Dear Natalie: Two Years!


Dear Natalie,

You’ll notice that this month we abandoned the chair that has been a constant in your photos for the past year. The main reason for this is that, quite simply, you were having none of it. You’re over having your picture taken, you’re over sitting in the chair, and you’re over doing anything I suggest simply because I’m the one who suggested it.

(Yeah, we might be dealing with a tiny bit of rebellion as you sort out where you stand now that Olivia has joined our family.)

At first I was chagrined that they wouldn’t all be the same. I’m going to level with you: it bugs me that this one is different, and my first choice would be for you to just sit in the darn chair for one photo (your OCD-tendencies had to come from somewhere).

But then I realized: you’re not a baby anymore. You’re a person, albeit a small one, with opinions and desires and preferences all your own. And if you don’t want to sit in the chair, well, that’s not a battle I choose to fight. I respect the fact that that’s not something you’re interested in right now.

But MAN is that hard to do. I want you to do what I say, because I say so.

Except that’s not the way it works, because you’re growing up. The days of being able to set you down someplace and you staying there because you’re literally incapable of walking away are LONG gone.

This is where your free will comes in, and that, sweet girl, is something you have in spades. IRON will, for sure, an indomitable spirit that laughs in the face of because I said so. 

This trait will serve you very, very well in the future. It can be terribly frustrating to parent such a spirit at times, but it’s a learning experience for all of us. And that’s really what this past year has been: frustrating. No, I’m kidding. A learning experience.

In the last letter of your first year, I wrote that the adventure was just beginning and that I still have so much to learn about being your mom. And it’s true — I still feel at times like I’m navigating this whole motherhood thing blindfolded, stumbling down a rocky path littered with the toughest challenges I’ve ever encountered.

But I’ve never felt as proud of anything in my life.

I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome the last two years with you have been, and I mean that in the literal sense: I’m in awe. Of you. Of the person you are, of who I see you becoming, of how much your dad and I have grown just by being your parents.

Onwards and upwards, my girl. The adventure continues.

Love always,

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