She came into the world expected.  She was planned down to the second. There was no waiting.  There was no wondering.  She came to us when we asked and the rest is history.  She was such an easy baby.  She rarely cried. She ate.  She slept. She played. She grew. She cooed and babbled and giggled and talked non-stop. She did not like to nurse and so we did not. I felt inadequate, sad, frustrated, for weeks, maybe months, but then I realized I could do something about it, and I did, and we were all happy. She was a perfect little baby, really.  Then she turned two.

I might have known she would turn out this way:  determined, motivated, goal-oriented, proud,silly, dramatic, emotional.  All the signs were there when she was a baby.  She was always who she is now.  I struggled for years with certain aspects of her personality and sometimes, I still do.

She shows affection more easily to her father than she does to me. Once upon a time, I took that very personally even though I tried desperately not to show it.  Now, I’m not sure – I think she is more prone to her father but I don’t really let it get me down.  I’m pretty sure she loves me, her ‘ole ma.

She has always had her opinions.  At two – TWO – she was telling me what she would and would not wear.  The money I spent on beautiful clothing that she just shook her head at.  I can still hear her now, when presented with a cute skirt or dress:  “NO.  JEANS.”  Want to know the funny thing? She hasn’t worn a pair of jeans since she was 4.  Since she was 4, she wears skirts, dresses, leggings.  NO JEANS.

I would pick her up at school – this gorgeous, whole-child philosophy learning center with teachers who believed with every fiber of their being that PLAY was children’s work – and at two she would run away from me, an invitation to chase her and catch her ONLY IF I COULD.

She has an eye for color and design.  She loves art, puzzles, Legos, playdough, circuits, jokes, the magical and mystical, stuffed animals, her dolls, and books.  She has a fabulous sense of humor to boot.  She is willing to do anything and go anywhere, as long we’re in it together.

She’s sensitive – I have learned to be very gentle with her.

Sometimes, I want to go back in time with her.  There are things I would do different.  But I know I did my best then, and if I have any reservations about anything, the time is always now. I absolutely love being her mom, even on those days when I am wondering:  do I do enough?  do I give enough?  do I love enough?