This year was one of big changes for Analiese. When she turned two, I was a few months pregnant with Hayden Kate. I knew that our lives would be quite different in a few months and wanted to treasure the remaining time I had with just her. She knew there was a baby in my belly, but remained completely unaware of what that meant for her. I’m still in awe of her graceful transition to being a sister.
She has proven to be an amazing big sister–loving, kind, gentle, inclusive, compassionate. Although we have our share of tough, stubborn, impatient days (she and I both), her easy love for her sister (and others) challenges me to be the loving, kind, gentle, inclusive, compassionate example I want to be for her.
In our last few months as a family of three, I remember our quiet, slow mornings. Looking back, it seems like I was just starting to get the hang of mommy-hood. We had found our rhythm and we enjoyed it together. We ran many errands together, took walks to the nearby park, and enjoyed the summer concerts with friends more than we ever had in years past. Her love for music and dancing began here and took off this year. She’s become a big fan of dancing and jumping and her requests to “dance with me!” are impossible to refuse.
Soon after her second birthday, I declared it time to potty train. She was ready, but it took the combination of my stubborn ideas and Ross’s patient demeanor to be successful. Even at such a young age, I sensed her desire to accomplish this feat. She was determined. Months before her third birthday she was completely diaper free and we transferred her remaining diapers to Hayden Kate’s room.
I am so proud of the little girl she is becoming. She has a contagious laugh, creative imagination (oh, how I adore listening to her pretend play with her dolls and other toys!), and impresses me daily with how smart she is and the information she retains. She’s got a memory like a steal trap!
She loves time to play with her friends, but at times, prefers sitting with other adults, listening and participating in conversation. She giggles when she hears others laugh without really knowing what’s so funny. She just wants to be a part of whatever it is.
My baby is 3. Three years old. I still can’t get over it. I suppose I’ll say the same thing each and every year after this one. Maybe one of these days I’ll accept the fact that I can’t make her stop growing. Each day, the Lord asks me to let her go just a little more. Grow more. Explore more. Ask more. Trust more. She is His more than she is mine. That can be so hard to accept, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Even so, I hope she always fits on my lap and wants to hold my hand at dinner.