Today was a very special day. My almost seven month old daughter laughed for me for the very first time. It was around 8pm and she was a little over tired. Her daddy was holding her (she has laughed for him many times) and I bent down to pick something off the ground. As I got up, she started laughing. She was looking right at me and laughing the most BEAUTIFUL full bodied giggle! My heart melted with joy and I felt like crying at the same time.
Our daughter is a miraculous being. All babies and children are. Here she is, new to this chaotic and phenomenal world….this little being full of curiosity and wonder. Everything is new to her. Some things are frightening. Too much noise. Too many people. Changes in her routine. Other things are comforting…like her daddy and her favorite spoon. Oh yes, and her pacifier. She loves and trusts her parents completely. She is learning and growing every minute of every day.
I’m still getting to know my daughter. I’m so in love with her but she scares me, too. I don’t always have the right “fix” when she is upset. She is fiercely intelligent and strong willed. She is constantly surprising me. Or connecting with someone when I never could. Reminding me to never try to fit her in a box or compare her to other children.
As my daughter grows (way too fast) I think about ways I can honor her.
How can I help her grow into her true self without imposing my views, insecurities, or weaknesses?
I can cherish each moment with her as we snuggle in bed together, sleeping face to face.
I can help her as she eases into forming new relationships and meeting new people-but stay close by so she knows I’m there if she needs me.
I can listen, observe, play, be present, love, and value her.
I can hold her when she cries and isn’t feeling well.
I will honor my daughter by letting her grow at her own pace.
She will explore and meet milestones as she is ready. If I listen carefully, she always has a way of letting me know.