Thursday, May 22, 2014

{Miss Maylin} Never Stop Being You

Dear Maylin,

Here we are. 14 months old. A toddler. What? When? Did this happen? You're growing up. Maturing. Moving on. Transitioning. Coming into your own skin. It's thrilling to witness. If there's one thing I've learned during motherhood, it's to cherish each phase of your life. They come and go so quickly. The changes happen so subtly. If I'm not paying attention, you'll have moved on without my even realizing it. The quirk will have passed, the obsession will be over {remember green ring?}, the expression will have morphed; the coo will have become a syllable, the syllable a word. That's okay. That's the way it's supposed to be. You're supposed to grow up and mature and transition. I'm not faulting you for that. I'm celebrating you for it. I never want my sentimentality to hold you back.

Never did I expect to be so enamoured by a 14 month old toddler. It's still strange to type the word toddler in relation to you, because in my mind you're still a teeny, two week old baby; I think of you as a cooing 4 month old baby; I see you as a smiling, giggling 9 month old baby. It's hard to fathom that you've become a toddler of over a year old. 

Maybe that's what parents mean when they refer to their 18 year olds as their "babies." You're stored up in my mind with so many precious memories at different stages of "baby" that it can cloud my real life view of you as the age you actually are.


Before I forget without even knowing I've forgotten, there are some things I want to remember about you, my Maylin, at 14 months old.

Oh Maylin. My multi-faceted little girl. Where even to begin? At 14 months old you are full of such fire, such spirit, such charisma. I never expected to be able to tell by your facial expressions or your gestures what you're thinking and feeling, without you uttering one word of communication. 

Your're independent, feisty, and insistent {especially at mealtimes}, yet simultaneously so, so sweet, tender, and sensitive to the emotions of others. You're willing to try new things, yet just cautious enough to not be reckless. 

Your laugh is infectious. Your smile is contagious. Your mood colors the whole household. Oh how great is the hold you have over us.

You love to be loved. You love to be doted on, to have attention focused on yourself. Bedtime and naptime are some of my favorite moments together because you allow me to cuddle, snuggle, and hold you closely as we rock, rock, rock. That being said, the hour that I cook supper is probably the least favorite time of my day, and yours too, because you are perceptive enough to know my attention is elsewhere. You cling to my ankles and follow me around the kitchen, wailing and staring up at me with large crocodile tears, reaching for me to pick you up, and no amount of distraction can lure you away. It's that time of day we both have to grin and bear through until it's over. 

You're very independent now. You have a "do it myself" attitude that I find both endearing and infuriating. It makes my heart swell with pride while at the same time breaking it with a longing to help. Which is another thing I've learned about motherhood: it's full of conflicting emotions.

Your understanding of the word "no" is impeccable. You are fully aware that "no" means to not do something, stop, not to touch that. Yet you don't always make the decision to adhere to its meaning. You make externally obvious the inner battle waging within, shaking your head "no" while crawling toward the dog bowl, knowing you're not supposed to touch it yet giving in to the temptation anyway. It's a perfectly innocent example of what grown-ups do in real life every day.

You're such a little walker now, Maylin. It warms my heart to watch. You toddle around, falling often, but just as often getting back up and trying again. You have yet to be stunted by something you "couldn't do." Another favorite time of the day is when we walk down the driveway to the mailbox to pick up the mail. I always looked forward to walking with you hand-in-hand, strolling along together, but in reality I can forget the hand-in-hand part! You very insistently walk by yourself. And surprisingly, I'm okay with following a few steps behind you, marveling and chuckling at the way your little legs churn and your arms help you keep balance.

You pick up on things easily. You're a quick learner. My former teacher-self is so proud. It doesn't take you long to comprehend or mimic {which your daddy and I are finding is not always a good thing} or repeat or remember. You're tenacious, determined, task-focused. 

Maylin, although you're just over a year old, you- petite, bald-headed you, are the most inspiring, profound, and effective teacher I've ever had. You have taught me the meaning of love- true, sacrificial love that knows no limits or boundries and makes me want to laugh for the joy of it and cry over tenderness of it. Daily you teach me and challenge me to live the traits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I am realizing those traits have never applied to me more than in this season of mothering a toddler. I'm certain God meant for them to be applied most specifically to mothers! I am trying to be thankful to you, Maylin, for helping me hone these traits on a daily hourly basis. 

When I sat down to write this post I had a list of facts I thought made up you. Like, your favorite food is bananas and guacamole {thankfully, not together!}; you just got two new top teeth; you're obsessed with wearing the string of pearls from my jewelry box; you make the sounds of a puppy, cow, monkey, and elephant; you blow air every time you see a jar of bubbles. But from the first keystroke I realized these are not the traits that make you who you are. They are merely a product of who you are. You do these things because of your personality, attitude, tendencies, and character. 

Oh, and one final comment. You and Deuce? Keep working your charm on him by bringing him sticks. He'll quickly become your BFF. I just know it.

 I love you, my Maylin. It is my fervent prayer you never stop being you.

No comments:

Post a Comment