Life as Siena’s mom has not been easy. Of course, motherhood is never an easy undertaking, but as Siena has grown I have come to realize what a unique individual she is– and how much more demanding my job is as a result. I have put so much into her– from months of sleepless nights to extreme dietary restrictions to numerous counseling and psychologist appointments– that I often feel lost myself, just to equip her to handle her own big self as she matures. This is a daunting task, but of course I would have it no other way.
Today we had some one-on-one time at the park after a friend’s birthday party. She tends to gravitate toward swinging and spinning, as she craves the vestibular stimulation. Then we ended up on the climbing toy, where she decided to master tightrope walking. For awhile she bear walked across, then she held my hand, then I spotted her while she did it on her own.
As she walked across, one time she fell and said, “Mom, I almost lost my balance, so I had to fall into your arms.” I immediately felt tears form in my eyes. What a metaphor! Yes, spotting her in life is a challenge, but how rewarding to know that she has a safe spot to land– and that she jumps into my arms before she even truly falls. My heart feels warm and big.
This year she turns five and will attend her last year of preschool. She is on the top rung, but next year she will be a tiny kindergartener in a sea of big kids. She only recently discovered that The Little Mermaid is a movie and not just a book. She doesn’t know what guns are for. She still sleeps with her daddy. She has yet to feel true struggle, rejection, or heartbreak. She will be exposed to a life she can’t even imagine now. I have no doubt that she will face challenges, and I have no doubt that she will come through it victorious. Between the two will be all that hard work– her own and, behind the scenes, mine:
Siena, I’m here by your side. My arms are open.