Maybe it's the fact that Olivia's 3rd birthday is a few days away. Or maybe it's because we've been visiting pre-schools the last few days. I've been spending a lot of time thinking about the neat little girl that Olivia is becoming and I see a lot of me in her. Not so much in her outward appearance; more so in her personality and behaviors. She is definitely a momma's girl in those respects. She woke up this morning before Nate, which is a true rarity. When I went in to get her, she asked me, "Momma, will you rest with me?" So I crawled in to her toddler bed for some morning cuddles and per her request, eskimo kisses. As we lay there together, I began to think of how much like me she is. We both love to sleep in. If Olivia could sleep all day, nestled among her blankets and her Elmos, she would be in heaven. She's slow to wake up. She loves her tv programs. She's bright and independent. Bossy, yet gentle when she needs to be. Yesterday morning, Nate woke up grumpy. As he and I were sitting at the foot of her bed, she started making funny faces at Nate to cheer him up. When that didn't work, she took her hand and began to rub his cheek, saying, "It's OK Nate. I know it's hard to wake up." When that didn't work, she did the mother of all kind gestures in her little world: offered up her Elmo. She sure does love her baby brother. Oftentimes I'll go in after a nap to find his crib littered with Olivia's things, like her sippy cup, her favorite blanket, the random stuffed animal, or even Fuzzy Elmo. I think she must toss these items into his crib when he's having a hard time falling asleep. And, like her mother, Olivia has a special knack for buttering up daddy when she wants something. She'll go to him and with the cutest little head tilt, say something like, "I'll get you some Coke, ok "fweetheart?" She tries to make us think she only has us in mind but she's as transparent as a window pane. It's so hard to resist her.
She's fearless, outgoing, imaginative and artistic. It's so hard to believe that she's turning 3. In some ways, it seems like forever ago she was born. I think that's because I can't fathom what life was like before kids. And in some ways, it seems like just yesterday we were waiting to meet her. I think that's a reflection of how fast they grow up and reinforces that time does fly when you're having fun. Three years ago seems like a blink of an eye. Where will we be three years from now? Olivia will be in kindergarten and Nate will be 4 1/2, maybe we'll be in a different state or possibly a different country. What an interesting journey it has been. I'm so proud of my firstborn and feel blessed to have her with us as we meet head on all the challenges and adventures that life will bring. Our little Livy is growing up. She says it best...when I tuck them in for the night, right before I close the door, I say "goodnight babies." I hear her voice correcting me in the darkness. "I'm not a baby. I'm a big girl." Goodnight, big girl. Momma loves you sooo much.