I could see her lip syncing to “Let It Go” in the back seat, her little arms somehow getting all the motions and hand gestures right, even while strapped into her carseat.
4 years old, and already so hilarious and genuine and curious and sensitive and loving and herself.
It’s crazy watching our kids grow up, isn’t it?
I mean, one day they’re in your arms and unable to walk or play and then the next you’re hysterically laughing with them over a joke or silly show. I really believe that it is in those moments when we put aside the crazy of our own lives and look for a minute under the proverbial hood of our children’s lives and though processes that the parenting “magic” really happens.
I have three daughters, ranging in ages from almost 7 to almost 2. Pretty much every single one of our days can be summed up like this:
Emotional Overtures/Tears Of Drama
More Clamoring For Food, Followed By More Bathroom Events
And can we all just take a moment to be real with one another and acknowledge the fact that: the endless cycle of day upon day upon day of “sameness” can wear you down!
And all of a sudden days have gone by and you haven’t once stopped to tickle a child or stare at a flower or discuss the silliness of cats or learn about their favorite colors.
Those moments of realization freak me out!
I never want to look back and feel sad that I did an ok job raising these little people but I did a not-so-ok job at getting to know and enjoy them.
It was after one such realization that I had been severely missing out on special time with my middle daughter that I made a decision that, quite frankly, will probably change the way I parent these girlies forever.
I decided to take JUST HER with me on an overnight trip to Spokane for a bridal shower for her aunt. Just me, her, an insane amount of stuffed animals and snacks, and the open road for hours on end. I had no idea how she would do in a decidedly adult and non-kid-centric trip, but decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it.
IT WAS THE BEST DECISION EVER.
From the moment I told her we would be leaving until we pulled back in the driveway a few days later, she never stopped smiling. We spent those 28 hours sipping chai and hunting down gluten-free bakeries and celebrating with family and friends and staying up waaaaaaaaaaaay too late and the best part about it all was the light in her eyes that said without words: I am special.
I learned so much about her on that trip.
She thinks bathroom humor is the funniest thing in the world…so pretty much every public bathroom she used was filled with her chuckling about the other people using it at the same time and making…well…noises.
She loves the color green now (it used to be purple EVERYTHING) because “it is the color of trees and things that grow.”
She loves unicorns and if she could have one in real life, she would want a rainbow one.
Her favorite princess is Elsa (“Even though Elsa is a queen, mom, she was a princess for a little bit”)
She loves to take photos – my phone is now filled with 4-year-old height images, and I LOVE getting to look thorough them to see the trip from her eyes.
And she learned about me, since she insisted in asking me the same questions I asked her…but with her own flair (“Mom, what is your favorite color of princess?” Um…….. lol. Evidently she was talking about the dress color – who knew).
My words to my husband before we even made it home: “This is amazing. It is happening all the time. And with the other girls too. Best. Time. Ever.”
In the end, I can only say that a potential cure for the parenting monotony and autopilot that is sometimes just part of life with littles is to take time to do something alone and special for each kid. Date the heck out of them. Whether it is an overnight trip or a visit to the ice cream shop down the road, just do it.
I am already planning our next date and I can’t wait to share so many more with her and her sisters as they grow up!