She is everything I hoped for yet still more than I bargained for. She keeps me running all day. She makes me laugh and cry and sometimes that occurs in the span of five short minutes. She is beautiful and loving and funny. She is independent and strong and brave.
We decided to have a second child when Gannon was just a year old. I had such a handle on things with him that I never questioned my ability to have two. I loved motherhood and the days I spent being home to raise our sweet, kind, and gentle little boy. Having another baby seemed so right.
We didn’t find out the gender of any of our children but I knew she was a girl just as I was sure Gannon was a boy. She came into this world and it wasn’t a surprise when Paul announced joyously, “It’s a girl”. She took to breastfeeding right away and never ate for more than ten minutes. This was much different than my first experience with breastfeeding. She did not suffer much with colic and did not cry nearly as badly as Gannon had.
It was still a transition I was ill prepared for. Gannon hated me. I will never forget the day that sweet voice told me “Go away!” with the hurt evident in his tone. He didn’t hug me or kiss me for a year. An entire year. The bond I shared with him was so amazing so this completely broke me. I had an extremely difficult time connecting with Waverly because she had taken Gannon away from me.
Waverly will be two years old on Sunday. Two. Years. How the fuck did that happen? And how did I let two fucking years go by without properly connecting with a human my body grew?
Waverly is what you’d call determined. That girl knows what she wants and will stop at nothing to get it. She has incredible patience when she is trying to figure something out and I have witnessed her change tactics so many times to get the result she was looking for. She has a hard time hearing anyone when they are trying to explain something to her because she is usually too pissed off and yelling super fucking loud because she has her own ideas and she wants them heard. She has this incredible laugh. And her smile can melt my heart. She has recently started really hugging me with her little arms wrapped around my neck and it is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
I couldn’t see past the things that made me crazy. The not listening for an explanation. The screaming. The hitting. The hundreds of other things she did that I found myself yelling at her for. But these things? They were happening because I wasn’t listening to her. I didn’t understand her. I didn’t try to. Until recently. Now I know how to explain things so I can tell her we can’t do something she wants without her immediately screaming in my face. I have given myself pep talks to have more patience with her. I carve out more time to read a book just to her or build a tower with blocks or show her things I’m doing. And it’s working. I take time to give her a hug many times a day. To tell her how proud I am. To look at her when she is doing things I know she is proud of.
Two years and I finally figured out how to connect with my wonderful, strong, brave, beautiful, funny, smart daughter. I have a serious amount of guilt over the wasted days. The days I was trying to just get by.
Connecting with children can be pretty hard. Waverly presented many challenges I didn’t face the first time around and I was completely lost. I have bad moments with her still. I always will. I’m human. But that girl. She has stolen my heart.
Today, she held my face in her sweet hands, said to me, “everything going alright,” and asked me to sing it. Thank you, wild one. Every little thing IS gonna be alright.