It’s so peculiar to see yourself reincarnated in someone else. I learn more about myself by watching all my traits [good and bad] on full display. It’s almost an out-of-body ethereal experience, where I’m a spectator to my younger self. Except it’s not me. It’s my 3-year-old daughter.
She’s firecrackers and wildflowers all in one tiny, 27-pound body, bursting at the seams.
We’re so much the same. All the larger-than-life, big emotions with the high highs and the low lows. Our hearts break with just the tiniest bit of disappointment. Tears too-quickly fill our eyes when we’re upset, and we stay sorrowful for far too long. But, complimentarily, when we’re happy, we’re massively happy. The “spinning around the room, singing our favorite songs off-key loudly and trying to get Daddy to join in” kind of joy. Happiness that fills our chest so fully that it feels like it’s going to rip us open.
We are annoyingly stubborn and persistent. It’s probably our most important skill, but also our biggest flaw. We, without a doubt, accomplish whatever we set our minds to, whether that’s post-grad studies or not letting anyone even come close to helping us pour our milk sloppily into our big girl cup. But that stubbornness prevents us from saying sorry to our most loved friends, and it keeps us from admitting fault when we screw up.
We feel painful frustration when things don’t go our way. It overwhelms us with a white-hot electric anger that spills out with shouting and flailing limbs. We’re both working on learning to slow down our reactions, to take deep “yoga breaths” when we start to feel the stabbing crescendo of anger.
She’s not all firecracker, though. She’s got her sweet wildflower side.
We suffer from overwhelming guilt when we realize we’ve hurt someone, and we make it up with excessive affection and favors. “Here, take my blankey… it’ll be okay. I love you. Want my baby doll? Snuggle me?” We can’t stand watching our loves hurt, and we put it upon ourselves to make it better.
We have this amazing ability to forgive so quickly. We can’t hold a grudge to save our lives. It doesn’t matter that you yelled at us an hour ago, or that you hurt our feelings yesterday. We’re best friends again. It’s like it didn’t even happen.
We read too much into other’s reactions to us. We’re constantly observing how our friends and family react to what we say and what we do. How can we make them smile? Did they think it was funny when we said that? Did they smile when we did that? How long were they laughing after we told that story? Did they laugh the second time, too?
Life is hard and will constantly try to change us. We’ll even go through times when we will want to change ourselves. Watching her has made me more aware of my flaws and has made me want to be a better version, since I know she’s watching and learning and mimicking. But it’s also helped me embrace and love my quirks in a way I never have before.
Keep on burning, little girl.