When Clare was a few months old, I kept telling Joel how much I wanted Clare to grow up fast so I can start dressing her up and that we could play together in the park. When Clare turned a year old, I kept telling Joel how much I wanted Clare to grow up fast again so I can take her to the movies and we could hang out together at the mall. Now that Clare is turning three soon, I suddenly feel a twinge in my heart like I want her to stop growing up and learning things on her own without me. It sounds selfish but they are only thoughts rooted from every mom’s sense of protectiveness and I’m probably not the only one who feels the same.
As she makes her mark to three, there has been a lot of power struggle in our home. These are the same troubles entailed when raising a toddler. Her age now is actually the most exciting part of motherhood according to my mom and mom-in-law. This particular stage is a milestone as Clare blurts out the coolest, funniest and weirdest words and comments that she could immediately think of. No filter, no hesitations and no fear at all!
These are the special moments when she says, “I love you mommy” after watching Lilo and Stitch or when she says, “Thank you” and kisses me after buying her a toy or giving her some sweets. These spontaneous moments overwhelm my heart with such profoundness.
There are also moments when she would fart in a public place and looks at me as if I did it. And a few more awkward moments when she would say, “Eeeewww, Yuck and Disgusting” in front of other people and I wished I could disappear in the moment of embarrassment. She is forming her own opinion of certain things now and her honesty is refreshing and wonderful. We are trying to teach her to be sensitive to other people’s feelings and knowing how to share and understand other people around her.
Clare is learning to be expressive and independent that it scares me a bit to accept everything. She would sometimes let go of my hand as soon as steps inside the park and I’d feel happy and sad at the same time. I am thankful for these mixed emotions and I hope it molds me to become a better mom. She might still be small but I have no doubt that she will be one of those girls who would give up her seat for an older person on the bus and that just makes my heart swell with pride. Being reminded of kindness and patience on a daily basis is one of the wonderful things about her age right now and I keep reminding myself how blessed I truly am.
I hope that I will always remember these moments that might seem inconsequential but makes my heart burn with so much love. From being able to put on her own socks and shoes, eating on her own, navigating her own iPad and telling us what she wants to wear and what to buy, she is growing up with that feisty character of independence that I once saw in myself.
I’m still in constant fear as a mom with changes and challenges in our new home and I am lucky to have Clare by my side – my best friend, troublemaker, little princess and inspiration. You will be three soon my love! Hooray for you, me and daddy!
Photographs of Clare when she was about to turn one year old by Carla Nacario of Creative Moments Media Production.