Letters to My Daughter {The Present in the Presence}

Tonight I chased you, my daughter around the school. We ran and raced and laughed and clapped. We sat in different colored chairs and climbed up the stairs. We played hide and seek and laid on the ground. Our Moana piggy and chicken toys raced and walked on the carpet saying "walk, walk, walk" over and over. You asked me to lift you high and I did. We counted the lockers and you looked a me with those big doe eyes and said "Mommy play" and that's what we did. I will admit, very truthfully that life with you as a toddler is a challenge. The number of difficult, long, stressful days have been outnumbering the fun, adventurous, stress free days as of late. Surprisingly you demand much more of my attention than you did when you were a baby. You have an opinion on everything even though you only have a couple of full sentences in your arsenal. You are emotional. And when I say that I mean to the extreme. Things are incredibly happy & exciting, or they are horrible and screaming/kicking/crying worthy. You have learned the word "NO" and don't respond well to other people telling you no. You eat like a bird and run like a gazelle. You are in so many ways exhausting.

Often my mind wanders - what are we doing next, what should we have for dinner, what time is it, I'm tired let's stop playing, are other people watching you run around the store and wondering what the heck kind of Mom I am. The obsessive need to check my phone for notifications or emails makes it hard to fight the impulse to pull my phone out of my pocket every 5 minutes. Every moment is so involved it is hard to chose just one thing to focus on.

To put all of those things aside - the constant focus & attention you demand, the million thoughts on my mind at any given time and really be there with you is so so challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding. I need to remind myself that it's ok to just be here, that my presence is equally as important as those other things that pull me away along the way.

When we left the school tonight and you chose me to carry you to the car instead of Grandma (that NEVER happens) I couldn't help but smile at the connection we just had. Those moments that are forever ours.