving...(a deep, seemingly endless, still springs up out of nowhere, type of grief).
so, on days when her 'terrible two' takes a turn for the worst, i remember that she's dealt with major emotional change since the day she was born and simply expresses it in all the beautifully draining ways that toddlers can do: tantrums. stubborn defiance. coloring on walls or floor boards or windows that her mommy sometimes colors on, too.
she's my child in every sense i could imagine. creative, emotional, dramatically expressive. and on days like these past few ones have been, i take stock of all that makes her a ball of goodness in my eyes, because sometimes she's a just tiny stranger with a tornado in place of her emotions.
but, she knows her birthday, her abc's and all the letters to her name. knows, too, that a diamond is a rhombas and happily declares it when spotted on stain-glass windows or on sides of milk crates stacked high against concrete storefronts. she counts to twenty effortlessly and can now recite a tiny poem in sign language. she loves books and libraries and telling me bedtime stories rich with dragons and princesses and flying frogs on flying carpets. she'll choose an apple over candy and drinks water before apple juice all on her very own accord.
i am extremely proud...and in awe...and overwhelmed...and in love...and, sometimes, drained, but, always grateful, that i get to be the mother to this little girl. with eyes like my father and the spirit of her grands, i am learning that all of me lives in the very core of who this sweet, amazingly beautiful soul is.
she told me to draw a picture of her. in her eyes, this was a masterpiece.
she drew me, too, but erased it immediately as she was inspired to draw a spider, instead.
(pouting because it was too cold, and too late, for the playground)