Our kiddos are growing up before our eyes... and it seems we've turned another corner when we look at our little ones and wonder how in the world they got to be so tall and grown up in just a few short months. I often find myself not knowing where to begin when I sit down to write about Harper and Bentley. How can a simple blog post sum up their giant personalities and precious little hearts?
It can't... but I'll always take a shot at it.
You are one amazing and beautiful little girl. Little girl. Yes, I do have to pinch myself every now and then to remind myself that you are a little girl now, not a baby. You'd think I would get that after you've been acting more grown up for a while now. The truth is, your mommy and daddy will probably always view you this way - even when we are dropping you off at college, walking you down the aisle, or there with you when you have your first baby... you will still be our little girl in our minds eye. I used to think parents were overly sentimental and too attached when they said those type of things... but I think my perspective has changed.
Sweetie, your personality continues to amaze us and make us smile - you are joyful, caring, expressive and sensitive. How you've changed is more in your awareness of other's emotions and actions, what you say and how you communicate and how you are fully aware of your "big girl-ness". Just the other day, we were throwing rocks into the pond and you said, "Mom, someday I'm going to grow up..." You didn't finish it with "... and be a ballerina" or "... and go to the moon". No. It was a statement... and it made me pause and want to cherish every single second I have with you and Bentley.
You are very into your gymnastics class these days. We took a little break for the winter and I wondered if you'd still be excited about it when you started up again... and YES you are! You make me laugh, because you quite often come off the gymnasium floor, during class, because you need a drink of water or a hug from your mom or are just looking for an excuse to do something other than stand in line ;) But then, when we are home, it is so much of what you are pretending. You are the teacher and all your stuffed animals and baby dolls are the students and you take them through different circuits of activities... cheering them on along the way saying, "I got you" or "good job"!
Very recently, you starting telling elaborate stories to us. You often say it's "story time" and we need to pay attention and listen... and you are not shy to "shhh" us during the process. Often the stories start with, "and once upon a time..." and include something about Beauty and the Beast and the Beast not being kind. Last weekend, you stayed the night at Mimi and Baba's and Mimi was lucky enough to get a session of your story time in the middle of the night for quite some time, as far as we could tell (Mimi is always so nice to your mommy and daddy and makes us think you guys slept more than you probably did).
My girl, you are VERY in tune with your emotions and are constantly curious about the state of others emotions as well. You often wonder if someone is grumpy if they're not smiling, you pick up on the tiniest hint of someone's sadness and ask if I'm frustrated if I grunt or groan during a task or during a major child melt down (a true look in the mirror moment for me every time). Not a day goes by when you have not told us exactly how you are feeling in many given scenarios - sad, frustrated, scared, nervous, silly, etc. The recent expression has been seeing more and more that you love, love, love your daddy and when he has to travel... you miss him SO terribly much. He is such an amazing daddy and you guys have such a sweet bond, that your daddy and I are in the middle of trying to come up with solutions and strategies to help you through this the best we can. The Lord is so good to provide support and wisdom when we ask! Seeing that you're an emotional girl, I think your dad has made it his mission that you are able to express and communicate clearly how you are feeling... thanks to his polar opposite experiences with your mommy ;) I can write it out... but talking... not so much.
One of my favorite moments came just around Easter... During the weeks leading up to Easter, I was talking to you a lot about how Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and how after 3 days he rose from the dead so that someday we can be in heaven too, if we believe in Him. I had been feeling slight discouragement, because every time I began talking to you about the Easter story... you'd always appear to be not listening... at all! Over Easter weekend, Mimi had the chance to ask you what you thought we were celebrating at our Easter party and you responded by saying, "It's a Jesus party... because he died on the cross for us..." Mimi told you, "I know... it might seem like it would be sad, but we are really happy because he rose from the dead so we can be in heaven with Him someday." Your quick and enthusiastic response was, "(gasp) Good job Mimi! That's right!" (as though you weren't quite sure if Mimi would have the right answer). Lesson for mommy: You really are listening to every single word I say.
Precious girl, we love you!
You are one amazing and spirited dude! My heart just overflows with so much joy as I watch you getting bigger, your personality getting stronger and your uniqueness evolving... all of these things enrich our family more and more everyday. You are my little man. I can't explain the mother-son relationship... it used to be so foreign to me. Mostly because I only knew the mother-daughter relationship I have with my mom and then the relationship with Harper. But, wow my little man... my heart just skips little beats for you all day long. It continues to amaze me when I look at you two, how God allows a parent's heart to be absolutely stolen by each child, in a completely different way and both are an inexpressible joy.
Bubu, you are so much fun to watch as you are learning about the world around you. You adore being outside... you don't need toys... just rocks, sticks, water and bugs. When we are at the park... You want to swing (you still love this) and climb for a bit, but then you could care less about the play structure... it's just about running and the dirt and the flowers and the sticks. I think you would live outside if that were an option. Right now, your three obsessions are bugs, cars and dancing. It is so cute to hear you say "bug" and scream and laugh when you see one. You love most cars, but of course the one you really love is the expensive one... Ours. You beg by the garage door, multiple times a day, to go out and play in the car. You just love pretending to drive (I love the sound effects - I'm pretty sure that came natural to you being a boy), honking the horn, and crawling back and forth between the driver and passenger seats. (You may or may not have gotten a fat lip from the car... when I left you alone to desperately get dinner started one night. Oops.) We think you may love music more than your sister did... and back then, I didn't think that was possible. Any time you hear any sort of music, you shake your head back and forth and move your little body. I'm thinking... future Justin Timberlake? :-) You are SO physical, able to climb just about everything and anything (so very often the things that give me a heart attack). I wish I had a tally record of injuries from 12-18months for both you and your sister... you are definitely smoking her dude! You are in your first month of gymnastics, and though you are still quite little (the youngest in the class), this has already proven to be great for you. Not only are your gain coordination skills and listening and waiting skills... you are drop-dead tired after each class! This, I'm learning, is a necessity for you my boy... you contain so much energy each day and you do so much better when you get it out.
Speaking of your sister... you ADORE her. Wherever she goes, whatever she does, you want to be right there experiencing everything with her. She loves you too, and only really doesn't want you around when you hit her on the head or pull her hair. At this point you are always happy to be whatever character she thinks you should be: she is Beauty, so you are the Beast; she is Lady, so you are the Tramp; she is Rapunzel, so you are Flynn Ryder; and so on and so forth. So often, I think you actually believe you are the same age as her... completely not understanding why you can't walk through Target like her (you would run any direction except where mommy needed to go) or why on earth you can't play in the upstairs playroom at our friend's house while the mommy's meet downstairs (I'm convinced you would jump off of something and break a bone). This misunderstanding has lead to quite a few tantrums and screaming fits. Which I do have to mention is your unique trait ;) You are very talented at throwing yourself on the ground and acting completely miserable... until you realize mommy and daddy won't allow that kind of behavior.
You are such an amazing blend of being tender and sweet one minute, and then intense and determined in the next. Your smile absolutely melts our hearts constantly. You keep us guessing and on our toes all the time with your enthusiasm and love for life. We just adore you and are thankful every day that the Lord gave you to us! We love you!