I'm trying to master the art of writing an update post without actually listing all of the things the kids can do and the things they can't - cause lets be honest - the list would be endless to any mother of any child. And who really wants to hear a mother raving on and on about her child's latest accomplishments. The only people who care the same amount, if not more, about milestones are the grandparents.
I also HATE the comparison thing that happens naturally among parents and their children. If there is nothing I have learned from Hazel it's that all children have gifts and talents that present themselves at just the right time and are usually on the child's terms. Both my kids have taught me that there is no "NORMAL" time to do something, they do it when they are ready. Let's just say "BabyCenter" hasn't been a resource I use often (or really ever). What I do use as a resource, religiously, is Instagram. Every single time I pop on there and see one of the sweet littles that I follow doing something new - reaching a milestone, saying their first words, singing a song, using their first signs, loving on their families, sliding down a slide, using a fork, drinking from a cup or jumping for the first time - my understanding of the absolute individuality among children grows deeper.
What can I say about this little miracle child?
She is just about the sweetest thing I've ever met. Don't get me wrong she definitely has her moments but ohhhh the sweetness - it's almost too much. She has become such a 'go with the flow', easy going, simple kinda gal. Just give her a bucket of water and let her go - she's happy. Put her favourite movie on and give her some chips - perfect. Take for a car ride, no matter the duration, awesome. Cupcakes? WINNER!
That said, you better make sure when she wants to listen to "songs" that you pick the one she wants to hear or look OUT! When in doubt Taylor Swift "Shake It Off" is a fail safe. Over the past few months she has gotten quite good about learning the names of each song or each movie she wants to watch, so that has made things easier (easier meaning cuts down on the whining - Praise Him). Here's the current list: All About That Bass (still), Hey Mama, I and LOVE and YOU, any Zooey song on You Tube, any Jimmy Fallon lip sync battle, any song from The Sound of Music, Katy Perry songs and Adele (still). She impresses me everyday with how many lyrics she has memorized from each of these songs. Also, her dance moves are getting to be quite serious as well. We dance a lot in this house A LOT!!!!
She has been so great with people the last few months. Always greets everyone with a smile, likes to be around the other kids, doesn't panic when I leave the room, ventures off on her own a little more than before. It's so beautiful to see her actually enjoy people and being out. Something that wasn't always her favourite. Our visits with friends and family have become so incredibly relaxing and fun. I really hope this Hazel is here to stay. Really more for her sake, it's such a joy to watch her have fun and relax with her friends and family.
If you've been reading a while you'll know that I believe in phases. Especially with kids, everything is a phase. At the moment we are in midst of a great phase with Hazel. I am trying to enjoy every second of her and who she is now. I love seeing her happy and content. I appreciate her willingness to make good choices. I am just plain old enjoying being her mom. She has been an absolute pleasure to parent these days. And no I am not that mom who thinks their kids are a joy to parent all the time - there are times when things are just plain old difficult. Yes, we still have the difficult times but right now the peaceful, happy moments definitely outweigh the pull your hair out moments with Hazel.
I think my favorite part of this phase is watching her learn and grow. The best way that I can explain it is that she's maturing. I can see her starting to think more, starting to connect some dots, starting to show so much confidence in new activities. She tries things now that she wouldn't even consider trying in the past. Maybe it's the teacher in me but I find myself so interested to watch her thought process evolve and change (I have plans to talk more about this 'evolution' in a future post so I will leave it at that for now). There seems to have been a shift in our lifestyle at home and I would love to share a little more about that with you soon.
For now, I am looking so extremely forward to spending the rest of the summer with these sweet girls of mine. Watching Hazel continue to grow and mature along side her sister. Watching her little expression while she experiences each new days adventures. Observing as she takes it all in, processes it and learns to communicate it back to me. I wait in anticipation everyday for her to ask me to "hold hands" or for a "kiss" (and YES those requests stop me dead in my tracks and they are immediately obliged).
The bittersweet truth is that she is just now seeming a little less like my baby and a little more like my little girl. It's hard to digest. I have to remind myself that her growing is inevitable, it's happening. I struggle at times to accept this little fact.
Something I NEVER struggle with is celebrating and being proud when she accomplishes something new. It was not so long ago I was sitting with a newborn baby Hazel in my arms. I remember that 30 seconds in the NICU (ok - more than 30sec) when I thought she wouldn't do ALL the things other children do. Such a staggering thought for a new mom. Still to this very day, I can't guarantee what milestones she will reach or how far she will go. What I do know is that I am certainly not going to put a ceiling on it for her. I plan to provide her with every opportunity that is humanly possible for her to reach her full potential. As she is climbing that mountain, I will be there every step she takes to shed a tear when she slips and scraps her knees or to do the crazy jumpy clap thing that only a mother does when her child succeeds. Either way, I assure you that I am the one who has been given the honour of holding her hand while she climbs.