girl talk

I know I have written about this before, but it is worth repeating. I love putting my kids to bed at night and not because it means two hours of child-free existence with Steve in a quiet and cleaned up family room. That certainly helps, but there is just something so special to me about being there to tuck them in, reassure them, and kiss them goodnight.

I love the heavy weight of Con's head on my shoulder, his fingers against my arm clinging tightly to his most cherished posession; his silky edged green blanket. I love flipping through his new favorite book about trucks. He prefers the page with the car transporter most and I am not sure why. I flip on his music and tuck the blanket in around him. We will not speak of the sleeping, the amazing thought it would never happen in my lifetime sleeping, that occurs on a nightly basis in that bedroom.

I love reading chapter books aloud to Caroline. We've read most of the Ivy and Bean series and just started Junie B. Jones. I censor all her mentions of "stupid" and she seems to like to hear about this little girl's kindergarten adventures. Kindergarten. "Not this fall," I reassure myself in my head, "next year," but just how did that happen? She recently started asking me to brush her curls at night. It feels a bit "Little House on the Prairie," but I do it anyway. I still relish her answers to "what was the best part of your day today?" Lately though, I'm enjoying being silly with her. We giggle like we're at a pajama party and I laugh harder watching my own expressions reflect back like a mirror from my radiant little girl. Do I really raise my eyebrows like that?

When she was born, I had in my heart believed she was going to be a boy. I have come to realize that I felt ill-prepared to be a mother to a daughter. A boy seemed easier in a way I can't exactly pinpoint. I imagine I was a challenge for my own parents as I know I can be emotional, reactive, solitary, closed off. I worried my daughter would be just like me and we wouldn't be able to connect, that two emotional, reactive people would propel further away from one another like those magnets in grade school we used to learn about positive and negative charge. Instead, I find that my mini me and I are drawn together, not pushed apart. Yes, she can be emotional. Deny her a popsicle after dinner for not eating her meal and she will fall apart at the table, slumping over, tears and all. True, she is reactive. Yes, there are times when she will sit quietly playing on her own, not wanting anyone else to be involved in whatever she is doing. She is so much like me and while there are times I react to her in not the very best way, I think Steve would agree that the majority of the time I can take a deep breath, approach her quietly, reassure her, and she is back to herself in moments. My emotional daughter is somehow comforted by her melodramatic mommy. I know that if she is like this now that there is much drama in our future. I know I won't always be able to take her onto my lap and calm her down, but I have surprised myself so much in my abilities to mother my girl. I hope we are forging an alliance that will help us through those challenging times ahead, those inevitable door slamming "you don't understand anything" moments. I know they are coming, she is afterall mini me, but I hope that those goodnights, those little talks we have about the best part of her day will turn into girl talk down the road. I'm sure when that happens I will leave her room and head right for a wine glass, but I'm not afraid of it anymore.


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