Friday, April 12, 2013

Portrait of a girl, about to turn 5

She's been feisty since the beginning.  From her terrifying entry into the world, to her cries that I could hear from the hospital nursery to my room down the hall, we learned early on that she would not be easy going.  In fact, in our first day with her, John and I were set on the fact that she would be our forever baby and last child (barring any surprises from God).

She's been a mystery to me, crying often as a baby and only being sated by being held in my arms.  She has loved like no other, offering tight hugs, sweet love notes, and nightly invitations to come snuggle with her in bed.  All is right in her world, still, when she is held in my arms.

She was an early talker, but developed her own inventive language: "Bo Bo, and Mawmaw, and Bickle."  She made it clear what they meant, and used them even when she could say actual words.  She was once shy, but is also a chatterbox when she is in her element.

She's been decisive and unmoving, refusing to relent in her strong opinions and positions, treating my instructions as suggestions instead of commands to be followed.

She has been an individual, developing a preference for bright and sparkly fashion, lots of bling, and glitter; a girly girl that baffles this plain mom.  She has asked for only clothes, shoes, and jewelry for her 5th birthday.

We've battled over party plans, cake designs, games, and friends to invite.  So I was a little surprised at her easy and giggly pleasure at her invitation.  She has carried it around to show complete strangers, made sure everyone in our household has a copy, and hung hers proudly in her room.  When I told her I was surprised that she was so thrilled given how she had dismissed all my other choices, she replied, "It's because you let me choose.  I don't like the same things as you."

It's simple, but profound.  As much as I envision her as a little me, she is totally, wonderfully herself.  She is smart and silly and cuddly.  She is strong and spirited and stubborn.   She is Maryn, and she grasps her own individualism in a way that inspires me.  She does not apologize for her tastes or choices, even when they conflict with others' desires (sometimes to my chagrin).  She takes what she needs, clinging when I retreat, and refuses to read when she can be read to.  She delights in what strikes her fancy and dismisses what doesn't.

I really hope I can be more like her when I grow up.

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