Today is Teagan’s birthday. She’s two years old and lovely. I literally love everything about her.
That child is determined! From day one, she knows exactly what she wants and how she wants it and that’s how it will be. (And woe to anyone who gets her way!) She dances and sings and colors and draws and there are no lines or boundaries or rules… Her innate little sense of humor is killer and her timing is impeccable. She’s a born nurturer; her stuffed animals and dolls are all well-loved. She “takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin'”; she is literally the prissiest linebacker you’ll ever meet. Her smile is big and brilliant and always ready to light up the world of anyone so blessed enough to receive it. And she knows her power. Already.
Yes. She has us all wrapped around her little finger. Mommy, definitely Daddy, brother, Grandpa (woah nelly!), uncles, aunts, baby sitters, random strangers… Wrapped. All of us.
Her innate little sense of humor is killer … Her smile is big and brilliant and always ready to light up the world of anyone so blessed enough to receive it
But life with Teagan wasn’t always like this, and on days like today, I remember what a terror she used to be; how much I didn’t feel love for or connection to her; wished I hadn’t had her; wished I wasn’t pregnant with her; was afraid of having a girl because I was sure I would seriously muck her up; waited to miscarry her because it happened before…
When I hear about parents who act so heinously to their children, I grieve so deeply for those babies. And it makes me angry that a parent would allow themselves to go there. But I get it. I SO get it. That feeling of helplessness; like you just want the kid to shut up and quit needing you; like you will literally die if you don’t get some sleep at some point in your; like you would love the opportunity to miss your children … for, like, 5 years. I get it.
Her first day in this world, my OB and her ped said they’d never heard a baby scream like her. I get it.
For 5 months, she screamed and would not shut up. I get it.
Our babysitters didn’t want to babysit her. I get it.
I would have to carry her around the house in our Baby Björn carrier for hours. She had a three-dish limit. I could put three dishes in the dishwasher before she would wail and I had to go back to taking laps around the house. I get it.
One day, she was able to sit up on her own and grab things and put them in her own mouth. She became a different child. We all breathed a sigh of relief. “She’s not awful! She just wanted to do something and knew her body wouldn’t do it!”
Teagan is decisive determined… and she doesn’t recognize boundaries. Sometimes she’s so hard to handle. It doesn’t always feel worth it and I don’t always feel fulfilled, but it’s still up to me — and Michael — to mold her and teach her that, through God’s grace, her greatest weaknesses are her greatest strengths. She’s the delight of our life. Every day, she shows us new ways to enjoy life, each other and this wonderful world God gave us. Life through her eyes is technicolor and loud and musical and messy and incomparably “awe’-shuhmmmm”. She has this amazing path before her and I can’t even fathom what she’ll do on it. I am so excited and overwhelmed at the honor to be Teagan’s mom.
…through God’s grace, her greatest weaknesses are her greatest strengths.
I just pray I do her justice.