We were on an evening side by side ride. My daughter knows we sit down buckled when riding. Yet she decided to test the waters and stand up. She was admiring the sunset. Before telling her to sit down, I paused to admire her. My mind started wandering… how do I keep her safe? Yet let her be wild? You know all those quotes and memes about how you’ll appreciate her fire and sass when she is older, independent, and making a difference in this world? I guess the best I can do is to show her and give her all I know. So instead of sheltering her, I am hoping to be honest enough and educate her enough that she’ll learn right and wrong, safe and unsafe on her own. Honesty is hard and a lot of people think we should shelter kids from the truth, but that is not how I am choosing to parent my children. I am choosing to be honest. When my three year old comes back with her current favorite phrase of, “why?” I do not always know what to say. I do not know why everything is the way it is. I sometimes do not know how to explain things for a child’s mind while being honest. It truly is hard. Yesterday she came up to me crying because she had broke one of my outdoor statues. I sent a snap to my sisters because it is one we all three have. They responded with: You should be proud. She knew she messed up and she knew she could come tell you. That is amazing. And that, my friends, is how I always hope our dynamic is… I give her enough space to let her grow, yet love her hard enough that she’ll always see me as a safe place.
To my wild, adventurous, yet SO empathetic and caring THREE year old. You blow my mind with who you are already. I hope you are always true to you. This world needs more of you. Keep being the sunshine, baby.