Spilling it

Jessica was the flower girl of her lifetime on Saturday. When she was getting her hair done I lost it and started weeping, I did a few of the ugly cry hiccup type things and then tried to get a hold of myself because my 3 1/2 year old was suddenly transformed into this beautiful, mature, much older young lady and there was no way I was ready for that.
The photos don’t capture it all, of course – they don’t capture Jessica’s vivacious love of life or the fact that she went down the aisle in perfect rhythm to the music, smiling and soaking in every eye on her until she made it to where her dad was standing in front – and all she could do was hug his leg because she. was. so. happy.
The photos don’t capture the sheer joy in her step as she went from place to place, perfectly in everyone’s full attention. To her – the day was hers – she didn’t need Dave or Nicky there, the bride and groom were afterthoughts. Even though we went over and over and over the fact that Saturday was their day and that although she played a very important roll, that ultimately she would have to obey and respect the specialness that the day was for them. We are over the top proud of how well she did.
She lost her beans a few times, attitude wise, but she is 3 and we are at that stage in her life. 4 steps forward and 3 steps back in one day is a super day.
Which brings me to – Jessica is more than full of energy. She is wildly high on life most days and most of the time it’s uncontrollable. We have to be on top of her at all times to ensure there’s no behavior issues or sharing, kicking, hitting squabbles. It is simply the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done and it’s full time with over time and then some.
People are quick to observe how high energy she is and then we usually hear a comment about how either their kids weren’t that way or boy do they hope our next one is calm! We usually laugh at this because to them it’s funny, they’re making conversation and trying to some how connect to us. We don’t know any different – to us – every child is this way because OUR child is this way. If we had had a calm child first and then a high energy one second I might understand what they’re talking about.
Very rarely do we hear how much appreciated Jessica is in a crowd. I can count on one hand the number of people who have sought me out as her mother to compliment me on her as a person and tell me what a wonderful job we must be doing to be raising such a strong woman. Some times I wonder if we would hear more praise if we had a calm child, because praise in a parents life is the only gift you can give them.
This might be a secret but it’s not meant to be one – we’re having a hard time with Jessica. Because she is so high energy and often so hard to contain or control – especially in crowd settings. She’s the biggest social butterfly but often is too excited to think before she acts and she ends up hitting, kicking or some how getting another child to tattle on her and therefore get her in trouble – whether or not I’m there to referee, it seems someone is always telling me what she’s done wrong.
Maybe it’s the age and the combination of a new baby, less time with mom or dad. It could be a ton of things. It could be nothing at all and this is just who she is – we’ll have to struggle with this for ever. Either way – right now it’s very hard. But in the midst of all of this, these growing pains for her and for us as her parents – seeing her on a day like this past Saturday and looking at her knowing deep inside that she’s a spirit to reckon with – she’s going to do amazing things and conquer absolutely anything she puts her mind to – I can’t help but beam with adoration for her.
I so wish I could capture the caring, gentle spirit Jessica is with her baby brother for those who can’t seem to think anything but “WILD” when they think of her. Or for the caregivers who see her coming and sigh to themselves. I just wish I could capture the moments when she runs up behind me to “squeeze me” (bear hugs) or the days when she wakes up and crawls in bed with us to tell us the SUN WOKED UP! GOOD MORNING!
I’ve been really hard on myself as her mother lately because all I seem to get and feel from others is criticism, not only on Jessica as a person but in turn on me as her mother. I always feel like there’s something we’re doing wrong – something I should be trying to do better, or trying period. I can’t do it all. I’m not that person. I have a hard time with Jessica’s energy level at times too because I am dead tired and my mind actually wants to think about something other than Ariel for 5 minutes once in a while. But in the midst of all that – of feeling hopeless at times, I have so much hope for the future because I get to see the best parts of Jessica. And if she wants to keep those secrets from absolutely everyone else in her life, for the rest of her life, I’ll be the luckiest woman in the world. No matter how hard it gets.
She’s comfortable enough with me to let her shit go – to get crazy angry and cry it out – to be brave for everyone else and let it go as soon as we get in the car. To be vulnerable and insecure. She is the most beautiful thing I’ve done with my life, ever. Did you know she has blond eye lashes? I mean, she takes my breath away, daily. She is complex and innocent and naively simple all at the same time.
She is, and always will be, my breath of heaven.

3 thoughts on “Spilling it

  1. Jodi~ your honesty is always so refreshing! And I just wanted to say that Jessica was so amazing at the wedding, she broke my heart a few times too! I love her energy and can’t tell you how many times that little girl has ‘saved’ me when she comes running screaming my name and gives her huge hugs. She rocks, you rock. end of story!

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