Saturday, March 15, 2014

Seven Things ...

Dear Doodle,

I have a hard time remembering my life without you. I can recall my life pre-kids and I distinctly remember becoming a parent. But that 22 months in between? I've got a lot of nothing. Maybe it's because Diz was so little when I was pregnant with you. Or maybe it's because you've been such a handful since day one, that my pre-Doodle life has been pushed aside. Either way, it feels like you've been with us for much longer than your seven years.

Doodle, 3 days old
Over the years we've had our challenges and your seventh year has been no different. We've laughed. We've cried. We've yelled. We've apologized. You challenge me more than any other person I've ever met and some days I'm not sure how we can co-exist. But then, you smile at me and I know we'll find a way.

It would be easy for me to sit here and say that you should conform to the ideals I carry around in my head. And some days, I wish for nothing more. I can imagine a world where we never fight or get angry with each other. But honestly, that isn't fair to you. I would never ask you to squelch who you are just to make my life easier. It's not like I'm going to change who I am just because I am your mother and you shouldn't need to change to be my daughter.

So, today, on your seventh birthday, I want to celebrate the seven things that make you who you are, yet drive me batty at the same time. I want to show them the appreciation they deserve and let you know that even if it doesn't always seem like it, I love these things - because they help make you exactly who you are.

Doodle, age 7
1. Your personal style - I might not want you to wear clashing colors and patterns on picture day, but your style is the ultimate outward display of your personality. It's crazy, adorable, unencumbered, scattered and hectic, yet it somehow always works. No one else could pull it off, but you do. I may not understand it, but I love it.

2. Your smarty pants nature -  I have never met another person who hates being wrong more than you. Everything is happy-go-lucky when you think you are right or you think you know more than everyone else. But the second someone suggests that you may be wrong or that their might be a better way to do something, you can't handle it. You pout. You cry. You storm away. It drives me nuts, but I try to embrace the fact that this will get you far one day. If for no other reason than you want to prove everyone wrong. It will give you the drive to always be improving. And I love that.

3. Your quick temper - If anyone can escalate a situation, it's you. Nine times out of 10, you get in trouble not for what you did, but for how you react when you get caught. I know with age you will learn to absorb and defuse, but I'm sure we have a lot of good fights left before then. Remember that a quick temper just shows that you are passionate. That's something you will never lose. And I love it.

4. Your inability to take a joke - Doodle, you can dish it out with the best of them, but the second the tables are turned, you freak the freak out. It makes me want to tell you to "suck it up," but deep down I know you are just sensitive - a trait that I love.

5. Your messiness - For someone who can be so particular at times, you are incredibly disorganized. If I say, "Everything has it's place", you say, "Everything has a place and I don't care where it is as long as it looks clean." Maybe I'm just high-strung, which would make you totally chill. And I love that about you.

6. Your high-pitched screams - There is no sound I like less than your "angry" scream. It's loud and painful and simply horrible. But is no one I'd rather be stuck with in an emergency situation than you. If nothing else, that scream will get us help and I have to love that.

7. Your tendency to take the easy way out - For a while, I thought your work ethic was defined by laziness. You do just what's required and nothing more. And sometimes, not even that. But then I realized that you're just working smarter, not harder. And who wouldn't love that?

Doodle, you are so much more than the little things that make you who you are and I am blessed to see how you take all those little things and make them into the person you'll become. I love you more than I could ever express and I wish you a very happy seventh birthday.



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