I find myself begging her to please stop talking and just listen (like I have learned that lesson yet.) I ask her over and over again not act so desperate for a friend's attention. I see social faux pas in her that actually cause me physical pain because I remember a time in my own life where I did something similar and opened myself up for ridicule and embarrassment. How many times I have put my foot in my mouth....ugh, I cannot even think about it.
And I experience the same old paradox. As a parent, I want to spare her all of the hard lessons that I have had to learn. Yet I know she has to learn them for herself so she can grow and mature into the person that God wants and needs her to be.
I know that so many of her characteristics that bug me now are what will make her an exceptional adult: strong willed convictions, the ability to speak her mind, creativity that knows no bounds, a desire to meet everyone and do everything, the ability to argue with a wall - OK, had to throw that last one in - she would make a great attorney. Scott and I are convinced she will either be a lawyer or end up on a stage somewhere - same difference, right?
I wish I knew why it is so easy for me to focus on what frustrates me about my child instead of what is so beautiful about her. This is definitely where our personalities diverge. Despite my hen-pecking and nagging, this sweet angel is so kind, so loving, and so caring about others. Her ability to show compassion is way beyond my own. Some of this I know is due to a child's innocence. But a big heaping helping is her gift to recognize someone in need, someone who is left out, someone who lost. I am not surprised when her Sunday school teacher tells me how Eliza Grace, without any provocation, asks a new child to join their activities, hugs her and says, "Hi, I'm your new friend. Come play with us!"
Or when I mention that an adult friend has not been feeling well and she comes to me 10 minutes later with a get well card she just made and asks if she can mail it.
And when she complements her brother on the block tower he just created, as if it was the most magnificent structure ever completed.
And really, how angry can you be when your little girl climbs in your bed at 3am and says, "don't worry Mommy, I didn't have a bad dream, I just wanted to snuggle with you because I know it makes you happy."
Her natural ability to support and uplift others is something that I pray my nagging will never curtail.
She may have inherited some of the worst of me, but she is absolutely the best of God's love. I love my little girl's heart.
Eliza Grace "performing" in her paper gown at her 6 yr old check up
Sissy & Willby loving on each other
Eliza Grace and her friend Jadon having lunch before roller skating