11 August 2008

My Strong & Beautiful Girl

I started writing letters in a journal to my daughter the night before she turned one. I got a special book and wrote the story of her birth in it. Since then, I have written telling her about what she's like, how I feel about her, and all the funny and quirky things she does.

I told her the story of how we rode in an ambulance together the day she fell off the playhouse roof and broke her arm (she was only 18 months old and copying her big brother). I knew then that she was going to be an adventurer.

A couple of weeks later she had a bad fall after running full tilt on a slippery floor. When I took her to A&E they thought she had a fracture of the growth plate in her knee... so they put a precautionary cast on her leg just in case. Which meant that I had a small girl with a two pink casts on - I was very nervous to go out in public!!

My girl is quite "spirited": she is feisty, verbal, bold, sensitive, caring, generous, adventurous and loads of fun - when she isn't driving me absolutely nuts! Being her mum is a great challenge. She is very different from me in lots of ways; I was a quiet mouse, but we hear her coming long before she comes into view!

A while back a colleague of Mr G's lent us a book which really helped us understand our little firecracker. It's called "Raising your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. This is the best book I have ever read on your child's personalities and how to work with them.

Maybe you have a child similar to mine, who doesn't fit the usual mold - who won't get into a routine, who if you leave them to cry themselves to sleep will keep going for 3 hours and wake all the neighbours with the volume. A kid who is larger than life but who crumples into peices if she thinks someone is laughing at her or using a grouchy tone of voice. A kid who breaks their arm at 18months following their brother's exploits, but who won't let go of your hand for the first half hour at their best friend's birthday party! A kid who knows their own mind and has very set ideas about what they will wear, and how they want their hair (at age 3).

If you have a Princess in your family, I really recommend you get hold of that book! We used to have major battles nearly every day but now we've found they are avoidable and much less frequent than they used to be. We can now appreciate much more the real treasure that she is. Her compassion, her leadership, her energy. Mr G is convinced she could be Prime Minister one day!

At the end of last term Princess finished up at "Pink Kindy", the preschool she has been at since she was 2 (she is now at morning kindy). I went along with her and took some video footage and photos, and came away feeling so proud, so honoured to be the mum of this little gem.

Her portfolio was filled with stories about how kind my girl had been to a new child, a sad child. How creative she was teaching other kids her method for "folded paintings", and what great leadership she shows in involving others in her games.

To sum her up, her teacher wrote: "Two things really stand out for me; the first is your love of art (the messier the better). The second is your wonderful caring nature. Even when you first started kindy it was plain to see that you were a 'people person'. You just love the interaction with your peers. You are always ready and eager to help others; the concern you show for others is wonderful to see. It is great to see you taking initiative and becoming one of the leaders of the group... we will miss you!"

I read this sitting in the car outside, and sat there with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, feeling so proud... of course a couple of hours later I was having to growl at her again, but that's just kids hey?

These years when they are small go so fast! I want to grab onto them and make the most of them. One day we will be looking back on these days with misty eyes. xx

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Morgan said...

I've started journaling letters to my children too! I wrote ideas on my blog of what I write down (non-letter related)about the kids.


My son climbs up on top of the roof of the playhouse too. Hopefully my youngest daughter doesn't copy it! How scary to have a fall and ambulance ride!

Neetz said...

Hey :) I do this too...started when I was pregnant with my son (who's now 5) and am doing it with my little girl now (who's 1)...I just think it will be a great thing for them when they get older and in their teens....to look back and realise just how loved they are (when they're feeling all "unloved" etc)... :)
Great job! xx

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