It seems like yesterday I woke up for the first time to the sound of a singing baby… No really… My sweet Miss Rayne was born with her Daddy singing her a song and she began to sing right back and didn’t ever really stop. She sang in her sleep, she sang her first words. She was and is the most beautiful thing in my world. She will be 5 years old in October. I really cannot believe it. As quick as it all seems, I have had so many different emotions as a mother because she is in my world. She will sing you a song if you’re sad, try to make you giggle if you’re mad, dance and put on a show if you’re bored. She is both an old soul and a wild child, all in one very petite little body.
I’ve said it before in this space and most anyone who knows me well has heard it… But she really does shine. She shines light and happiness into everything and everyone she sees. It’s been such a sweet privilege to be in her world.
With all of that said, I am quite the opposite of her personality…unchecked I can be cynical, untrusting, and negative. It has been such a huge learning curve having her in my world. There have been phases of this four and a half year dance that I have tried to parent with those -uncomfortable kid words- “authority” and with “control.” And it always ends in a heap of tears and heart break for both of us. I am the type that NEEDS to know what is going to happen and NEEDS to have a plan for everything. I used to feel like it was my job to teach her how to do, say, and be everything.
In all of that, we both ended up a mess. It felt very unnatural and that i was overstepping a boundary that every human naturally has because I had the “I am your mother” title. I recently came across this blog post. It helped me tremendously! I also began to really dig deep into what it means to parent with grace.
The truth is that there ARE things that she needs from me, but they are very different than what I had prepared for as a parent. When she was first born and I brought her home, there was this natural connection, a natural rhythm I found by following her. We adjusted that rhythm any time we needed to and kept moving until she hit 3 years old. Three came, and I found myself not knowing whether to follow or drag. It really is true, even with a child, you can only be a leader if they’re following. In my experience, if you’re dragging, it’s most likely not a healthy relationship.
I am sinking back into that sweet rhythm with her. We sing and dance like crazy. We hold hands and talk “like friends do.” We work together on cooking and house projects. She helps me. She feels beautiful and needed.
My favorite thing that I am witnessing is her making mistakes loudly and confidently. She used to hide, cry, or pretend it didn’t happen. Now, she says, “Whoops!!” and asks me if I can help her fix it. Something so small to the adult eye but so huge to a four year old.