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To know these pigtails is to know the sassiness they represent.

Underneath those two personality sticks is YOU . . . my 2-year-old who uses them as her “get out of jail free” pass when you’re busted committing your daily mischief. 

You know when used together with your ear-to-shoulder-head-tilt, and your big cheesy grin, you’re likely to mesmerize me with your cuteness to make me forget about what rule you have just broken. 

Whether it’s drawing all over a basement door, secretly tripping your brother, or showing up at my feet after using your markers as pretend makeup . . . it’s hard to get mad at those pigtails.

And you know it. 

Because you are the baby of the family

The one we are (99 percent) sure is the round-out of our little family.

The one we all sit around and watch . . . simply to be entertained at your level of goofiness. The one who thinks you’re older than you are because your older two siblings teach you everything they know. The one who screams as loud as you can at the dinner table until you fold over in belly laughter . . . while your dad and I try to hide our own and hope the other one can be serious enough to ask you to stop. 

You are so strong in personality and firm in independence that I almost feel like I shouldn’t table it . . . knowing it will serve you well later in life. But in the same breath I worry if I don’t reel you in,  you’ll be a rebel for life. 

Then, as if you can see that battle in my brain, you will start offering random hugs, blowing kisses, saying I love you, belly laughing with pure joy, breaking out into an adorable song, or reciting your favorite prayer. 

And suddenly those bouncing pigtails and innocent voice make me forget what I was supposed to be mad at you for in the first place.

Yes. You get away with a lot.

But you’re the baby. The last baby. 

The last one to complete the milestones

The last one to want to be rocked. The last one to sleep in the crib. The last one to lay in my arms and drink milk from a sippy cup. The last one to wear footie pajamas. The last one to have your first day of preschool. 

The one who makes me grasp the perspective that all of this mischief will be a funny memory one day. A one day I know isn’t far away thanks to a generation above me who has warned JUST HOW FAST it will go.

How quickly those tiny pigtails of yours will become a long ponytail swinging out there on the basketball court. How before I know it I’ll be curling it for you as you get ready for your first homecoming dance. Then I’ll blink, and I’ll see it beautifully styled underneath the veil your dad will lift at the end of the aisle . . . before it turns into a “haven’t-showered-in-four-days” bun on top of your head . . . as you put those tiny pigtails on YOUR baby.

Or maybe not.

Because I don’t know what’s to come for you.

I don’t know what choices you’ll make or what dreams you’ll have for yourself or what experiences will come your way.

Which is why all my heart can bear to focus on is the now.

And right now your innocence melts my heart as quickly as your determination to test my patience wears it down.

And it’s worth all of it.

I know you and those pigtails will go on to be something wonderful to the world one day . . . the way you bring something wonderful to our family. And I just want to be present in every moment on your journey to getting there . . . while secretly hoping “there” doesn’t get here too fast.

You might also like:

Because One Day, She Will Have to Walk Away

Why Tired Mothers Stay Up So Late

To My Last Born Child – This is It

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Brea Schmidt

Brea Schmidt is a writer, speaker and photographer who aims to generate authentic conversation about motherhood and daily life on her blog, The Thinking Branch. Through her work, she aims to empower people to overcome their fears and insecurities and live their truth. She and her husband raise their three children in Pittsburgh, PA.

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