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My Strong-Willed Child: I Thought You Were Going To Break Me

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Oh, my strong-willed child.

There was a time when I thought you were going to break me.

Before you, I never knew such huge amounts of personality could be packed and placed so effortlessly into a pint-sized, little body. You are independent and inquisitive. You are spunk and stubbornness swirled together with all kinds of sweetness sprinkled on top.

A sweetness that quickly goes sour when anyone tries to stop you from doing that one thing you’ve decided you are going to do.

I’ve cried more tears over you than you will ever know.

I’ve received more disapproving looks from strangers, heard more “helpful” comments from well-meaning people, and seen more judgment in the eyes of those around me than I’ve ever cared to and each of those moments left me wondering how in the world I could love you more than life itself and yet still be at a complete loss on how to effectively parent you. Day after day, I felt like I was failing you.

It took some time before I finally realized the reason I was cracked and ready to break.

It’s because I was constantly trying to break YOU.

I wanted you to be the child I thought you should be, the one I wanted you to be, the angelic one that danced around in my imagination as soon as I saw those two pink lines. I wanted you to fall in line behind all of the obedient, well-behaved children around you.

But you’re not them.

You’re you.

Unapologetically you.

And I would never, EVER want you to be any other way.

Because once I stopped trying to change you, I finally began to understand you. I realized that YOU are not the challenge. No, the challenge is learning to raise you and teach you in a way that fully embraces your spirit instead of trying to tame it.

And sweet boy? I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge. Just ask your Daddy.

The world has already begun labeling you, sometimes in whispers and sometimes in the loudest roar. They say you’re “hard” and “difficult” and “a handful” but I’m here to tell you that the world is wrong. I say you’re strong, confident, determined, creative, smart, and passionate.

And I’m right.

Because I’m your mama and I know who you are.

I’ll remind you that you're all of these things as often as you need to hear it and trust me when I say that I would gladly repeat these words every day for the rest of my life.

I’m in your corner and I will ALWAYS be in your corner.

And while you may completely exhaust both my mind and my body each and every day, my heart is prepared to run thousands of miles to meet you in all your strong-willed, stubborn, spunky glory.

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