Lately, it’s been hard to deny that Bella is growing up. There have been many moments where I look at her and my mind goes blank as I process that the beauty I’m looking at is really my daughter. My daughter? Is not that big. My daughter? Doesn’t outgrow size 6 pants. My daughter? Can’t possibly be processing emotions like this girl.
Just this morning she says to me: “Mom, I think we should have breakfast for dinner again tonight.” …pause for effect… “…so then you don’t have to cook a thing tonight, I’ll make sure the other girls eat.” Followed shortly thereafter with a request for a chore list. I’ll let that process for a moment…the girl asked me for a list of chores to do. And this is not the first time such a request has been made. And just now? “What do you think if we have a celebration for Mae tomorrow? Like…cause she’s feeling better we should celebrate that.” Dead from the cute. Blogging from the grave.
Bella is what I would call your typical kid with a-typical personality traits. She’s wildly rambunctious in a crowd, quick to tears when scolded and so sure that was she’s saying is the most.important.conversation.ever. But maybe it’s the big sister in her that makes her so empathetic and concerned with the plight of others. A friend and I were discussing that perhaps our greatest achievement to date is the sentence on our kids’ report cards: ‘Bella displays empathy toward her fellow students.’ She makes friends very easily and has surprisingly maintained quite a few of the same friends as her very first days of school. Bella was once banned from the art centre for a straight week- because she would spend every break standing at the easel with a line up of kids requesting pictures from her.
Lately I catch myself staring at her. My eyes search her face for any sign of the baby I birthed, I strain to hear the high-pitched little voice that croaked out it’s first word (Mama, for the record. Yeah.) I can’t seem to find many traces of my baby girl…she’s been replaced with this absolutely stunning young lady who I could not be more proud of. With sincerity, the emotion I feel most strongly when I look at her is pride. There are some traits that are uniquely her own, and some that we have taught her. She’s come a million miles from this:
I think part of what makes her growth so heart-palpitating is that her baby sister is her mirror image. Maelle looks almost identical to Isabella at virtually every stage of her life so far, down to the cowlicks in her blonde hair. It’s like I can see how far she’s come, very literally.
This is going to sound totally cheeseball, I’m aware, but it actually happened. When the ultrasound tech told us our third baby was another girl, this is the scene that immediately flashed across my mind: Annika trying on wedding dresses (no, I can’t explain why it was Nik, it just was) with Bella adjusting the corset back and this little blonde girl I’d never met but completely knew was laughing hysterically at some private joke. And I replay that scene over and over and over in my head to this day. She is going to be the best bridesmaid, my Bella. I know this.
I must say, I get the same goosebumps when I think of how far she’s come AND how far she has to go. The potential for her is endless…there is nothing unattainable for her. Literally No.Thing. And I’m so glad she’s the oldest, so the other two will look to her for inspiration and guidance. She’s got so much going for her…it’s the where she wants to take it that intrigues me beyond belief. And the how fast she’s getting there that simultaneously scares me and excites me.