Release the Butterflies is about letting go of our preconceived notions and allowing our kids to break out of their cocoons.
Let's appreciate their uniqueness and embrace who they really are.
All kids need to be seen as individuals, not as a collection of strengths and weaknesses.
Emma is the youngest and our little wild child.
And I say that with the utmost respect for her. She does things that the average 4-year-old probably would not, could not, conceive of. Or at least my other kids didn’t.
Like mixing a “magic potion” in the upstairs bathroom of vitamin E oil, ladies gel deodorant and water.
“Oh, I didn’t dwink it, Mommy! It was just pwetend!”
Like climbing up the outside of the tunnel slide at the park. You know the one. It’s at least 10 feet high.
Or taking apart the guinea pig’s cage. While he was still in it.
These are the types of things she does on a daily basis. As soon as Emma says, “I’m bored,” watch out!
Now, I’m going to be totally honest with you here.
Parenting Emma is hard. I highly suspect that if this child had been our first, she’d have done me in. God knew that. He knew I needed to mellow out and become less of a bag of nerves before this child came into the world.
He also knew that I’d love her to pieces, because I do.
But we often butt heads. Part of this is stubbornness (on both sides). But part of it comes from the fact that I want to keep her (and my household) safe. She really does do some wild and crazy things.
You want to know what I love most about Emma?
The fact that she does do wild and crazy things…and knows, knows that she’s capable of accomplishing just about anything she puts her mind to.
She is never paralyzed by fear. She will take on the world.
She’s fiercely independent and incredibly strong-willed.
She loves to help. Insists on helping. Absolutely will help.
She’s loving and generous and knows that she is loved. Always.
Her big brother, David, who absolutely dotes on her, says, “She’s 2 Rainbow Dashes and a Pinkie Pie!” If you’re familiar with My Little Pony, you’ll know what he means.
She possesses Spider-Man’s clinginess (yes, that’s Emma scaling the big picture window). If she could spin webs, she’d be hanging from the ceiling.
And yes, she even has super ninja skills.
Emma’s own words: “If you open my head and see the brains then you will see the ninja movie.”
And how many 4-year-olds do you know who can (and will) do yoga on their own?
It’s funny how some of the things she does are both maddening and amazing at the same time.
This is really a sign of my failings, though. I tend to see the 4-year-old holding things up by insisting on buckling her own 5-point-safety harness when we’re already running late for soccer.
Hey, who cares! She can buckle that whole thing herself---a feat that would stymie many adults!
I do wish that she didn’t do things like, well, like this:
Maybe it wouldn’t bother me as much if she wasn’t so…um, proud of it? Ha ha!
The other day she took an ink pen and drew all over her legs and hands and then drew an “x” on my dishwasher. It was a little x. But a red x all the same.
The other kids were in a tizzy because Emma was covered in red ink.
“Ha,” I said, “It will wear off of her body, I’m stuck with this mark on my dishwasher until she’s grown and out of the house!”
I was mad. Don’t ask me why. The mark is right next to the silver nail polish she painted on there last year.
One of these days she will be grown and out of the house, and unless I embrace her, all of her, all I’ll have left are those marks she left behind on my stuff.
Stuff that can (and will) be replaced some day.
Ok, maybe I’m weird, but I’d rather have Emma and all her craziness than have perfectly unmarked stuff.
What do you think?
I think God timed Emma’s arrival perfectly. It’s not that He was saving the best for last (all the kiddos are pretty incredible), but that He knew that if she came too soon in the line up…well, let’s just say He knew she was really going to stretch me. I love this chicky baby and wouldn’t ever trade her for a perfectly immaculate house with all the trimmings.
Do you have a wild child?
Each Wednesday this month, a few friends and I will be blogging about embracing our children just as they are in an effort to Release the Butterflies. In the coming weeks, I’ll be talking about my relationship with my 3 other children.
I invite you to read more from my friends:
I also invite you to join us! Grab the button, blog about your kiddos and link up. I’d love to visit you for a spell and read about how you are loving on your kids, just at they are.
Don't forget to enter the Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids Giveaway! Ends 5/12