If you’ve ever spent more than five minutes with my daughter, you will quickly see that she is always at a 10. Calm is not in her vocabulary or her existence in any form.
From the moment her eyes open, she is on the move. Mentally, physically, all of it. Bedtime is when she shares her deepest thoughts and asks the kinds of questions no parent wants to deal with at the end of the day. And then, after what feels like hours of questions and songs, she’s on the fast track to dreamland and not even an earthquake could wake her.
Until something does. And then she opens those little eyes and is out of her bed in 2.5 seconds flat. She’s on her way to Mommy and Daddy’s room to ask what her day looks like, what she’s going to have for breakfast, and when we are going to get up and play with her.
When we make it out of the bedroom, she doesn’t walk, she runs. Or jumps. Or gallops. By the time we’ve put on the coffee pot she’s already put in a full breakfast request, started an art project, and is reviewing her schedule for the fifth time in the 10 minutes she’s been awake. We’ve probably been asked 100 questions by 8 a.m.
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She talks loud. And a lot. Possibly even non-stop. When she sings, she doesn’t just sing. She belts out songs like it’s an audition. When she dances, there had better be a stage waiting for her. Everything is a show, a chance to perform. One activity is barely over and she is already planning out the next. And the next. And one for tomorrow and next Tuesday. I’ve just finished breakfast, and she’s making lunch demands and asking what the Easter bunny is bringing her.
She is always looking for the next challenge, always pushing to do more. Make it bigger. Make it better. The only thing faster than her tiny body is her mind. Or her mouth. She sees the world in a way I never could. In a way that seems so out of reach for her age. She talks loud, lives louder. She has a plan and a plot for everything. All the time. Everyday.
She is a lawyer in training with her negotiation skills, a politician in waiting with her campaigning technique, a possible architect with her incessant need to build. She debates so well, most days she convinces us to do things without us even knowing it’s happening. She questions everything around her and wants to explore every inch of her surroundings. And she wants it all done instantly so she can move on to more. She is the textbook definition of relentless.
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It’s a miracle we, the adults in the home, make it to bedtime most days. The mental and physical exhaustion of living in her world is more than we ever could have dreamed. There is often an abundance of yelling and a lack of patience. On the flip side, there is more laughter than we can contain.
Her world is filled with magic that she wants to share with everyone around her. The best part is, it’s all so genuine and authentic. Everything comes from her oversized heart. A heart that feels emotions way too big for her tiny body. It’s exhausting in the best of ways. To care for a person who lives so loudly. Lives so boldly. Who feels so deeply and does nothing to hide it or dull it down. Even though some days we wish she would.
And we shouldn’t because it’s kids like her who change the world. Or at least that’s what every doctor and therapist and teacher I’ve come in contact with has said to us. Sometimes, I think it’s just their way of trying to talk an overburdened mom off the ledge. But most times, I think they mean it. I always have. I’ve known from the second she was born, she was a warrior and was meant to change the world. Make it a better place.
She’s certainly already changed ours.